The 1989 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's 44th season in the National Football League and first under head coach George Seifert. After going 14–2 in the regular season, the 49ers completed the season with the most dominant playoff run in NFL history, outscoring opponents 126–26 and winning their fourth Super Bowl victory.
In 2007, ESPN.com's Page 2 ranked the 1989 49ers as the greatest team in Super Bowl history.
Quarterback Joe Montana had one of the greatest passing seasons in NFL history in 1989. Montana set a then-NFL record with a passer rating of 112.4, 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."
The 1989 San Francisco 49ers season held training camp at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.
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 quarterback 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)
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 goalline fumble recovery for a touchdown by the Colts; they could get no closer than a 30-24 Niners margin.
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.
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.
This game was played at Stanford Stadium, as Candlestick Park had sustained damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake five days earlier.
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.
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.
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.
Notes:Led NFC with 442 points scored
Led NFL, 27.6 points per game
Mike Cofer, Led NFL, 136 Points
Roger Craig, NFC Pro Bowl
Ronnie Lott, NFC Pro Bowl
Guy McIntyre, NFC Pro Bowl
Joe Montana, Most Valuable Player, Super Bowl XXIV
Joe Montana, NFL Most Valuable Player Award
Joe Montana, PFWA NFL MVP
Joe Montana, NEA NFL MVP
Joe Montana, NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award
Joe Montana, Offense, UPI NFC Player of the Year
Joe Montana, Bert Bell Award
Joe Montana, NFL Passing Leader
Joe Montana, NFC Pro Bowl
Joe Montana, Associated Press Athlete of the Year
Jerry Rice, NFL Leader, Receiving Yards
Jerry Rice, NFL Leader, Receiving Touchdowns
Jerry Rice, NFC Pro Bowl
John Taylor, NFC Pro Bowl