1990 San Francisco 49ers Season
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1990 San Francisco 49ers Season
1990 San Francisco 49ers season
OwnerEddie DeBartolo, Jr.
(Since 1977)
Head coachGeorge Seifert
(2nd season)
General managerJohn McVay and Carmen Policy
(Since 1983)
Home fieldCandlestick Park
Division place1st NFC West
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (Redskins) 28-10
Lost NFC Championship (Giants) 13-15
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros

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.


NFL Draft

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
4 93 Dean Caliguire Center Pittsburgh
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



Regular season

Quarterback Stats
Player Comp % Yards TDs/INTs
Joe Montana 61.7 3,944 26/16
Steve Young 61.3 427 2/0


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
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
4 Bye
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

Game summaries

Week 6

  • October 14, 1990 - Joe Montana set a 49ers record by throwing for 476 yards in one game and throwing six touchdown passes.
  • October 14, 1990 - Jerry Rice set a 49ers record with 5 touchdown receptions and 30 points in one game.

Week 9

  • November 4, 1990 - In a game versus the Green Bay Packers, Joe Montana threw for 411 yards and 3 touchdown passes.

Week 13 vs Giants

It was the second highest rated Monday Night game ever at the time. The game had a 42% share and a 26.9 rating.

Week 14

  • December 9, 1990 - The 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime. Mike Cofer kicked a 23-yard field goal to give the 49ers a 20-17 victory.


NFC West
(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
Atlanta Falcons 5 11 0 .313 2-4 3-9 348 365 W2


NFC Divisional Playoff

NFC Championship Game

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.

Awards and Records


  • Jerry Rice, First 100 reception season [5]


  1. ^ "1990 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  2. ^ "1990 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  3. ^ Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.
  4. ^ Associated Press Athlete of the Year (male)
  5. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 440

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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