Days Until Super Bowl LIII From January 28: 6
Steve Young was tasked with filling the biggest shoes of all time when he replaced the legendary Joe Montana in the San Francisco 49ers team. He was a magnificent quarterback, but throughout his fledgling career he was constantly dogged by negative comparisons to the great man.
But he finally managed to shake off the shackles and emerge from Montana’s shadow in a glorious 1994 season. It began in ignominious fashion, with defeat to Montana’s Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2 and a 48-10 loss to the Eagles in Week 5, a game that saw Young hauled off. That was the turning point for the quarterback, who lambasted George Seifert for pulling him off, and he responded in devastating fashion.
He led the team to 10 straight wins by an average of 20 points to send them surging into the playoffs, and he won a second NFL MVP award in the process. Young drove the 49ers to a blowout victory over the Bears in the divisional round and then they edged past Dallas to reach Super Bowl XXIX.
The Niners went in as overwhelming 18.5 point favorites against the Chargers, and they were every bit as dominant as that line suggested. Young threw 6 touchdowns to lead them to a 49-26 victory, breaking Montana’s Super Bowl record of 5 touchdown passes, and that record still stands today.
He was named Super Bowl MVP after throwing for 325 yards, and he also rushed for 49 yards, making him the first player ever to finish a Super Bowl as the game’s leader in both rushing and passing yards.
It capped one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback in NFL history. He threw for 3,969 yards, a then-franchise record 35 touchdown passes, just 10 interceptions, and he completed 70.3 percent of his passes, which is the highest completion percentage of the 1990s and the third best of all time. He also broke Montana’s single season mark with a then record 112.8 passer rating.