1990 San Francisco 49ers season
|1990 San Francisco 49ers season|
|Head coach||George Seifert
|General manager||John McVay and Carmen Policy
|Owner||Eddie DeBartolo, Jr.
|Home field||Candlestick Park|
|Division place||1st NFC West|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Playoffs (Redskins) 28–10
Lost NFC Championship (Giants) 13–15
The San Francisco 49ers entered the 1990 season heavily favoured to win their third consecutive Super Bowl. The season was highlighted by their defeat of the New York Giants on Monday Night Football in Week 13. Throughout the season, the 49ers and the Giants were the two best teams in the NFL. The two teams would meet again in the NFC Championship Game.
Between 1988 and 1990, the 49ers set a league record with 18 consecutive road victories. Jerry Rice had a career year by becoming the fourth receiver in the history of American football to have at least 100 receptions in one season. The 49ers won their fifth consecutive NFC West Division Title. Dating back to 1989, the 49ers completed a fifteen-game unbeaten streak in the regular season (5 victories in the last 5 games of 1989 and 10 victories in the first ten games of 1990).
The 49ers were the closest team in NFL history to "three peat" in the Super Bowl, losing in the final seconds on a field goal by the Giants in the NFC Championship Game. The season ended on quite a haunting note, because the Giants' Leonard Marshall made a devastating hit on 49er quarterback Joe Montana, knocking him out of the game. Then Roger Craig fumbled with only a few minutes left while the 49ers were driving to score the game-clinching touchdown, the ball was recovered by the Giants' Lawrence Taylor, and the Giants began driving to kick the game-winning field goal. They ended up winning 15–13. The words of announcer Pat Summerall, "There will be no three peat!" still haunt 49ers fans.
Following the 1990 season, the 49ers left team stalwarts Roger Craig and Ronnie Lott unprotected and let them go to the Los Angeles Raiders via Plan B free agency. Joe Montana would remain on the 49ers' roster for the next two seasons, but would never start another game for the 49ers.
|= Pro Bowler ||= Hall of Famer|
|Round #||Pick #||Player||Position||College|
|1||25||Dexter Carter||Running Back||Florida State|
|2||48||Dennis Brown||Defensive End||Washington|
|2||54||Eric Davis||Cornerback||Jacksonville State|
|3||69||Ronald Lewis||Wide Receiver||Florida State|
|6||166||Frank Pollack||Tackle||Northern Arizona|
|8||221||Dwight Pickens||Wide Receiver||Fresno State|
|9||249||Odell Haggins||Defensive Tackle||Florida State|
|10||277||Martin Harrison||Defensive End||Washington|
|11||290||Anthony Shelton||Safety||Tennessee State|
|1990 San Francisco 49ers staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1990 San Francisco 49ers final roster|
- October 14, 1990 – Joe Montana set a 49ers record by throwing for 476 yards in one game and throwing six touchdown passes.
- October 14, 1990 – Jerry Rice set a 49ers record with 5 touchdown receptions and 30 points in one game.
- November 4, 1990 – In a game versus the Green Bay Packers, Joe Montana threw for 411 yards and 3 touchdown passes.
- December 3, 1990 – The 10–1 49ers played the 10–1 New York Giants on Monday Night Football. It was the second highest rated Monday Night game ever at the time. The game had a 42% share and a 26.9 rating.
- December 9, 1990 – The 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime. Mike Cofer kicked a 23-yard field goal to give the 49ers a 20–17 victory.
|1||September 10, 1990 (Mon)||at New Orleans Saints||W 13–12||
|2||September 16, 1990||Washington Redskins||W 26–13||
|3||September 23, 1990||Atlanta Falcons||W 19–13||
|5||October 7, 1990||at Houston Oilers||W 24–21||
|6||October 14, 1990||at Atlanta Falcons||W 45–35||
|7||October 21, 1990||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 27–7||
|8||October 28, 1990||Cleveland Browns||W 20–17||
|9||November 4, 1990||at Green Bay Packers||W 24–20||
|10||November 11, 1990||at Dallas Cowboys||W 24–6||
|11||November 18, 1990||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 31–7||
|12||November 25, 1990||Los Angeles Rams||L 17–28||
|13||December 3, 1990 (Mon)||New York Giants||W 7–3||
|14||December 9, 1990||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 20–17 (OT)||
|15||December 17, 1990 (Mon)||at Los Angeles Rams||W 26–10||
|16||December 23, 1990||New Orleans Saints||L 10–13||
|17||December 30, 1990||at Minnesota Vikings||W 20–17||
|(1) San Francisco 49ers||14||2||0||.875||4–2||10–2||353||239||W1|
|(6) New Orleans Saints||8||8||0||.500||4–2||6–6||274||275||W2|
|Los Angeles Rams||5||11||0||.313||2–4||3–9||345||412||L4|
NFC Divisional Playoff
at Candlestick Park, San Francisco
NFC Championship Game
at Candlestick Park, San Francisco
Just like the regular season game between the two teams won by the 49ers 7–3 the championship game was mostly a defensive battle. San Francisco running back Roger Craig's fumble with 2:36 left in the game led to Giants kicker Matt Bahr's 42-yard game-winning field goal as time ran out. Bahr was New York's only scorer, as he made 5 out of 6 field goals. Despite not scoring a TD in eight quarters against the 49ers, the Giants moved on to the Super Bowl with their victory.
Awards and Records
- Led NFC with 353 points scored
- Charles Haley, Led NFC, Sacks (16)
- Charles Haley, NFC Pro Bowl
- Ronnie Lott, NFC Pro Bowl
- Joe Montana, AP NFL MVP
- Joe Montana, Associated Press Athlete of the Year
- Joe Montana, NFC Pro Bowl Selection, Injured, did not play
- Joe Montana, Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
- Guy McIntyre, NFC Pro Bowl
- Jerry Rice, NFL Leader, Receptions (100)
- Jerry Rice, NFL Leader, Receiving Yards (1,502)
- Jerry Rice, NFL Leader, Receiving Touchdowns (13)
- Jerry Rice, NFC Pro Bowl
- Jerry Rice, First 100 reception season 
- "1990 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- "1990 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.
- Associated Press Athlete of the Year (male)
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 440