Super Bowl XXIV was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1989 season. The game was played on January 28, 1990, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 49ers defeated the Broncos by the score of 55–10, winning their second consecutive Super Bowl, and tying the Pittsburgh Steelers with four Super Bowl victories. San Francisco also became the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls with two different head coaches; rookie head coach George Seifert took over after Bill Walsh retired following the previous season's Super Bowl.
The 49ers finished the 1989 regular season with a league best 14–2 record. The Broncos, who posted an 11–5 regular season record, entered the Super Bowl looking to avoid tying the Minnesota Vikings with four Super Bowl losses as well as the Vikings record of losing three Super Bowls in four years.
This game remains the most lopsided game in Super Bowl history. San Francisco's 55 points were the most ever scored by one team, and their 45-point margin of victory was the largest ever. The 49ers are also the only team to score at least eight touchdowns in a Super Bowl and at least two touchdowns in each quarter (the only mistake was a missed extra point attempt).
San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana was named the Super Bowl MVP, his third award in his fourth Super Bowl victory. He completed 22 of 29 passes for a total of 297 yards and a Super Bowl record 5 touchdowns, while also rushing for 15 yards. Montana's 75.9 completion percentage was the second highest in Super Bowl history, and he also set a record by completing 13 consecutive passes during the game. Montana became the third player in league history to win both the Super Bowl MVP and the AP Most Valuable Player Award during the same season, after Bart Starr and Terry Bradshaw who did so in the 1966 and 1978 seasons, respectively.
|Super Bowl XXIV|
|Date||January 28, 1990|
|Stadium||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana|
|MVP||Joe Montana, quarterback|
|Favorite||49ers by 12|
|Current/Future Hall of Famers|
|49ers: Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. (owner), Charles Haley, Ronnie Lott, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Steve Young|
Broncos: Pat Bowlen (owner), John Elway
|National anthem||Aaron Neville|
|Coin toss||Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Art Shell, Willie Wood|
|Halftime show||Pete Fountain, Doug Kershaw, Irma Thomas|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Pat Summerall, John Madden, Irv Cross, and Will McDonough|
|Nielsen ratings||39.0 |
(est. 73.85 million viewers)
|Cost of 30-second commercial||$700,000|
NFL owners voted to award Super Bowl XXIV to New Orleans, Louisiana on March 14, 1985 during their March 10–15, 1985 meetings held in Phoenix. This would be a record seventh time that New Orleans hosted the Super Bowl. Tulane Stadium was the site of Super Bowls IV, VI, and IX; while the Louisiana Superdome previously hosted XII, XV, and XX.
Originally, the selection was to be voted on during the May 23–25, 1984 meetings. However, after balloting for XXI took more than two hours, voting for XXIV was rescheduled. Twelve cities were part of the bidding process, which was scheduled to award two Super Bowls (XXIII and XXIV). The bidding cities included: Anaheim, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, and Tempe. New Orleans entered as the favorite.
The 49ers entered the game seeking to win their second straight Super Bowl. Bill Walsh retired as head coach after San Francisco's 20–16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the previous year's Super Bowl, but rookie head coach George Seifert did not miss a beat, as he guided the 49ers to a league-best 14–2 regular season record. Their two losses were only by a combined margin of 5 points.
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 single-season 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 two 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. Kicker Mike Cofer scored 136 points while making a career-high 80.6% of his field goals. Even Montana's backup, 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 allowed the third-fewest points in the NFL (253). Defensive end Pierce Holt recorded 10.5 sacks, as did linebacker Charles Haley. In addition to Haley, their linebacking corps was anchored by Keena Turner, Matt Millen, and Bill Romanowski. Future Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott led the team with 5 interceptions. Defensive backs Eric Wright and Chet Brooks also combined for 5 interceptions between them.
The Broncos were trying to avoid becoming the second team, after the Vikings, to lose a fourth Super Bowl. After appearing in Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXII, the team missed the playoffs with an 8–8 record during the 1988 season. But they signed several new players in the offseason to help them win 10 of their first 12 games in 1989 and finish with an 11–5 record.
One of Denver's new major additions was rookie running back Bobby Humphrey, who rushed for 1,151 yards, caught 22 passes for 156 yards, and scored 8 touchdowns. Humphrey gave the Broncos a powerful running attack that they lacked in their previous Super Bowl seasons. Also new to the team was rookie kicker David Treadwell, who made the Pro Bowl with an 81.8% field goal percentage and ranked third in the NFL with 120 points. The defense, coordinated by Wade Phillips, had a new weapon as well: rookie free safety Steve Atwater. Together with veteran defensive backs Dennis Smith, Wymon Henderson, and Tyrone Braxton, the Broncos' secondary combined for 14 interceptions. Braxton lead the team with 6, which he returned for 103 yards and a touchdown, while also recovering 2 fumbles. Another new addition was defensive end Ron Holmes, who recorded 9 sacks. Holmes, along with veteran linebacker Karl Mecklenburg (7.5 sacks and 4 fumble recoveries) and defensive end Simon Fletcher (12 sacks), gave Denver one of the top defensive lines in the AFC.
Veteran receiver Vance Johnson had the best season of his career, catching 76 passes for 1,095 yards and 7 touchdowns, while also returning 12 punts for 118 yards. However, quarterback John Elway played inconsistently during the regular season, throwing just as many interceptions as touchdowns (18) and recording only a 73.7 passer rating.
Despite his regular season problems, Elway ended up playing his best during the playoffs. First, he led the Broncos on a late touchdown drive to narrowly defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24–23. The Steelers held a 17–10 halftime lead before Elway's 37-yard touchdown pass to Vance Johnson tied the game in the third quarter. Then after Pittsburgh scored two field goals to take a 23–17 fourth-quarter lead, Elway led the Broncos on a 71-yard drive to score on Melvin Bratton's 1-yard, game-winning touchdown run. On the ensuing drive, Randy Robbins then recovered a Steelers fumble on third down with 2:02 left to clinch the victory.
The Broncos then defeated the Cleveland Browns 37–21 in the AFC Championship Game. This was the third time in the last four years that both teams faced each other for the AFC Championship, and the previous two resulted in two of the most famous games in NFL Lore: The Drive and The Fumble. In this game, the Broncos seemed to be in complete control at first, building up a 24–7 lead. But Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar rallied his team back with two third-quarter touchdowns, cutting the lead to 24–21 going into the 4th quarter. Some observers began to wonder if this game would become known as "The Comeback". However, Elway destroyed any chance of a Browns comeback by leading the Broncos 80 yards and scoring with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Winder on the first drive of the 4th quarter. Denver then scored field goals on each of their next two drives to put the game away. Elway finished the game with 385 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions, while also leading Denver in rushing with 5 carries for 39 yards.
Meanwhile, the 49ers started out their postseason by blowing out the Minnesota Vikings, 41–13. Minnesota started out the game by marching 70 yards on their opening drive and scoring a field goal to take a 3–0 lead. But the 49ers dominated the rest of the game. On their first play from scrimmage, Montana completed a short pass to Rice, who then took it all the way to the end zone for a 72-yard touchdown reception. The next time they had the ball, Montana led them on another touchdown drive, scoring on a short pass to tight end Brent Jones. Then defensive back Chet Brooks intercepted a pass from Vikings quarterback Wade Wilson and returned it 28 yards, setting up Montana's third touchdown pass on an 8-yard toss to Taylor. Then just before halftime, Montana threw another touchdown pass to Rice, giving the 49ers a 28–3 halftime lead. Then in the fourth quarter, San Francisco scored two more touchdowns to put the game away: a 53-yard interception return by Lott and a 4-yard run by Craig. Montana finished the game with 241 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Wilson was held to just 9 completions for 74 yards, and was intercepted twice.
The 49ers then entered the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams, who had defeated San Francisco in one of their two regular season games against them, and were coming off postseason wins against two of the NFC's toughest teams, the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Rams scored first to take a 3–0 lead. However, the 49ers took over in the 2nd quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points on two touchdown passes by Montana and a touchdown run by Craig. By halftime, San Francisco had a commanding 21–3 lead and went on to a surprisingly easy 30–3 win and their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. Montana had another superb performance, compiling 262 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, again without throwing an interception. Rams quarterback Jim Everett was held to 163 yards and threw 3 interceptions.
Although Elway's performance in the AFC Championship Game was widely considered his best ever, many sports writers and fans believed that the Broncos' best effort would not be good enough to beat the 49ers. After all, Denver had barely defeated the Steelers, who only had a 9–7 regular season record, while the 9–6–1 Cleveland Browns had almost overcome a 17-point second half deficit before Denver put them away in the fourth quarter. Furthermore, the Elway-led Broncos had already lost two Super Bowls. On the other hand, the Montana-led 49ers, with their powerful offense, had already won three Super Bowls.
Montana came into this game with a 7–0 record as a starting quarterback at the Superdome due to the 49ers' dominance of their then-NFC West rival New Orleans Saints. The 49ers' only loss in the Superdome in the 1980s came in 1986, when Mike Moroski started for an injured Montana.
The game was broadcast in the United States by CBS and featured the broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Pat Summerall and color commentator John Madden. Brent Musburger hosted all of The Super Bowl Today pregame (2 hours), halftime, and postgame events with help from his NFL Today co-hosts Irv Cross, Dick Butkus, and Will McDonough, along with game analysts Terry Bradshaw, Ken Stabler, and Dan Fouts, and then-Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka. CBS Sports reporter Pat O'Brien, meanwhile, was stationed in San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana's hometown of Monongahela, Pennsylvania.
This was the last NFL broadcast where Musburger and Cross appeared on The NFL Today, which both had been involved with since its 1975 premiere. Shortly before he was to call the 1990 men's Division I college basketball championship game on April 2, 1990, Musburger was fired by CBS management. Cross, meanwhile, was made a color analyst alongside Tim Ryan for two seasons before he left after the 1991 season. In addition, both Butkus and McDonough left the network after this game; McDonough moved to NBC's pregame team while Butkus decided to return to acting and philanthropic work. CBS elected to go with a two-man team for the next year, pulling Bradshaw and Greg Gumbel off of their respective broadcast teams and naming them the new hosts for The NFL Today.
CBS also debuted a new graphical package and theme song for their telecasts. The graphics became part of The NFL Today open while the theme continued to be used on game broadcasts for the next two seasons and replaced the original NFL Today theme, which had been used in remixed form for the 1989 season. The last use of the actual theme was for the 1991 season's NFC Championship game, while a remixed version was used for Super Bowl XXVI's pregame show.
This game was featured on NFL's Greatest Games under the title Coronation.
This was the last Super Bowl to feature a kickoff time earlier than 6 p.m. ET.
Grand Slam was broadcast after the game on CBS.
On radio, the game was broadcast in the United States by CBS and featured the broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Jack Buck and color commentators Hank Stram and Randy Cross. Dick Stockton hosted all of the events. Locally, Super Bowl XXIV was broadcast by KGO-AM in San Francisco with Joe Starkey and Wayne Walker and by KOA-AM in Denver with Larry Zimmer and Jim Turner (Zimmer was moved from his normal position as a color commentator when the Broncos' regular play-by-play voice, Bob Martin, became seriously ill the day before the game; eventually losing his battle with cancer just under a month after the game).
The coin toss ceremony featured the recent inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame: defensive back Mel Blount, quarterback Terry Bradshaw, offensive lineman Art Shell, and safety Willie Wood. Shell, who was then the head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders, became the first active head coach or player to join the coin toss ceremonies. Bradshaw, not to be outdone, joined the ceremonies on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Super Bowl IX, which had been played at Tulane Stadium and saw the Pittsburgh Steelers win their first world championship.
The halftime show was a salute to both New Orleans and the 40th anniversary of the comic strip Peanuts. The show featured performances by clarinetist Pete Fountain, fiddle player Doug Kershaw, and singer Irma Thomas – all Louisiana natives. Three local college bands, Southern University, ULL, and Nicholls State, joined in the performance. The finale featured a float that was dressed up as a riverboat that rose several stories high. The float was so huge that one of the goal posts had to be moved so it could be put on the field.
The 49ers blew out the Broncos by gaining 461 yards of total offense, holding the ball for 39:31, and scoring on eight of their first 11 drives. The San Francisco defense also limited the Broncos to 167 yards, 12 first downs, and a time of possession to 20:29, while recording six sacks and forcing four turnovers. The 49ers converted all of the turnovers into touchdowns, needing only four plays total to score on the last three.
On their opening possession, the Broncos were forced to punt after three plays, and the 49ers scored on their ensuing drive, marching 66 yards in 10 plays and scoring on a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Montana to wide receiver Jerry Rice.
The Broncos responded with a 49-yard scoring drive, mainly on plays by running back Bobby Humphrey, who rushed 4 times for 22 yards and caught a 27-yard shovel pass, quarterback John Elway's longest completion of the game. Kicker David Treadwell finished the drive with a 42-yard field goal to cut the Broncos' deficit to 7–3.
Denver's defense forced San Francisco to punt on their next drive after three plays, and wide receiver Vance Johnson gave his team good field position with a 7-yard return to the Broncos' 49-yard line. But then Humphrey lost a fumble at midfield while being tackled by defensive end Kevin Fagan, and safety Chet Brooks recovered the loose ball for San Francisco at the 49ers' 46-yard line.
At this point, the 49ers completely took over the game. Ten plays after the fumble recovery, the 49ers scored on a 7-yard pass from Montana to tight end Brent Jones. Kicker Mike Cofer missed the extra point attempt wide right, keeping the score at 13–3, but it turned out to be the only miscue the 49ers would make for the rest of the game.
Once again, the Broncos were forced to punt three plays after the ensuing kickoff, and the 49ers advanced 69 yards in 14 plays to score another touchdown. The key player on that drive was fullback Tom Rathman, who caught 3 passes for 39 yards, kept the drive alive with a successful run on a fourth down, and capped it off with a 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 20–3. With under two minutes left in the first half, wide receiver John Taylor's 17-yard punt return gave the 49ers the ball near midfield. Just over a minute later, San Francisco scored another touchdown with a 38-yard completion from Montana to Rice, increasing their lead to 27–3 at the end of the half.
When the second half started, the 49ers picked up right where they left off. Linebacker Michael Walter intercepted Elway's first pass of the third quarter, and Montana threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Rice on the next play. Then Elway was intercepted again on the Broncos' ensuing drive, this time by Brooks, who returned the ball 38 yards to the Denver 37-yard line. Two plays later, Montana fooled defensive back Steve Atwater with a pump fake in Rice's direction, and then threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Taylor, making the score 41–3 before the quarter was 6 minutes old. San Francisco had scored 3 touchdowns in less than 6 minutes to blow open the game.
Denver's lone touchdown came on their next possession, a 61-yard, 5-play drive. First, Broncos defensive back Darren Carrington returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to the 39-yard line. Elway's 13-yard completion to Johnson, a 34-yard run from Humphrey, and a pass interference penalty on 49ers linebacker Bill Romanowski moved the ball to the San Francisco 1-yard line. Elway then capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run on third down, cutting their deficit to 41–10.
However, the 49ers continued to dominate the Broncos. San Francisco responded to Denver's score with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that took 6:56 off the clock, and ended with Rathman's 3-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Then after the ensuing kickoff, Elway was sacked for a 6-yard loss by defensive end Danny Stubbs. Then after an offsides penalty on the 49ers, cornerback Don Griffin sacked Elway, forcing a fumble. Stubbs recovered the loose ball and returned it 15 yards to Denver's 1-yard line. 49ers running back Roger Craig then closed out the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run on the next play to make the final score of the game 55–10. The 49ers had two scores in this quarter before two minutes had elapsed. Steve Young relieved Montana for the remainder of the game.
Rice finished the game with 7 receptions for 148 yards and a Super Bowl record 3 receiving touchdowns. He joined teammate Roger Craig as the only players to score three touchdowns in a Super Bowl (Craig did it in Super Bowl XIX – 2 receiving and 1 rushing). Craig was the leading rusher of the game with 69 rushing yards and a touchdown, while also catching 5 passes for 34 yards. Rathman rushed for 38 yards and 2 touchdowns while also catching 4 passes for 43 yards. Taylor caught 3 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown and added another 38 yards on 3 punt returns. Elway was held to a passer rating of 19.4 on just 10 completions out of 26 attempts for 108 yards with no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He managed to run for a touchdown, but fumbled twice (although he recovered one of them). Humphrey was Denver's leading rusher and receiver, with 61 rushing yards and 3 receptions for 38 yards. Carrington returned 6 kickoffs for 146 yards.
A photo essay titled "Ranking the Super Bowls", written by media analyst Elliot Harrison and featuring Dallas personnel man Gil Brandt, ranked Super Bowl XXIV the lowest of the first 50 played. The article was published on the NFL's website.
Montana and the 49ers looked to win a third consecutive Super Bowl in 1990 and once again finished with the league's best record at 14-2. However, in the NFC Championship Game that year, the 49ers were defeated by the New York Giants on a field goal as time expired. During the game, Montana was sacked from his blind side by Leonard Marshall and was forced to leave the game with a series of injuries including a broken finger, a bruised back, and a concussion. Later, it was discovered that Montana suffered an injury to his throwing elbow in the game and it was severe enough to cost him the entire 1991 season. Montana's injuries, which kept him out of fifteen games in 1992 as well, paved the way for Steve Young to become the 49ers' starting quarterback full-time and Montana was eventually traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993.
After Super Bowl XXIV, Elway and the Broncos entered a period of decline. 1990 saw them fall to 5-11, which put them last in the AFC West. While they returned to the playoffs in 1991, the Broncos failed to make the Super Bowl after losing the AFC Championship Game to the Buffalo Bills. That marked the first time in their existence that Denver lost the conference championship. They eventually returned to success as Elway led the team to an NFL-best 13-3 record in 1996, only to lose in their first playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Incidentally, that was the final time in Elway's career that he would lose a playoff game. After his three previous attempts had gone unsuccessfully, Elway led the Broncos to Super Bowl XXXII where they finally broke through and won the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history over the Green Bay Packers. A year later, in what later proved to be the final game of his career, Elway led the Broncos to another victory in the Super Bowl as Denver won Super Bowl XXXIII 34-19 over the Atlanta Falcons.
|San Francisco 49ers||Denver Broncos|
|First downs rushing||14||5|
|First downs passing||14||6|
|First downs penalty||0||1|
|Third down efficiency||8/15||3/11|
|Fourth down efficiency||2/2||0/0|
|Net yards rushing||144||64|
|Yards per rush||3.3||3.8|
|Passing – Completions/attempts||24/32||11/29|
|Times sacked-total yards||1–0||6–33|
|Net yards passing||317||103|
|Total net yards||461||167|
|Punt returns-total yards||3–38||2–11|
|Kickoff returns-total yards||3–49||9–196|
|Interceptions-total return yards||2–42||0–0|
|Time of possession||39:31||20:29|
1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions 5Times targeted
The following records were set in Super Bowl XXIV, according to the official NFL.com boxscore, the 2016 NFL Record & Fact Book and the ProFootball reference.com game summary.
Some records have to meet NFL minimum number of attempts to be recognized. The minimums are shown (in parenthesis).
|Player Records Set|
|Most attempts, career||122||Joe Montana|
|Most completions, career||83|
|Most consecutive completions, game||13|
|Most passing yards, career||1142 yds|
|Most touchdown passes, game||5|
|Most touchdown passes, career||11|
|Highest passer rating,
career, (40 attempts)
percentage, career, (40 attempts)
|Most receptions, career||20||Roger Craig|
|Most receiving touchdowns, game||3||Jerry Rice|
|Most receiving touchdowns, career||4|
|Most kickoff returns, career||10||Ken Bell(Den)|
|Most punt return yards gained, career||94 yds||John Taylor|
|Highest average, punt return
yardage, career (4 returns)
|15.7 yds |
|Most (one point) extra points, game||7||Mike Cofer(SF)|
|Most (one point) extra points, career||9|
|Most touchdowns, game||3||Jerry Rice|
|Most points scored, game||18|
|Most touchdowns, career||4||Jerry Rice |
|Most points scored, career||24|
|Lowest percentage, passes had
intercepted, career, (40 attempts)
|Most rushing touchdowns, game||2||Tom Rathman|
|Most fumbles recovered, career||2||John Elway|
|Most punt returns, career||6||John Taylor|
|Team Records Set|
|Most points, game||55 pts||49ers|
|Largest margin of victory||45 pts|
|Most touchdowns, game||8|
|Most (one point) PATs||7|
|Most passing touchdowns||5|
|Most kickoff returns, game||9||Broncos|
|Most Super Bowl victories||4||49ers|
|Most consecutive Super Bowl victories||2|
|Most points, fourth quarter||14 pts|
|Fewest turnovers, game||0|
|Most Super Bowl losses||4||Broncos|
|Fewest passing touchdowns||0|
Turnovers are defined as the number of times losing the ball on interceptions and fumbles.
|Records Set, both team totals|
|Kickoff returns, Both Teams|
|Most kickoff returns||12||3||9|
|Records tied, both team totals|
|Most points, third quarter||21 pts||14||7|
|Fewest field goals attempted||1||0||1|
|Most rushing touchdowns||4||3||1|
|John Taylor||WR||Vance Johnson|
|Bubba Paris||LT||Gerald Perry|
|Guy McIntyre||LG||Jim Juriga|
|Jesse Sapolu||C||Keith Kartz|
|Bruce Collie||RG||Doug Widell|
|Harris Barton||RT||Ken Lanier|
|Brent Jones||TE||Orson Mobley|
|Jerry Rice‡||WR||Mark Jackson|
|Joe Montana‡||QB||John Elway‡|
|Roger Craig||RB||Steve Sewell|
|Tom Rathman||RB||Bobby Humphrey|
|Pierce Holt||LE||Alphonso Carreker|
|Michael Carter||NT||Greg Kragen|
|Kevin Fagan||RE||Ron Holmes|
|Charles Haley‡||LOLB||Michael Brooks|
|Matt Millen||LILB||Rick Dennison|
|Michael Walter||RILB||Karl Mecklenburg|
|Keena Turner||ROLB||Simon Fletcher|
|Darryl Pollard||LCB||Tyrone Braxton|
|Don Griffin||RCB||Wymon Henderson|
|Chet Brooks||SS||Dennis Smith|
|Ronnie Lott‡||FS||Steve Atwater|
|Mike Cofer||K||David Treadwell|
|Barry Helton||P||Mike Horan|
The 1989 NFL season was the 70th regular season of the National Football League. Before the season, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle announced his retirement. Paul Tagliabue was eventually chosen to succeed him, taking over on November 5.
Due to damage caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake to Candlestick Park, the New England Patriots at San Francisco 49ers game on October 22 was played at Stanford Stadium in Stanford.
The season ended with Super Bowl XXIV where the 49ers defeated the Denver Broncos 55–10 at the Louisiana Superdome.1989 San Francisco 49ers season
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.This was the season were 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 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."1989–90 NFL playoffs
The National Football League playoffs for the 1989 season began on December 31, 1989. The postseason tournament concluded with the San Francisco 49ers defeating the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV, 55–10, on January 28, 1990, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
This was the last season in which the NFL used a 10-team playoff format. The league would expand the playoffs to 12 teams next season.
This season featured only three teams that failed to make the previous season's postseason. The New York Giants, who were eliminated on the final day of the 1988 season, rebounded to win a division title, while the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers recovered from disappointing seasons.
For this year only, the starting times for the Conference Championship Games were changed from the then-customary 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. EST to 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST. This was to accommodate the fact that the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers hosted the AFC and NFC Championship Games in the Mountain Time Zone and Pacific Time Zone, respectively—thus avoiding a locally played game at 9:30 a.m. PST or 10:30 a.m. MST.1990 Denver Broncos season
The 1990 Denver Broncos season was the team's 31st year in professional football and its 21st with the National Football League (NFL). After reaching Super Bowl XXIV, the Broncos struggled and finished with their worst post-merger record in a 16-game season, 5-11. This mark would be eclipsed by the 2010 edition of the team, which finished 4-12.Alphonso Carreker
Alphonso Carreker (born May 25, 1962 in Columbus, Ohio) He attended Columbus Marion Franklin High School. He is a former defensive end who played nine seasons for the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos in the National Football League. He started in Super Bowl XXIV, recording 1 sack and 1 tackle.Barry Helton
Barry Bret Helton (born January 2, 1965) is a former American college and professional football player who was a punter in the National Football League (NFL) for four seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. He played college football for the University of Colorado, and earned All-American honors. He played professionally for the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, and played in Super Bowl XXIII and Super Bowl XXIV for the 49ers.
Helton was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado, where he played for the Colorado Buffaloes football team from 1984 to 1987.
Helton's son Bret is also a professional athlete, pitching in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league system.Chet Brooks
Chet Brooks (born January 1, 1966 in Midland, Texas) is a former safety who played 3 seasons for the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League. He started in Super Bowl XXIV. During his college years, he coined the name "Wrecking Crew" for the Texas A&M University football team defense.Darren Carrington
Darren Carrington (born October 10, 1966 in Bronx, New York) is a former safety who played 8 seasons in the National Football League for five different teams. He started in Super Bowl XXIX for the San Diego Chargers and was the Denver Broncos kick returner in Super Bowl XXIV, which he finished with a franchise-record 6 kickoff returns (now shared with Glyn Milburn and Reuben Droughns) for 146 yards, including a 39-yard return that set up the Broncos only touchdown of the game. His best season was in 1993, when he intercepted 7 passes and returned them for 104 yards. He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft.In his eight NFL seasons, Carrington intercepted 22 passes and returned them for 377 yards and a touchdown. He also returned 6 kickoffs for 176 yards. As of 2017's NFL off-season, he held the Broncos franchise record for most kick returns in a playoff game (6 in the 1989 Super Bowl; with Glyn Milburn and Reuben Droughns), and average yards per return in a single post-season (24.63 in 1989).
Darren Carrington is a 1984 graduate of James Monroe High School. He has a son, also named Darren, who played wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks until he was dismissed following a DUI arrest. He played his senior year for the Utah Utes.
Carrington currently lives in San Diego with his wife and 3 kids. He works as the marriage and parenting pastor for the Rock Church.Dick Jorgensen
Richard M. "Dick" Jorgensen (April 12, 1934 – October 10, 1990) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) for 22 years, through the 1989 season, the last 19 years as a referee.Jorgensen's officiating career was highlighted by being selected to referee Super Bowl XXIV in January 1990. He was an alternate official for Super Bowl VIII in 1974 and Super Bowl XV in 1981.Gerald Perry (American football)
Gerald Perry (born November 12, 1964) is a former American football offensive tackle who played eight seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He started in Super Bowl XXIV for the Denver Broncos. He was a star basketball player in high school, winning the honor of the state's Mr. Basketball in 1983 as a center for Dreher High School.
On December 27, 1989 Perry was convicted of soliciting a prostitute, and was sentenced to 15 days imprisonment. He was injured in a shooting in 2009.Grand Slam (TV series)
Grand Slam is an American action series drama that aired from January 28, 1990 to March 14, 1990. The series premiered after Super Bowl XXIV on CBS, but never found an audience and was cancelled after six episodes leaving two unaired.Jim Burt (American football)
James P. Burt (born June 7, 1959 in Orchard Park, New York) is a former American football player who played for the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League (NFL). Burt played nose tackle for the Giants team that won Super Bowl XXI and the 49ers team that won Super Bowl XXIV.Jim Juriga
Dr. James Allen Juriga (born September 12, 1964) is a former guard who played 3 seasons in the National Football League. He started in Super Bowl XXIV for the Denver Broncos.
After he finished his football career, he obtained his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Colorado State University. He currently lives with his wife Denise in Geneva, Illinois.Keith DeLong
Keith Allen DeLong (born August 14, 1967) is a former American football linebacker who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Francisco 49ers from 1989 to 1993. He earned Super Bowl ring his rookie season, in Super Bowl XXIV.
DeLong is the son of SEC Legend and Outland Trophy winner Steve DeLong. He is one of only a handful of father/son combinations who both played at the NFL level. Both attended the University of Tennessee.Pat Kelly (American football)
Patrick Joseph Kelly II (October 29, 1965 – March 28, 2003) was a National Football League tight end who played for the Denver Broncos (1988–1989) and the New York Jets (1990–1991). He played in 44 games over 4 seasons, starting only the 1988 AFC Championship due to an injury to starter Clarence Kay. Kelly also played in Super Bowl XXIV. He died of cancer on March 28, 2003.Ron Blum
Ron Blum is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL), having served in that role from the 1985 NFL season through the 2007 NFL season. He joined the league as a line judge, officiating Super Bowl XXIV in 1990 and Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 and later became a referee for the start of the 1993 NFL season, replacing retired legend Pat Haggerty. Blum moved back to line judge beginning with the 2004 NFL season, and worked his last four seasons on the crew of referee Tony Corrente.
Blum wore the uniform number 83 from the 1985 to 1992 seasons and the number 7 from 1993 through 2007. He was the first non-referee to wear the uniform number 7; the number belonged to long-time referees Tommy Bell and, later, Fred Silva before Blum assumed it upon his promotion to crew chief. Side judge Keith Washington took the number upon Blum's retirement.
In the offseason, Blum is a golf professional. For a number of years in the 1960s and 1970s, he was the head golf pro at the Sonoma National Golf Course in Sonoma County, California.
Blum was the referee for the San Diego Chargers' 27–17 victory over the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on December 23, 1995. The contest was notable because both teams, the game officials and other field-level personnel spent the entire second half dodging snowballs hurled by unruly fans. A few such projectiles hit Blum's legs. When he picked up a telephone on the Chargers' sidelines to make a call to request that a verbal warning to the crowd be made over the public address system, a snowball narrowly missed hitting him. Instead it struck Chargers equipment manager Sid Brooks, who was knocked unconscious and had to be removed from the sidelines on a stretcher.Ron Holmes
Ronald "Ron" Holmes (August 26, 1963 – October 27, 2011) was a professional American football defensive end who played eight seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Denver Broncos in the National Football League.
A standout defensive end at the University of Washington, Holmes won the Pac-10 Morris Trophy and was named an All-America defensive end in 1984. Holmes was drafted in the first round by Tampa Bay and spent four years there before moving on to Denver in 1989 and playing four seasons for the Broncos.Holmes started in Super Bowl XXIV. He was considered to have Pro Bowl talent, but his development was slowed by injuries. Holmes died on October 27, 2011. He was 48.Spencer Tillman
Spencer Tillman (born April 21, 1964) is a former professional American football player who played running back for eight seasons for the Houston Oilers and San Francisco 49ers.Wymon Henderson
Wymon Henderson (born December 15, 1961 in North Miami Beach, Florida) is a former cornerback who played 8 seasons for the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League. He started in Super Bowl XXIV.
San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl XXIV champions
|Division championships (19)|
|Conference championships (6)|
|League championships (5)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
All-America Football Conference (1946–1949)
Championship seasons in bold
|Division championships (15)|
|Conference championships (8)|
|League championships (3)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold
National Football League Championship Games (1933–present)
|NFL Championship Game|
|AFL Championship Game|
|AFL-NFL World Championship Games |
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game.
2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.
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