|1990 San Francisco 49ers season|
|Owner||Eddie DeBartolo, Jr.|
|Head coach||George Seifert|
|General manager||John McVay and Carmen Policy|
|Home field||Candlestick Park|
|Division place||1st NFC West|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Playoffs (Redskins) 28-10|
Lost NFC Championship (Giants) 13-15
The 1990 San Francisco 49ers season was the franchise's 41st season in the National Football League and their 45th overall. the team entered the 1990 season heavily favoured to win their third consecutive Super Bowl. The season was highlighted by their defeat of the New York Giants on Monday Night Football in Week 13. Throughout the season, the 49ers and the Giants were the two best teams in the NFL. The two teams would meet again in the NFC Championship Game.
This was the season the 49ers debut the stitched up authentic name and numbers on jerseys.
Between 1988 and 1990, the 49ers set a league record with 18 consecutive road victories. Jerry Rice had a career year by becoming the fourth receiver in the history of American football to have at least 100 receptions in one season. The 49ers won their fifth consecutive NFC West Division Title. Dating back to 1989, the 49ers completed a fifteen-game unbeaten streak in the regular season (5 victories in the last 5 games of 1989 and 10 victories in the first ten games of 1990).
The 49ers were the closest team in NFL history to "three peat" in the Super Bowl, losing in the final seconds on a field goal by the Giants in the NFC Championship Game. The season ended on quite a haunting note, because the Giants' Leonard Marshall made a devastating hit on 49er quarterback Joe Montana, knocking him out of the game. Subsequent to this, Giant nose tackle Erik Howard fought through a double-team block by 49er center Jesse Sapolu and 49er guard Guy McIntyre to force 49er running back Roger Craig to fumble by getting his helmet on the football with only a few minutes left while the 49ers were driving to run out the game clock. Erik Howard dropped to one knee and managed to turn his shoulders perpendicular to the line of scrimmage in an effort to neutralize the double-team block. 49er guard Guy McIntyre released from the double-team block on Erik Howard in order to attempt a block on onrushing Giant inside linebacker Pepper Johnson allowing Erik Howard to knife through the protection and lay a hit on 49er running back Roger Craig. The ball was recovered by Giant outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor after he beat a block at the line of scrimmage by 49er tight end Brent Jones and a subsequent block by 49er fullback Tom Rathman to position himself just behind where Roger Craig was located along the line of scrimmage to catch the football after Giant nose tackle Erik Howard's hit forced it out of Craig's grasp. The Giants took over possession and began driving to kick the game-winning field goal. They ended up winning 15-13. The words of announcer Pat Summerall, "There will be no three-peat!" still haunt 49ers fans.
Following the 1990 season, the 49ers left team stalwarts Roger Craig and Ronnie Lott unprotected and let them go to the Los Angeles Raiders via Plan B free agency. Joe Montana would remain on the 49ers' roster for the next two seasons, but would never start another game for the 49ers.
|Round #||Pick #||Player||Position||College|
|1||25||Dexter Carter||Running Back||Florida State|
|2||48||Dennis Brown||Defensive End||Washington|
|2||54||Eric Davis||Cornerback||Jacksonville State|
|3||69||Ronald Lewis||Wide Receiver||Florida State|
|6||166||Frank Pollack||Tackle||Northern Arizona|
|8||221||Dwight Pickens||Wide Receiver||Fresno State|
|9||249||Odell Haggins||Defensive Tackle||Florida State|
|10||277||Martin Harrison||Defensive End||Washington|
|11||290||Anthony Shelton||Safety||Tennessee State|
|1||September 10, 1990 (Mon)||at New Orleans Saints||W 13-12|
|2||September 16, 1990||Washington Redskins||W 26-13|
|3||September 23, 1990||Atlanta Falcons||W 19-13|
|5||October 7, 1990||at Houston Oilers||W 24-21|
|6||October 14, 1990||at Atlanta Falcons||W 45-35|
|7||October 21, 1990||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 27-7|
|8||October 28, 1990||Cleveland Browns||W 20-17|
|9||November 4, 1990||at Green Bay Packers||W 24-20|
|10||November 11, 1990||at Dallas Cowboys||W 24-6|
|11||November 18, 1990||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 31-7|
|12||November 25, 1990||Los Angeles Rams||L 17-28|
|13||December 3, 1990 (Mon)||New York Giants||W 7-3|
|14||December 9, 1990||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 20-17 (OT)|
|15||December 17, 1990 (Mon)||at Los Angeles Rams||W 26-10|
|16||December 23, 1990||New Orleans Saints||L 10-13|
|17||December 30, 1990||at Minnesota Vikings||W 20-17|
It was the second highest rated Monday Night game ever at the time. The game had a 42% share and a 26.9 rating.
|(1)San Francisco 49ers||14||2||0||.875||4-2||10-2||353||239||W1|
|(6)New Orleans Saints||8||8||0||.500||4-2||6-6||274||275||W2|
|Los Angeles Rams||5||11||0||.313||2-4||3-9||345||412||L4|
Just like the regular season game between the two teams won by the 49ers 7-3, the championship game was mostly a defensive battle. San Francisco running back Roger Craig's fumble with 2:36 left in the game led to Giants kicker Matt Bahr's 42-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. Bahr was New York's only scorer with 5 (of 6) field goals. Despite not scoring a TD in eight quarters against the 49ers, the Giants moved on to Super Bowl XXV with their victory.