The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Montana's Super Success Raised The Bar

To commemorate USA TODAY's 25th anniversary, a panel of USA TODAY's NFL reporters and editors produced an anthology of the 25 best NFL players of the past 25 years. This concludes the series.

• No. 1 Joe Montana

Joe Montana, the three-time Super Bowl MVP nicknamed "Joe Cool" for his remarkable success in clutch situations and the postseason, is the No. 1 player on USA TODAY's list.

Montana led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl titles from 1981-1989 and compiled a .713 winning percentage, third best in the Super Bowl era, during his 15-year career. Said Hall of Fame coach John Madden when Montana was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2000, "We say, 'He's the greatest quarterback I ever saw,' or 'He's the greatest quarterback this and that.' I say it with no disclaimers: This guy is the greatest quarterback who ever played." Montana produced some of the most memorable plays in NFL playoff history. In the 1981 NFC title game, he lifted the 49ers to their first Super Bowl by leading a legendary 89-yard, fourth-quarter drive that ended in a 6-yard high, floating touchdown pass to Dwight Clark — a play that became known simply as "The Catch." It gave San Francisco a 28-27 defeat of Dallas. Seven years later, Montana engineered a 92-yard drive against the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII that ended with his 10-yard strike to John Taylor in the end zone with 34 seconds left that beat Cincinnati 20-16.

The highest-rated passer in Super Bowl history at 127.8, Montana attempted 122 passes and never threw an interception in the championship game. He had a methodical approach to the game, and never seemed to lapse into a panic mode. Montana led 31 fourth-quarter comebacks during his career. "Football fans everywhere were well aware of the fact that they were witnessing history in the making as they watched Joe turn losses into wins," former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. said when he introduced Montana at his Hall of Fame induction. "What to any other quarterback would have been a career-making highlight, was, to Joe, just another day at the office."

A two-time NFL MVP (1989, '90), Montana twice led the NFL in passer rating and was the fifth quarterback ever to throw for 40,000 yards. He retired with six Super Bowl records and a share of three others and five postseason records, including most touchdown passes (45, 11 more than Brett Favre at No. 2).Montana was selected by San Francisco in the third round of the 1979 draft, behind three other quarterbacks — Jack Thompson, Phil Simms and Steve Fuller. He missed eight games in 1986 because of back surgery, then rebounded in 1987 to win Comeback Player of the Year.

An elbow injury that cost Montana all of the 1991 season and all but one game in 1992 brought his 49ers career to an end. San Francisco turned to another future Hall of Famer, Steve Young, at quarterback, and traded Montana to Kansas City. Montana led the Chiefs to the playoffs in both of his seasons. He notched his ninth division title in 1993, then retired following the 1994 season.

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