January 20, 1985 – San Francisco 49ers 38 vs. Miami Dolphins 16 – Super Bowl XIX
Location: Stanford Stadium; Palo Alto, Calif.
Favorites: 49ers -3.0
MVP: Joe Montana
Super Bowl XIX was headlined by a matchup between future Hall of Fame Quarterbacks: Joe Montana and Dan Marino.
For all of Marino’s success – 8,358 career passing yards and 420 touchdowns – this game marked the quarterback’s only Super Bowl appearance. Even so, many questioned if San Francisco’s vaunted defense could stop Marino and Miami’s potent aerial attack going into the game.
Both teams entered the contest following remarkable regular seasons and dominant playoff runs. San Francisco boasted a 15-1 record and outscored opponents 44-10 in two postseason games. That included a 23-0 romping of the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game.
Miami went 14-2 in the regular season and scored a combined 76 points in their two playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl. Marino threw for 421 yards and four touchdowns in the AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It was the Dolphins who threw the first punches in Super Bowl XIX. A 2-yard touchdown pass from Marino to Dan Johnson gave Miami a 10-7 lead in the first quarter. From that point, however, it was all San Francisco as the Dolphins wouldn’t find the end zone again.
View the best photos and moments from the San Francisco 49ers second Super Bowl victory.
The 49ers rattled off 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a commanding, 28-10 advantage. Roger Craig scored on an 8-yard pass from Montana to begin the onslaught. Montana then crossed the goal line on a 6-yard run before Craig added a 2-yard touchdown run of his own.
Craig’s third touchdown of the day, a 16-yard pass from Montana, capped San Francisco’s convincing victory.
Montana threw for a then Super Bowl-record 331 yards and three touchdowns on his way to his second Super Bowl MVP award. At the time, Montana joined only Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr and Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw as the only players to be named Super Bowl MVP multiple times.
The 49ers sacked Marino four times, intercepted him twice and held Miami’s quarterback to just one touchdown pass.
Following the game, 49ers defensive back Dwight Hicks gave the game ball to head coach Bill Walsh.
Hicks on the media’s love for Marino and the Dolphins offense:
“The press fueled the fire. They gave us some added incentive to win. They were primarily focused on Dan Marino. They were trying to say their offense was so much better than ours.”
Hicks on Walsh’s preparation leading up to the Super Bowl:
“Walsh had a game plan that was beautiful, and he had one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game to orchestrate it.”
LB Keena Turner on shutting down Marino:
“We rushed him, and that was the first time you’d seen him get rushed in the pocket. Danny was getting frustrated with the pressure flashing in his face. It was something that hadn’t happened all season.”
Montana to reporters following the Super Bowl victory:
“All we heard all week long was about Miami’s offense and how were we going to stop them. Deep down inside of us, nothing was said, but deep down we knew we had an offense too and nobody was talking about how they were going to stop us. We were out to prove something.”
TE Russ Francis on the team’s unity:
“The true character of that team is that we would have done anything for each other. It was the bond. It was that closeness that we still have today. In my mind, when you look at all the facts, that was one of the greatest football teams to ever take the field, bar none.”
All quotes courtesy of NFL Films