This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in San Francisco 49ers history. Yesterday, we covered "The Catch," and tomorrow, we will feature "The Catch II." Please vote for your choice as the 49ers’ most memorable play.
Score: 49ers 20, Bengals 16
Date: Jan. 22, 1989 Site: Joe Robbie Stadium
We know which play Uncle Buck would vote for.
Any play that wins a Super Bowl in the final seconds deserves to be on a list of the most memorable plays of a franchise.
That brings us to Joe Montana and John Taylor.
Taylor was a solid complement to Jerry Rice, yet he wasn’t a star. However, he has place in 49ers lore because of one play.
The 49ers’ chances of winning their third Super Bowl in three attempts in the 1980s appeared to be a long shot, as the Bengals were on the doorstep of a stunner because of great defense. The 49ers' stellar offense and legendary quarterback were shut down -- until it mattered.
After the Bengals took the lead on a field goal with 3:20 remaining, the 49ers took over at their own 8-yard line.
With a daunting task facing his team, Montana famously started the drive by pointing out comedian John Candy to his teammates on the jumbo screen. It was classic Joe Cool. Relaxed and calm, Montana completed eight of nine passes on the 11-play drive, during which two plays at a time were called.
The winner was a 10-yard touchdown pass from Montana to Taylor with 34 seconds left. It was the first time a quarterback drove his team the length of the field for the winning touchdown in the final minute of a Super Bowl.
The catch was Taylor’s first of the game. Rice had 11 catches in the game. The Bengals were expecting the ball to go to Rice all the way.
Rice ran an out route. Taylor sprinted past the Bengals' linebackers, inside of a safety and to the back of the end zone, where he had a laser waiting for him.
It was time for the 49ers to design another Super Bowl ring, and it was another chapter in the career of one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.