1989 San Francisco 49ers season

Last updated
1989 San Francisco 49ers season
Owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr.
Head coach George Seifert
General manager John McVay and Carmen Policy
Home field Candlestick Park
Results
Record14–2
Division place1st NFC West
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Vikings) 41–13
Won NFC Championship (vs. Rams) 30–3
Won Super Bowl XXIV (vs. Broncos) 55–10
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros

The 1989 season was the San Francisco 49ers' 40th in the National Football League (NFL), their 44th overall and their first under head coach George Seifert. After going 14–2 in the regular season, the 49ers completed the season with a dominant playoff run, outscoring opponents 126–26, earning their fourth Super Bowl victory. They finished as the best team in the NFL for the first time since 1987. Their two losses were by a combined 5 points.

Contents

In 2007, ESPN.com's Page 2 ranked the 1989 49ers as the greatest team in Super Bowl history. [3]

This was the season where the 49ers added the black trim on the SF logo on the helmets which lasted until the 1995 season and the final season the team wore screen-printed numbers on jerseys.

Quarterback Joe Montana had one of the greatest statistical passing seasons in NFL history in 1989. Montana set a then-NFL record with a passer rating of 112.4, [4] with a completion percentage of 70.2%, and a 26/8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. In the playoffs, Montana was even more dominant, with a 78.3% completion percentage, 800 yards, 11 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 146.4 rating. Cold Hard Football Facts calls Montana's 1989 season "the one by which we must measure all other passing seasons." [5]

Offseason

NFL Draft

1989 San Francisco 49ers Draft
RoundSelectionPlayerPositionCollegeNotes
1 28 Keith DeLong LB Tennessee
256 Wesley Walls TEMississippi
384 Keith Henderson RBGeorgia
4112 Michael Barber WRMarshall
5122 Johnnie Jackson DBHoustonfrom Los Angeles Raiders
6167 Steve Hendrickson LBCalifornia
9251Rudy HarmonLBLSU
10279Andy SinclairCStanford
11289Jim BellRBBoston Collegefrom Los Angeles Raiders
307Norm McGeeWRNorth Dakota
12319 Antonio Goss LBNorth Carolinafrom Los Angeles Raiders

[6]

Training Camp

The 1989 San Francisco 49ers season held training camp at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.

Personnel

Staff

1989 San Francisco 49ers staff
Front office
  • Owner/President – Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr.
  • Executive Vice President/General Counsel – Carmen Policy
  • Vice President/General Manager – John McVay
  • Administrator of Football Operations – Neal Dahlen
  • Director of College Scouting – Tony Razzano
  • Director of Pro Personnel – Allan Webb - Laufa Leiato

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Physical Development Coordinator – Jerry Attaway

Roster

1989 San Francisco 49ers final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad



Rookies in italics
58 active, 1 inactive

[7]

Preseason

Schedule

WeekDateOpponentResultRecordVenueAttendanceRecap
1August 5 Los Angeles Rams L 13–16 (OT)0–1 Flag of Japan.svg Tokyo Dome 43,896 Recap
2August 12at Los Angeles Raiders W 37–71–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 36,739 Recap
3August 19 Denver Broncos W 35–172–1 Candlestick Park 58,641 Recap
4August 23 San Diego Chargers W 17–143–1Candlestick Park54,471 Recap
5September 1at Seattle Seahawks L 17–283–2 Kingdome 58,641 Recap

Regular season

The 49ers offense was just as dominating as it was during the previous regular season. Quarterback Joe Montana threw for 3,512 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions, giving him what was then the highest passer rating in NFL history (112.4). Montana also rushed for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns, and earned both the NFL Most Valuable Player Award and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award. Wide receiver Jerry Rice had another outstanding season, catching 82 passes for 1,483 yards and 17 touchdowns. Running back Roger Craig was the team's leading rusher with 1,054 yards and 6 touchdowns, and he recorded 49 receptions for 473 yards and another touchdown.

But other stars on the 49ers offense began to emerge, enabling the team to spread the ball around. After being used primarily as a punt returner during his first 2 seasons, wide receiver John Taylor had a breakout season, catching 60 passes for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also returning 36 punts for 417 yards. Tight End Brent Jones recorded 40 receptions for 500 yards. Fullback Tom Rathman had the best season of his career, rushing for 305 yards and catching 73 passes for 616 yards. Even Montana's backup, quarterback Steve Young had a great year, throwing for 1,001 yards and 8 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions, while also rushing for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. With all of these weapons, San Francisco's offense led the league in total yards from scrimmage (6,268) and scoring (442 points). The 49ers Defense was ranked #3 in the NFL. Three starters from the Defense made the 1989 All-Pro Team: (Ronnie Lott, Don Griffin, and Michael Walter)

Schedule

WeekDateOpponentResultRecordVenueAttendanceRecap
1September 10at Indianapolis Colts W 30–241–0 Hoosier Dome 60,111 Recap
2September 17at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 20–162–0 Tampa Stadium 64,087 Recap
3September 24at Philadelphia Eagles W 38–283–0 Veterans Stadium 66,042 Recap
4October 1 Los Angeles Rams L 12–133–1 Candlestick Park 64,250 Recap
5October 8at New Orleans Saints W 24–204–1 Louisiana Superdome 60,488 Recap
6October 15at Dallas Cowboys W 31–145–1 Texas Stadium 61,077 Recap
7 [upper-alpha 1] October 22 New England Patriots W 37–206–1 Stanford Stadium 51,781 Recap
8October 29at New York Jets W 23–107–1 Giants Stadium 62,805 Recap
9November 6 New Orleans Saints W 31–138–1Candlestick Park60,667 Recap
10November 12 Atlanta Falcons W 45–39–1Candlestick Park59,914 Recap
11November 19 Green Bay Packers L 17–219–2Candlestick Park62,219 Recap
12November 27 New York Giants W 34–2410–2Candlestick Park63,461 Recap
13December 3at Atlanta Falcons W 23–1011–2 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 43,128 Recap
14December 11at Los Angeles Rams W 30–2712–2 Anaheim Stadium 67,959 Recap
15December 17 Buffalo Bills W 21–1013–2Candlestick Park60,927 Recap
16December 24 Chicago Bears W 26–014–2Candlestick Park60,207 Recap

Season summary

Week 1 at Indianapolis Colts

Week One: San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts – Game summary
1234Total
49ers31010730
Colts3701424

at Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis

Game information

Week One proved to be a struggle for the Niners as Joe Montana led five scoring drives putting the Niners ahead by 23-10 entering the fourth, but Chris Chandler ran in a touchdown early in the fourth and a 58-yard touchdown bomb to Jerry Rice was answered by a blocked punt and recovery for a touchdown by the Colts; they could get no closer than a 30-24 Niners margin.

Week 2 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week Two: San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Game summary
1234Total
49ers0601420
Buccaneers306716

at Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Game information

Week 3 at Philadelphia Eagles

Week Three: San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles – Game summary
1234Total
49ers7302838
Eagles9361028

at Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia

Game information

The Niners fell behind 21–10 in the fourth but despite giving up a safety Joe Montana erupted, outscoring the Eagles 28-7 and throwing for 428 yards and five touchdowns in total, winning 38–28.

Week 4 vs. Los Angeles Rams

Week Four: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Rams370313
49ers630312

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 5 at New Orleans Saints

This game was originally scheduled for Candlestick Park, but was played at the Louisiana Superdome instead because the 49ers' fellow Candlestick Park tenant, the San Francisco Giants, played host to Games 3, 4, and 5 of the 1989 National League Championship Series. The November 6 game was moved to San Francisco.

Week Five: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints – Game summary
1234Total
49ers0371424
Saints0107320

at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Game information

Week 6 at Dallas Cowboys

Week Six: San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1234Total
49ers0771731
Cowboys077014

at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Game information

Week 7 vs. New England Patriots

This game was played at Stanford Stadium, as Candlestick Park had sustained damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake five days earlier.

Week Seven: New England Patriots at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Patriots0107320
49ers01771337

at Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California

Game information

Week 8 at New York Jets

Week Eight: San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets – Game summary
1234Total
49ers7133023
Jets073010

at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Game information

Week 9 vs. New Orleans Saints

This game was originally scheduled for Louisiana Superdome, but was played at Candlestick Park instead, because the originally scheduled October 8 game at Candlestick Park was moved to the Louisiana Superdome.

Week Nine: New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Saints733013
49ers7143731

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 10 vs. Atlanta Falcons

Week Ten: Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Falcons03003
49ers72110745

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 11 vs. Green Bay Packers

Week Eleven: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Packers770721
49ers770317

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

The Niners fell to the Green Bay Packers, what would be the final loss of the season for the Niners, as Don Majkowski ran in two touchdowns and threw a third, overcoming 325 yards by Joe Montana, who was sacked five times. The 49ers took the lead in the 4th quarter on an interception return for a touchdown, however, a penalty nullified the score.

Week 12 vs. New York Giants

Week Twelve: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Giants737724
49ers141001034

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 13 at Atlanta Falcons

Week Thirteen: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1234Total
49ers6071023
Falcons0100010

at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta

Game information

Week 14 at Los Angeles Rams

In what many 49ers fans consider one of the greatest regular-season wins in team history, the 49ers come from a 27-10 4th quarter deficit to beat the Rams 30–27. The Rams had already beaten the 49ers earlier in the year and looked poised to do it again. but the 49ers with help from John Taylor's big game took the lead late with a Roger Craig 1 yard touchdown. John Taylor had 11 catches for an astonishing 286 yards receiving, which included a touchdown catch of 92 yards, and another touchdown catch for 96 yards. Joe Montana was 30 for 42 and passed for 458 yards.

Week Fourteen: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams – Game summary
1234Total
49ers01002030
Rams1707327

at Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, California

Game information

Week 15 vs. Buffalo Bills

Week Fifteen: Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Bills300710
49ers0071421

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 16 vs. Chicago Bears

Week Sixteen: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Bears00000
49ers3133726

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Standings

NFC West
WLTPCTDIVCONFPFPASTK
San Francisco 49ers (1)1420.8755–110–2442253W5
Los Angeles Rams (5)1150.6884–28–4426344W2
New Orleans Saints 970.5633–35–7386301W3
Atlanta Falcons 3130.1880–61–11279437L7

Playoffs

RoundDateOpponent (seed)ResultRecordVenueAttendanceRecap
Wild Card First-round bye
Divisional January 6, 1990 Minnesota Vikings (3)W 41–131–0 Candlestick Park 64,585 Recap
NFC Championship January 14, 1990 Los Angeles Rams (5)W 30–32–0Candlestick Park64,769 Recap
Super Bowl XXIV January 28, 1990vs. Denver Broncos (A1)W 55–103–0 Louisiana Superdome 72,919 Recap


NFC Divisional Playoffs: vs. (3) Minnesota Vikings

NFC Divisional Playoff: Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Vikings303713
49ers72001441

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco

Game information

NFC Championship: vs. (5) Los Angeles Rams

NFC Championship Game: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1234Total
Rams30003
49ers0213630

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Super Bowl XXIV

Super Bowl XXIV: San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos – Game summary
1234Total
49ers1314141455
Broncos307010

at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Game information

Game officials

WeekOpponentRefereeUmpireHead LinesmanLine JudgeBack JudgeSide JudgeField JudgeReplay
1 Los Angeles Rams (at Tokyo, Japan)
2at Los Angeles Raiders
3 Denver Broncos (9)(27)(72)(59)(4)(58)(122)Bill Fette
4 San Diego Chargers
5at Seattle Seahawks (43)(100)(37)(25)(52)(29)(96)Royal Cathcart
WeekOpponentRefereeUmpireHead LinesmanLine JudgeBack JudgeSide JudgeField JudgeReplay
1at Indianapolis Colts (6) Tom Dooley (101) Bob Boylston(35) Leo Miles(5) Jim Quirk (24) Roy Clymer(62) Duwayne Gandy(86) Bernie Kukar Bill Parkinson
2at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (48) Gordon McCarter (117) Ben Montgomery(81) Dave Anderson(56) Ron Baynes(75) Jim Daopoulos(61) Dick Creed(93) Jack Vaughan Chuck Heberling
3at Philadelphia Eagles (60) Dick Jorgensen (110) Ron Botchan (121) Sanford Rivers(51) Dale Orem (92) Jim Poole (20) Larry Nemmers (44) Donnie HamptonGeorge Sladky
4 Los Angeles Rams (70) Jerry Seeman (67) John Keck(79) Aaron Pointer (65) Walt Coleman (106) Al Jury (66) Dave Hawk(113) Don DorkowskiDave Kamanski
5at New Orleans Saints (43) Red Cashion (100) Bob Wagner(37) Burl Toler (25) John Alderton(52) Ben Tompkins (29) Howard Slavin(96) Don HakesGaylord Bryant
6at Dallas Cowboys (12) Ben Dreith (88) Dave Moss(55) Tom Barnes(41) Dick McKenzie(28) Don Wedge (16) Doyle Jackson(91) Bill Stanley Cal Lepore
7 New England Patriots (at Stanford)(33) Howard Roe(42) Dave Hamilton(8) Dale Williams(54) Jack Johnson(68) Louis Richard(102) Merrill Douglas (18) Bob Lewis Royal Cathcart
8at New York Jets (11) Fred Wyant (57) Ed Fiffick(17) Jerry Bergman(112) Joe Haynes(36) Bob Moore(63) Bill Carollo (77) Don Orr Fritz Graf
9 New Orleans Saints (32) Jim Tunney (115) Hendi Ančićh(26) Mark Baltz (15) Bama Glass(118) Tom Sifferman (97) Nate Jones(82) Pat MalletteBill Fette
10 Atlanta Falcons (70) Jerry Seeman (67) John Keck(79) Aaron Pointer (65) Walt Coleman (106) Al Jury (66) Dave Hawk(113) Don DorkowskiDave Kamanski
11 Green Bay Packers (105) Dick Hantak (89) Gordon Wells(114) Tom Johnson(39) Don Carlsen(22) Paul Baetz(120) Gary Lane (76) Ed MerrifieldBill Swanson
12 New York Giants (95) Bob McElwee (30) Dennis Riggs(123) Tom White (45) Ron DeSouza(107) Jim Kearney(108) Stan Kemp(84) Bob Wortman Tom Kelleher
13at Atlanta Falcons (14) Gene Barth (71) Ed Coukart (10) Ron Phares(74) Ray Dodez(38) Bruce Maurer(34) Gerald Austin (31) Dick DolackMark Burns
14at Los Angeles Rams (48) Gordon McCarter (117) Ben Montgomery(81) Dave Anderson(56) Ron Baynes(75) Jim Daopoulos(61) Dick Creed(93) Jack Vaughan Chuck Heberling
15 Buffalo Bills (23) Johnny Grier (78) Art Demmas (87) Paul Weidner(53) Bill Reynolds(80) Tim Millis(90) Gil Mace(119) Ron SpitlerAl Sabato
16 Chicago Bears (32) Jim Tunney (115) Hendi Ančićh(26) Mark Baltz (15) Bama Glass(118) Tom Sifferman (97) Nate Jones(82) Pat MalletteBill Fette
WeekOpponentRefereeUmpireHead LinesmanLine JudgeBack JudgeSide JudgeField JudgeReplayAlternates
NFC Divisional Playoff Minnesota Vikings (6) Tom Dooley (101) Bob Boylston(72) Terry Gierke (112) Joe Haynes(4) Doug Toole(108) Stan Kemp(82) Pat MalletteBill Fette(113) Don Dorkowski
NFC Championship Game Los Angeles Rams (9) Jerry Markbreit (103) Rex Stuart(111) Earnie Frantz(45) Ron DeSouza(118) Tom Sifferman (47) Tom Fincken(84) Bob Wortman Tom Kelleher
Super Bowl XXIV vs. Denver Broncos (at New Orleans, Louisiana)(60) Dick Jorgensen (115) Hendi Ančićh(111) Earnie Frantz(83) Ron Blum (106) Al Jury (34) Gerald Austin (77) Don Orr Al Sabato(105) Dick Hantak
(103) Rex Stuart

Media

Pre season Local TV

ChannelPlay-by-playColor commentator(s)
KPIX-TV 5

Local Radio

Flagship stationPlay-by-playColor commentator(s)Sideline reporter (s)
KGO–AM 810 Joe Starkey Wayne Walker

1990 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl

NumberPlayerPositionConference
33 Roger Craig RBNFC Pro Bowlers
42 Ronnie Lott FSNFC Pro Bowlers
62 Guy McIntyre GNFC Pro Bowlers
16 Joe Montana QB, StarterNFC Pro Bowlers
80 Jerry Rice WR, StarterNFC Pro Bowlers
82 John Taylor WRNFC Pro Bowlers

[10]

Awards and records

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References

  1. "1989 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  2. "1989 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  3. ESPN.com: Page 2 : The Ultimate Super Rankings
  4. Broken in 1994 by teammate Steve Young
  5. "Cold Hard Football Facts: The Dandy Dozen: 12 best passing seasons in history". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
  6. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/sfo/1989_draft.htm
  7. "1989 San Francisco 49ers starters and roster". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  8. The 49ers were originally scheduled to play the New England Patriots during Week 7 (October 22) at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. However, due to the impact and damage to Candlestick Park resulting from the Loma Prieta earthquake, the game was played at Stanford Stadium. {{notelist-ua}
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 San Francisco 49ers 2015 Media Guide. San Francisco 49ers. p. 456.
  10. San Francisco 49ers 2015 Media Guide. San Francisco 49ers. p. 517.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2012-08-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. Associated Press Athlete of the Year (male)