Days Until Super Bowl LIII From January 24: 10
Joe Montana capped arguably the most famous drive in history with a 10-yard pass to John Taylor to hand the 49ers a dramatic victory at Super Bowl XXIII. It marked the culmination of an 82-yard, 11-play surge that saw Joe Cool complete eight out of nine passes in the most calm and collected fashion imaginable.
To look at him, you would not have thought the clock was running down and the 49ers’ chances of winning the Super Bowl were fading. He was serenity personified, cracking jokes about John Candy and helping his teammates relax. There were just 34 seconds left on the clock when he threw to Taylor, and an interception would have lost his team the game, but Montana never panicked.
The poor Cincinnati Bengals were left totally bamboozled. Jerry Rice had made 11 catches and Taylor had made zero, so the Bengals doubled down on Rice as they were all but certain that Montana would try to pick him out. Yet the QB had other ideas and it will go down in history as many 49ers’ fans favorite play.
The Bengals went into the game as seven-point underdogs, but their stellar defense made a mockery of that line. Their fans were daring to dream of an unlikely triumph when they pinned San Francisco back to their own eight-yard line with just 3:10 remaining, holding a 16-13 lead, but Montana simply ripped them apart.
The game saw Bill Walsh end his San Francisco coaching career in style, while Rice walked off with the MVP honor, although it could easily have gone to Montana for his epic, game-winning drive. He possessed nerves of steel and in Taylor he found a grateful recipient for his precise pass in a clutch situation.