1989 San Francisco 49ers season

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1989 San Francisco 49ers season
OwnerEddie DeBartolo, Jr.
General managerJohn McVay and Carmen Policy
Head coachGeorge Seifert
Home fieldCandlestick Park
Results
Record14–2
Division place1st NFC West
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Vikings) 41–13
Won NFC Championship (vs. Rams) 30–3
Won Super Bowl XXIV (vs. Broncos) 55–10
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros

The 1989 season was the San Francisco 49ers' 40th in the National Football League (NFL), their 44th overall and their 1st season under head coach George Seifert. After going 14–2 in the regular season, the 49ers completed the season with one the most dominant playoff runs of all time, outscoring opponents 126–26, earning their fourth Super Bowl victory and their second consecutive. They finished with the best record in the NFL for the first time since 1987. Their two losses were by a combined 5 points.

In 2007, ESPN.com's Page 2 ranked the 1989 49ers as the greatest team in Super Bowl history.[3]

This was the season where the 49ers added the black trim on the SF logo on the helmets which lasted until the 1995 season.

Quarterback Joe Montana had one of the greatest statistical passing seasons in NFL history in 1989. Montana set a then-NFL record with a passer rating of 112.4,[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."[5]

The 1989 49ers ranked #5 on the 100 greatest teams of all time presented by the NFL on its 100th anniversary.[6][7]

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

1989 San Francisco 49ers Draft
Round Selection Player Position College Notes
1 28 Keith DeLong LB Tennessee
2 56 Wesley Walls TE Mississippi
3 84 Keith Henderson RB Georgia
4 112 Michael Barber WR Marshall
5 122 Johnnie Jackson DB Houston from Los Angeles Raiders
6 167 Steve Hendrickson LB California
9 251 Rudy Harmon LB LSU
10 279 Andy Sinclair C Stanford
11 289 Jim Bell RB Boston College from Los Angeles Raiders
307 Norm McGee WR North Dakota
12 319 Antonio Goss LB North Carolina from Los Angeles Raiders

[8]

Training Camp[edit]

The 1989 San Francisco 49ers season held training camp at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1989 San Francisco 49ers staff
Front office
  • Owner/president – Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr.
  • Executive vice president/general counsel – Carmen Policy
  • Vice president/general manager – John McVay
  • Administrator of football operations – Neal Dahlen
  • Director of college scouting – Tony Razzano
  • Director of pro personnel – Allan Webb - Laufa Leiato

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Physical development coordinator – Jerry Attaway

Roster[edit]

1989 San Francisco 49ers final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad



Rookies in italics
47 active, 10 inactive

[9]

Preseason[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 August 5 Los Angeles Rams L 13–16 (OT) 0–1 Japan Tokyo Dome 43,896 Recap
2 August 12 at Los Angeles Raiders W 37–7 1–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 36,739 Recap
3 August 19 Denver Broncos W 35–17 2–1 Candlestick Park 58,641 Recap
4 August 23 San Diego Chargers W 17–14 3–1 Candlestick Park 54,471 Recap
5 September 1 at Seattle Seahawks L 17–28 3–2 Kingdome 58,641 Recap

Regular season[edit]

The 49ers' offense was just as dominating as it had been 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 passer 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.

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 September 10 at Indianapolis Colts W 30–24 1–0 Hoosier Dome 60,111 Recap
2 September 17 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 20–16 2–0 Tampa Stadium 64,087 Recap
3 September 24 at Philadelphia Eagles W 38–28 3–0 Veterans Stadium 66,042 Recap
4 October 1 Los Angeles Rams L 12–13 3–1 Candlestick Park 64,250 Recap
5 October 8 at New Orleans Saints W 24–20 4–1 Louisiana Superdome 60,488 Recap
6 October 15 at Dallas Cowboys W 31–14 5–1 Texas Stadium 61,077 Recap
7 October 22 New England Patriots W 37–20 6–1 Stanford Stadium[A] 51,781 Recap
8 October 29 at New York Jets W 23–10 7–1 Giants Stadium 62,805 Recap
9 November 6 New Orleans Saints W 31–13 8–1 Candlestick Park 60,667 Recap
10 November 12 Atlanta Falcons W 45–3 9–1 Candlestick Park 59,914 Recap
11 November 19 Green Bay Packers L 17–21 9–2 Candlestick Park 62,219 Recap
12 November 27 New York Giants W 34–24 10–2 Candlestick Park 63,461 Recap
13 December 3 at Atlanta Falcons W 23–10 11–2 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 43,128 Recap
14 December 11 at Los Angeles Rams W 30–27 12–2 Anaheim Stadium 67,959 Recap
15 December 17 Buffalo Bills W 21–10 13–2 Candlestick Park 60,927 Recap
16 December 24 Chicago Bears W 26–0 14–2 Candlestick Park 60,207 Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Season summary[edit]

Week 1 at Indianapolis Colts[edit]

Week One: San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 3 10 10730
Colts 3 7 01424

at Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis

Game information

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 quarter, but then Colts QB Chris Chandler ran in a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and a 58-yard touchdown bomb to Jerry Rice was answered by a blocked punt and recovery for a touchdown by the Colts, though they could get no closer than a 30–24 Niners margin.

Week 2 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

Week Two: San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 0 6 01420
Buccaneers 3 0 6716

at Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Game information

Week 3 at Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

Week Three: San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 7 3 02838
Eagles 9 3 61028

at Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia

Game information

The Niners fell behind 21–10 in the fourth but despite giving up a safety Joe Montana erupted, outscoring the Eagles 28–7 and throwing for 428 yards and five touchdowns in total, winning 38–28.

Week 4 vs. Los Angeles Rams[edit]

Week Four: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Rams 3 7 0313
49ers 6 3 0312

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 5 at New Orleans Saints[edit]

This game was originally scheduled for Candlestick Park, but was played at the Louisiana Superdome instead because the 49ers' fellow Candlestick Park tenant, the San Francisco Giants, played host to Games 3, 4, and 5 of the 1989 National League Championship Series. The November 6 game would be moved to San Francisco.

Week Five: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 0 3 71424
Saints 0 10 7320

at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Game information

Week 6 at Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Week Six: San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 0 7 71731
Cowboys 0 7 7014

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Week 7 vs. New England Patriots[edit]

This game was played at Stanford Stadium, as Candlestick Park had sustained damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake five days earlier.

Week Seven: New England Patriots at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Patriots 0 10 7320
49ers 0 17 71337

at Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California

Game information

Week 8 at New York Jets[edit]

Week Eight: San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 7 13 3023
Jets 0 7 3010

at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Game information

Week 9 vs. New Orleans Saints[edit]

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 had been moved to the Louisiana Superdome.

Week Nine: New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Saints 7 3 3013
49ers 7 14 3731

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 10 vs. Atlanta Falcons[edit]

Week Ten: Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 0 3 003
49ers 7 21 10745

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 11 vs. Green Bay Packers[edit]

Week Eleven: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Packers 7 7 0721
49ers 7 7 0317

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

The Niners fell to the Green Bay Packers in what would be their final loss of the season, as Don Majkowski ran in two touchdowns and threw for a third, overcoming 325 yards by Joe Montana, who was sacked five times. The 49ers appeared to take the lead in the 4th quarter on an interception return for a touchdown, but a penalty nullified the score.

Week 12 vs. New York Giants[edit]

Week Twelve: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Giants 7 3 7724
49ers 14 10 01034

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 13 at Atlanta Falcons[edit]

Week Thirteen: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 6 0 71023
Falcons 0 10 0010

at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta

Game information

Week 14 at Los Angeles Rams[edit]

Week Fourteen: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 0 10 02030
Rams 17 0 7327

at Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, California

Game information

In what many 49ers fans consider one of the greatest regular-season wins in team history, the 49ers came back 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 Roger Craig's 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 15 vs. Buffalo Bills[edit]

Week Fifteen: Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bills 3 0 0710
49ers 0 0 71421

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 16 vs. Chicago Bears[edit]

Week Sixteen: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bears 0 0 000
49ers 3 13 3726

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Standings[edit]

NFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
San Francisco 49ers(1) 14 2 0 .875 5–1 10–2 442 253 W5
Los Angeles Rams(5) 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 426 344 W2
New Orleans Saints 9 7 0 .563 3–3 5–7 386 301 W3
Atlanta Falcons 3 13 0 .188 0–6 1–11 279 437 L7

Playoffs[edit]

Round Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
Wild Card First-round bye
Divisional January 6, 1990 Minnesota Vikings (3) W 41–13 1–0 Candlestick Park 64,585 Recap
NFC Championship January 14, 1990 Los Angeles Rams (5) W 30–3 2–0 Candlestick Park 64,769 Recap
Super Bowl XXIV January 28, 1990 vs. Denver Broncos (A1) W 55–10 3–0 Louisiana Superdome 72,919 Recap

NFC Divisional Playoffs: vs. (3) Minnesota Vikings[edit]

NFC Divisional Playoff: Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Vikings 3 0 3713
49ers 7 20 01441

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco

Game information

NFC Championship: vs. (5) Los Angeles Rams[edit]

NFC Championship Game: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Rams 3 0 003
49ers 0 21 3630

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Super Bowl XXIV[edit]

Super Bowl XXIV: San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 13 14 141455
Broncos 3 0 7010

at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Game information

Game officials[edit]

Week Opponent Referee Umpire Head Linesman Line Judge Back Judge Side Judge Field Judge Replay
1 Los Angeles Rams (at Tokyo, Japan)
2 at Los Angeles Raiders
3 Denver Broncos (9) (27) (72) (59) (4) (58) (122) Bill Fette
4 San Diego Chargers
5 at Seattle Seahawks (43) (100) (37) (25) (52) (29) (96) Royal Cathcart
Week Opponent Referee Umpire Head Linesman Line Judge Back Judge Side Judge Field Judge Replay
1 at Indianapolis Colts (6) Tom Dooley (101) Bob Boylston (35) Leo Miles (5) Jim Quirk (24) Roy Clymer (62) Duwayne Gandy (86) Bernie Kukar Bill Parkinson
2 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (48) Gordon McCarter (117) Ben Montgomery (81) Dave Anderson (56) Ron Baynes (75) Jim Daopoulos (61) Dick Creed (93) Jack Vaughan Chuck Heberling
3 at Philadelphia Eagles (60) Dick Jorgensen (110) Ron Botchan (121) Sanford Rivers (51) Dale Orem (92) Jim Poole (20) Larry Nemmers (44) Donnie Hampton George Sladky
4 Los Angeles Rams (70) Jerry Seeman (67) John Keck (79) Aaron Pointer (65) Walt Coleman (106) Al Jury (66) Dave Hawk (113) Don Dorkowski Dave Kamanski
5 at New Orleans Saints (43) Red Cashion (100) Bob Wagner (37) Burl Toler (25) John Alderton (52) Ben Tompkins (29) Howard Slavin (96) Don Hakes Gaylord Bryant
6 at Dallas Cowboys (12) Ben Dreith (88) Dave Moss (55) Tom Barnes (41) Dick McKenzie (28) Don Wedge (16) Doyle Jackson (91) Bill Stanley Cal Lepore
7 New England Patriots (at Stanford) (33) Howard Roe (42) Dave Hamilton (8) Dale Williams (54) Jack Johnson (68) Louis Richard (102) Merrill Douglas (18) Bob Lewis Royal Cathcart
8 at New York Jets (11) Fred Wyant (57) Ed Fiffick (17) Jerry Bergman (112) Joe Haynes (36) Bob Moore (63) Bill Carollo (77) Don Orr Fritz Graf
9 New Orleans Saints (32) Jim Tunney (115) Hendi Ančićh (26) Mark Baltz (15) Bama Glass (118) Tom Sifferman (97) Nate Jones (82) Pat Mallette Bill Fette
10 Atlanta Falcons (70) Jerry Seeman (67) John Keck (79) Aaron Pointer (65) Walt Coleman (106) Al Jury (66) Dave Hawk (113) Don Dorkowski Dave Kamanski
11 Green Bay Packers (105) Dick Hantak (89) Gordon Wells (114) Tom Johnson (39) Don Carlsen (22) Paul Baetz (120) Gary Lane (76) Ed Merrifield Bill Swanson
12 New York Giants (95) Bob McElwee (30) Dennis Riggs (123) Tom White (45) Ron DeSouza (107) Jim Kearney (108) Stan Kemp (84) Bob Wortman Tom Kelleher
13 at Atlanta Falcons (14) Gene Barth (71) Ed Coukart (10) Ron Phares (74) Ray Dodez (38) Bruce Maurer (34) Gerald Austin (31) Dick Dolack Mark Burns
14 at Los Angeles Rams (48) Gordon McCarter (117) Ben Montgomery (81) Dave Anderson (56) Ron Baynes (75) Jim Daopoulos (61) Dick Creed (93) Jack Vaughan Chuck Heberling
15 Buffalo Bills (23) Johnny Grier (78) Art Demmas (87) Paul Weidner (53) Bill Reynolds (80) Tim Millis (90) Gil Mace (119) Ron Spitler Al Sabato
16 Chicago Bears (32) Jim Tunney (115) Hendi Ančićh (26) Mark Baltz (15) Bama Glass (118) Tom Sifferman (97) Nate Jones (82) Pat Mallette Bill Fette
Week Opponent Referee Umpire Head Linesman Line Judge Back Judge Side Judge Field Judge Replay Alternates
NFC Divisional Playoff Minnesota Vikings (6) Tom Dooley (101) Bob Boylston (72) Terry Gierke (112) Joe Haynes (4) Doug Toole (108) Stan Kemp (82) Pat Mallette Bill Fette (113) Don Dorkowski
NFC Championship Game Los Angeles Rams (9) Jerry Markbreit (103) Rex Stuart (111) Earnie Frantz (45) Ron DeSouza (118) Tom Sifferman (47) Tom Fincken (84) Bob Wortman Tom Kelleher
Super Bowl XXIV vs. Denver Broncos (at New Orleans, Louisiana) (60) Dick Jorgensen (115) Hendi Ančićh (111) Earnie Frantz (83) Ron Blum (106) Al Jury (34) Gerald Austin (77) Don Orr Al Sabato (105) Dick Hantak
(103) Rex Stuart

Media[edit]

Pre season Local TV[edit]

Channel Play-by-play Color commentator(s)
KPIX-TV 5

Local Radio[edit]

Flagship station Play-by-play Color commentator(s) Sideline reporter (s)
KGO–AM 810 Joe Starkey Wayne Walker

1990 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl[edit]

Number Player Position Conference
33 Roger Craig RB NFC Pro Bowlers
42 Ronnie Lott FS NFC Pro Bowlers
62 Guy McIntyre G NFC Pro Bowlers
16 Joe Montana QB, Starter NFC Pro Bowlers
80 Jerry Rice WR, Starter NFC Pro Bowlers
82 John Taylor WR NFC Pro Bowlers

[11]

Awards and records[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The 49ers were originally scheduled to play the New England Patriots during Week 7 (October 22) at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. However, due to the impact and damage to Candlestick Park resulting from the Loma Prieta earthquake, the game was played at Stanford Stadium.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1989 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  2. ^ "1989 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  3. ^ ESPN Page 2: The Ultimate Super Rankings
  4. ^ Broken in 1994 by teammate Steve Young
  5. ^ "Cold Hard Football Facts: The Dandy Dozen: 12 best passing seasons in history". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
  6. ^ "NFL Top 100 Teams". Pro Football Reference.
  7. ^ "100 Greatest Teams: Numbers 100-1 SUPERCUT". NFL.com.
  8. ^ "1989 San Francisco 49ers Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  9. ^ "1989 San Francisco 49ers starters and roster". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s San Francisco 49ers 2015 Media Guide. San Francisco 49ers. p. 456.
  11. ^ San Francisco 49ers 2015 Media Guide. San Francisco 49ers. p. 517.
  12. ^ "Bert Bell Award – Professional Player of the Year: Past Recipients". Maxwell Football Club. Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  13. ^ Associated Press Athlete of the Year (male)

External links[edit]