NFL Legend Joe Montana’s Super Bowl Ranking
Joe Montana led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl victories. Nicknamed Joe Cool for his ability to make clutch plays, he inspired an entire generation of quarterbacks, including Tom Brady. In three of those four Super Bowl wins, he was named Super Bowl MVP. We thought we’d rank his Super Bowl wins because he was the main architect of the 49ers’ success in the 1980s.
How good was Joe Montana in each of his Super Bowl wins?
#4 – Super Bowl XXIII
The game took place at the end of the 1988 NFL season and pitted the San Francisco 49ers against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 49ers beat the Bengals 20-16. Joe Montana certainly played his part in the victory. Trailing 16-13 with just over 3 minutes left, he led a 92-yard drive, resulting in a touchdown pass to John Taylor.
However, the reason it may not be his best Super Bowl is that it’s the only time he wasn’t named Super Bowl MVP. That honor went to Jerry Rice. Another thing to remember is that there was a time when the Bengals were leading 13-6 and Joe Montana threw a pass into the end zone that was almost intercepted by the Bengals cornerback Lewis Billups but dropped the ball.
Therefore, in many ways, Montana capitalized on his luck and got help from the greatest wide receiver of all time to win the Lombardi Trophy. But even then, when he was asked to come hang on, he did.
#3 – Super Bowl XVI
Super Bowl XVI was the first time the San Francisco 49ers won the Super Bowl and it established a dynasty that would dominate for the next decade. Joe Montana passed for 157 yards and a touchdown and was named Super Bowl MVP. However, the Cincinnati Bengals largely imploded to hand the trophy to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Bengals had 356 yards of offense to the 49ers’ 275. Dan Ross set a Super Bowl record with 11 tight receptions and two touchdowns. The Bengals were disappointed with the turnovers, which gave the San Francisco 49ers a 20-0 halftime lead. Even a robust second-half comeback wasn’t enough. The 49ers ultimately prevailed 26-21.
Therefore, while Montana gets huge credit for winning the Super Bowl, it wasn’t his best performance in a Super Bowl.
#2 – Super Bowl XIX
It was Joe Montana’s second Super Bowl win, which came at the end of the 1984 season. He faced Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins but the end result was not close. The 49ers ended up winning 38-16. Joe Montana completed 24 of 35 passes for a Super Bowl record 331 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 59 yards and had a rushing touchdown.
It was one of those games where it was indisputable that Montana was the best player on the court. He set and broke many records and was primarily responsible for winning the Super Bowl. His Super Bowl MVP title was well deserved.
#1 – Super Bowl XXIV
Joe Montana’s last Super Bowl victory was his best. The 1989 season was historic for him as he won both the NFL MVP award and the Super Bowl MVP award. The 49ers faced the Denver Broncos in the championship game. In the end, it wasn’t even close.
The 49ers beat John Elway’s Broncos 55-10 in the most lopsided Super Bowl in history, outscoring their opponents in every quarter. Joe Montana set a record throwing for 297 yards and five touchdowns. In the process, he surpassed Terry Bradshaw’s record for most touchdown passes in a Super Bowl and all Super Bowls combined. He also set a Super Bowl record with 13 consecutive assists.
It was the culmination of Joe Montana’s best season and his performance in the championship game ensured a blast.