49ers Win Record Fifth Super Bowl
The San Diego Chargers knew they had their work cut out for them. They went into Super Bowl XXIX as 18.5-pt. underdogs, the biggest point spread ever. For San Diego to win, they would have to avoid falling behind. That didn't happen. On the third play of the game, San Francisco's Steve Young hit Jerry Rice with a 44-yard TD pass--the fastest scoring pass in Super Bowl history. After that, the outcome was never in doubt, as San Francisco won its fifth Super Bowl, 49-26.
Actually, San Diego was down by only a touchdown. But the Chargers went three and out on their first offensive series. Four plays later, Young hooked up with Rickey Watters over the middle for a 51-yard TD pass. Fourteen-zip and game over.
The 49ers scripted the first 15 plays of the game, scoring almost at will. Young threw a Super Bowl record six touchdown passes, three of them to Rice and two to Watters, who also scored a third TD on the ground.
The 49ers averaged 43.7 points per game in their three postseason victories. While they were able to score 26 points on San Francisco, the Chargers never really mounted much of a threat.
"I can't say I'm surprised," admitted 49ers head coach George Siefert. "We've got a wonderful football team, a great offense."
And a great quarterback. Young completed 24 of 36 passes for 325 yards and 6 TDs and led all rushers with 49 yards on 5 carries. He was unanimously voted the game's Most Valuable Player. And, with a Super Bowl victory, he erased all doubts about his talents and ended the knock that he wasn't as good as Joe Montana, the former 49ers quarterback who won four Super Bowls.
The Chargers closed the lead to 14-7 on Natrone Means' one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. But the 49ers answered with two passing TDs by Young in the second quarter--a five-yarder to rookie fullback William Floyd and an eight-yarder to Watters.
The Chargers were forced to abandon their ground game in the second half, when they scored two more touchdowns--a 98-yard kickoff return by Andre Coleman and a 30-yard pass from Stan Humphries to Tony Martin. And San Diego scored the first two two-point conversions in Super Bowl history, both on passes from Humphries.
But the Chargers were helpless in trying to stop the 49ers. "I don't know if anybody has," admitted San Diego head coach Bobby Ross. "Control the ball-- that's what we wanted to to--but we weren't able to do that. They have great players. You're not talking about Pro Bowl players--you're talking about potential Hall of Fame players."
The 75 points scored were the most in a Super Bowl game. But Super Bowl XXIX was the 10th blowout in 12 years and the 11th consecutive victory for an NFC team. San Diego's 26 points was the second-most for a Super Bowl loser.
Rice caught 10 passes for 149 yards, giving him Super Bowl career records of 30 receptions, 407 yards, and 7 touchdowns.
Still, the lopsided game could have been worse. "We put up 49 points, but it could have been way worse than that," said the 49ers' Floyd.