Skip to main content

Jan. 28, 1990: Joe Montana Wins 3rd Super Bowl MVP as 49ers Down Broncos


Jan. 28, 1990 – San Francisco 49ers 55 vs. Denver Broncos 10 – Super Bowl XXIV**

Location: Louisiana Superdome; New Orleans, La.

Favorites: 49ers -13.0

MVP: Joe Montana

It's hard to win back-to-back Super Bowls in the NFL. It's even more challenging when attempting to do so with different head coaches.

That's what the 49ers accomplished when they won their fourth Super Bowl in 1989 under head coach George Seifert. And despite dealing with injuries to Montana throughout the season, the 49ers pulled off their most dominant playoff run ever.

San Francisco thrashed the Minnesota Vikings 41-13 in the divisional round and subsequently blew out the Los Angeles Rams, 30-3, in the NFC Championship game. Those lopsided results led to the 49ers being 13-point favorites against John Elway and the Denver Broncos.

View the best photos and moments from the San Francisco 49ers fourth Super Bowl victory.

Oddsmakers proved to be too modest in their predictions.

Two first-half touchdowns from Montana to Jerry Rice propelled the 49ers to a 27-3 halftime lead. Rice scored a third touchdown to begin the second half as San Francisco cruised past the Broncos, 55-10.

The team's current running backs coach Tom Rathman scored twice in the game, John Taylor scored on a 35-yard reception and Roger Craig found the end zone on a 1-yard run.

Montana won his third Super Bowl MVP award after throwing for 297 yards and five touchdowns. Montana still owns the NFL record for career Super Bowl quarterback rating at 127.83.

Rice's trio of scores highlighted his seven-reception, 148-yard performance.

San Francisco's 55 points are still a Super Bowl record for most points scored in a game.

As for Elway, the 49ers defense held the Hall of Fame quarterback to just 108 yards on 10-of-26 passing. San Francisco also intercepted Elway twice and held Denver to 12 first downs.


Rathman on his two touchdowns in the game:

"A lot of people ask, 'Oh what was it like scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl?' It was just another play. It wasn't that important to score a touchdown. I could have been throwing a block. The bottom line was win, and win as a team."

Rathman on being a Super Bowl champion:

"They can't take it away. Once you're a champion, you're always a champion. For that stage of your life, you were on top, and nobody can take it away. Nobody can take this ring away, and that's what it's all about. You don't play for the money, you play for the ring."

Rice on his memories from Super Bowl XXIV:

"What I remember about the Super Bowl, is you've got grown men, and it was like we were little kids again. You have macho guys, and all of a sudden we were able to show our emotions like that. You see the tears, and you see everyone hugging each other. That's something I'll never forget."

Rice on the 1989 49ers:

"The 1989 season, it's like it was just yesterday. It was really special. We had teams beat before we even stepped on the field."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.