Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw scrambles before throwing one of his four touchdown passes in Super Bowl XIII at the Orange Bowl in Miami on Jan. 21, 1979. Pittsburgh defeated the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 to become the first team to win three Super Bowls. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)
49ERS MEET UP WITH THE BENGALS IN SUPER BOWL XXIII & LIKE THE ‘81 SUPER BOWL 49ERS COME UP VICTORIOUS AGAINST THE BENGALS, THANKS TO SOME MONTANA MAGIC AT THE END FOR A LATE GAME WINNING TD, JERRY RICE IS NAMED MVP:
In 1988, the 49ers struggled. At one point, they were 6–5 and in danger of missing the playoffs but rose to defeat theWashington Redskins on a Monday night, eventually finishing the season at 10–6. They gained a measure of revenge by thrashing the Minnesota Vikings 34–9 in the first round. The 49ers then traveled to Chicago’s Soldier Field, where the chill factor at game-time was 26 degrees below zero. They defeated the Chicago Bears 28–3 in an NFC Championship game upset.
The win over the Bears gave the 49ers their third trip to the Super Bowl: Super Bowl XXIII, in Miami. However, the game was tied 3–3 at halftime, the 49ers having missed a few scoring opportunities. A late Cincinnati field goal seemed to seal the victory, but they left too much time for Joe Montana to work his magic. He drove the team 92 yards for the winning touchdown on a pass to John Taylor with only 34 seconds left. Final score: 20–16 49ers.
Super Bowl XXIII was an American football game between theAmerican Football Conference (AFC) champion Cincinnati Bengals and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the1988 season. The 49ers defeated the Bengals by the score of 20–16, winning their third ever Super Bowl. The game was played on January 22, 1989 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida, the first Super Bowl hosted in the Miami area in 10 years, and the first in Miami not held at the Orange Bowl.
This was the second meeting between these two teams in the Super Bowl; their first meeting was seven years earlier. The game was also the third rematch between Super Bowl teams after Super Bowl XIII andSuper Bowl XVII. This was the Bengals’ second Super Bowl appearance after finishing the regular season with a 12–4 record. The 49ers were making their third Super Bowl appearance after posting a 10–6 regular season record.
The game is best remembered for the 49ers’ fourth-quarter game-winning drive. Down 16–13, San Francisco got the ball on their own eight-yard line with 3:10 on the clock and marched 92 yards down the field in under three minutes. They then scored the winning touchdown on a Joe Montana pass to John Taylor with just 34 seconds left in the game. The game was tight throughout. The teams combined for 5 field goals, and battled to a 3–3 score by the end of the second quarter, the first halftime tie in Super Bowl history. Cincinnati’s only touchdown, a 93-yard kickoff return by Stanford Jennings in the third quarter, was quickly answered by a four-play, 85-yard drive that ended with San Francisco wide receiver Jerry Rice’s 14-yard touchdown reception. Rice, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, caught 11 passes for a Super Bowl record 215 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing once for 5 yards.