Reminiscence Of Events at the Super Bowl XXIII
In one of the most profound moments for the 49ers, quarterback Joe Montana reconstructed what was a desperate situation into a moment of glee. Joe was always known for his cool disposition in the field.
Super Bowl XXIIISuper Bowl XXIII
Date: January 22, 1989
Stadium: Joe Robbie Stadium, FL
Favorite: 49ers by 7
The 49ers odds were not looking good and in the wake of an imminent defeat by the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII, Joe was busy refocusing his teammates’ attention to the stands where John Candy was.
He went on to deliver the perfect drive that ultimately turned the tables for his team. The 1988 season was not a particularly easy season for the 49ers, despite them securing the championship. Joe was for instance constrained by an injury for much of the season and he only made short stints during the year.
During that season, San Francisco often found themselves trailing other teams even though they had good starts. Nevertheless, they were able to pull through the season, finishing at 10-6. Their capable team was indeed a huge cornerstone and the 49ers offense was at the seventh place by the end of the season.
Similar performance was recorded at the defense which ranked eighth. Great performances from Roger Craig and the recovering Joe Montana ensured a great performance sheet at the end of the season. San Francisco 49ers trounced the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings and went on to pummel the Cincinnati Bengals at the Super Bowl.
The Bengals were not in the final by chance. They had put on a striking performance throughout the season. Indeed, their strong rendition was recognized in the end with the award of the league’s MVP going to Boomer Esiason. The defending ends of both teams were in overdrive during this particular game and it was not easy at all for, even for Joe Montana.
At one point, the Bengals exhibited stronger performance during the second half but this was not to last as the 49ers made quick comebacks. It was only in the third quarter that Cincinnati was able to take a short lead with their initial touchdown.
With Montana and his teammates putting on a formidable drive, Cincinnati’s lead was canceled almost immediately and the two teams were tied once again, this time at 13-13. The ball was on the Bengals court and they once again managed a field goal that put them at the helm. At this point, time was of the essence for both teams.
The highlight of the game was at this point imminent. Montana’s “Joe Cool” moment was followed by a superb drive that put the 49ers in an irrepressible lead against their opponents. There was nothing more forthcoming from the Bengals and the game was over at 20-16.
The game’s MVP title ultimately went to Rice who had a salient display. With a great run during the game and both of the 49ers touchdowns under his belt, he truly deserved the title. Montana was not uninspiring in any way either. He had a great performance, ensuring an over 60% completion rate of all his 36 passes passing attempts during the game.
The drive that gave the 49ers the Super Bowl title was, however, the best part of Montana’s showing. The drive would also ultimately secure his legacy and admirable character in the field.

Scoring Summary

Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP NYG NE
1 3:14 13 73 5:02 SF 41-yard field goal by Mike Cofer 0 3
2 1:15 6 28 2:49 CIN 34-yard field goal by Jim Breech 3 3
3 5:39 13 61 9:21 CIN 43-yard field goal by Breech 6 3
3 0:50 4 8 1:30 SF 32-yard field goal by Cofer 6 6
3 0:34 CIN Stanford Jennings 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, Breech kick good 13 6
4 14:03 4 85 1:31 SF Jerry Rice 14-yard touchdown reception from Joe Montana, Cofer kick good 13 13
4 3:20 11 46 5:27 CIN 40-yard field goal by Breech 16 13
4 0:34 11 92 2:46 SF John Taylor 10-yard touchdown reception from Montana, Cofer kick good 16 20
  16 20

Statistical comparison

Cincinnati Bengals San Francisco 49ers
13 First downs 23
7 First downs rushing 6
6 First downs passing 16
0 First downs penalty 1
4/13 Third down efficiency 4/13
0/1 Fourth down efficiency 0/0
106 Net yards rushing 111
28 Rushing attempts 28
3.8 Yards per rush 4.0
11/25 Passing – Completions-attempts 23/36
5–21 Times sacked-total yards 3–14
1 Interceptions thrown 0
123 Net yards passing 343
229 Total net yards 454
2–5 Punt returns-total yards 3–56
3–132 Kickoff returns-total yards 5–77
0–0 Interceptions-total return yards 1–0
5–44.2 Punts-average yardage 4–37.0
1–0 Fumbles-lost 4–1
7–65 Penalties-yards 4–32
32:43 Time of possession 27:17
1 Turnovers 1


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