In 2007, ESPN.com's Page 2 ranked the 1989 49ers as the greatest team in Super Bowl history.
QuarterbackJoe Montana had one of the greatest passing seasons in NFL history in 1989. Montana set a then-NFL record with a passer rating of 112.4, with a completion percentage of 70.2%, and a 26/8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. In the playoffs, Montana was even more dominant, with a 78.3% completion percentage, 800 yards, 11 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 146.4 rating. Cold Hard Football Facts calls Montana's 1989 season "the one by which we must measure all other passing seasons."
The 49ers offense was just as dominating as it was during the previous regular season. Quarterback Joe Montana threw for 3,512 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions, giving him what was then the highest quarterback rating in NFL history (112.4). Montana also rushed for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns, and earned both the NFL Most Valuable Player Award and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award. Wide receiver Jerry Rice had another outstanding season, catching 82 passes for 1,483 yards and 17 touchdowns. Running back Roger Craig was the team's leading rusher with 1,054 yards and 6 touchdowns, and he recorded 49 receptions for 473 yards and another touchdown.
But other stars on the 49ers offense began to emerge, enabling the team to spread the ball around. After being used primarily as a punt returner during his first 2 seasons, wide receiver John Taylor had a breakout season, catching 60 passes for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also returning 36 punts for 417 yards. Tight End Brent Jones recorded 40 receptions for 500 yards. Fullback Tom Rathman had the best season of his career, rushing for 305 yards and catching 73 passes for 616 yards. Even Montana's backup, quarterback Steve Young had a great year, throwing for 1,001 yards and 8 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions, while also rushing for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. With all of these weapons, San Francisco's offense led the league in total yards from scrimmage (6,268) and scoring (442 points). The 49ers Defense was ranked #3 in the NFL. Three starters from the Defense made the 1989 All-Pro Team: (Ronnie Lott, Don Griffin, and Michael Walter)
Week One proved to be a struggle for the Niners as Joe Montana led five scoring drives putting the Niners ahead by 23-10 entering the fourth, but Chris Chandler ran in a touchdown early in the fourth and a 58-yard touchdown bomb to Jerry Rice was answered by a goalline fumble recovery for a touchdown by the Colts; they could get no closer than a 30-24 Niners margin.
This game was originally scheduled for Louisiana Superdome, but was played at Candlestick Park instead, because the originally scheduled October 8 game at Candlestick Park was moved to the Louisiana Superdome.
Week Nine: New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
The Niners fell to the Green Bay Packers, what would be the final loss of the season for the Niners, as Don Majkowski ran in two touchdowns and threw a third, overcoming 325 yards by Joe Montana, who was sacked five times.
In what many 49ers fans consider one of the greatest regular season wins in team history, the 49ers come from a 27-10 4th quarter deficit to beat the Rams 30-27. The Rams had already beaten the 49ers earlier in the year and looked poised to do it again. but the 49ers with help from John Taylor's big game, took the lead late with a Roger Craig 1 yard touchdown. John Taylor had 11 catches for an astonishing 286 yards receiving, which included a touchdown catch of 92 yards, and another touchdown catch for 96 yards. Joe Montana was 30 for 42 and passed for 458 yards.
Week Fourteen: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams – Game summary