Super Bowl XXIV – Broncos and Forty-Niners


In January of 1990 the Denver Broncos 13-5 met the San Francisco Forty-niners 16- 2 for Super Bowl XXIV at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. George Seifert had taken over for Bill Walsh and Dan Reeves was the coach at Denver as the Broncos were appearing in their third Super Bowl in four years while the 49ers were in their fourth in nine years.

A difference was the 49er had won each of their previous Super Bowls and the Broncos had lost each of theirs.

Future Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway led the Broncos’ offense with 3051 yards and 18 touchdowns while Bobby Humphrey rushed for 1151 yards and seven TD’s, Vance Johnson led in receiving yards with 1095 and 7 TD’s while Mark Jackson had 446 receiving yards.

The place kicker was David Treadwell who made 27 of 33 field goal attempts.

Karl Mecklenburg anchored the defense with 143 tackles and 7.5 sacks, Simon fletcher had 105 tackles and 12 sacks and Tyrone Braxton had 6 interceptions and 111 tackles.

San Francisco was again led by Joe Montana who passed for 3521 yards and 26 touchdowns, Roger Craig who rushed for 1054 yards and caught passes for 473 more and had seven TD’s, Jerry Rice who had 1483 receiving yards and 17 TD’ s and John Taylor 1077 yards and 10 TD’s.

Their place kicker was Mike Cofer who converted on 29 of 36 field goal attempts.

The defense was led by Charles Haley and Pierce Holt with 10.5 sacks each and Ronnie Lott with five interceptions on a team which had five future Hall of Famers.

Joe Montana playing in the last of his four Super Bowls was sharp in the first quarter as he found Jerry Rice for a 20 yard TD and Brent Jones for 7 yards and a score while the Broncos got on the board with a 42 yard David Treadwell field goal and it is 13-3 after the first quarter.

The second quarter was all 49ers as Tom Rathman scored on a one yard run and Rice on a 38 yard completion from Montana and the score was 27-3 at the half.

Montana continued his mastery over the Denver defense as he found Jerry Rice again for 28 yards and John Taylor for a 35 yard TD while Elway rushed for a

three yard Bronco TD-their only TD of the game-and the score was 40-10 after three quarters.

The fourth quarter was similar to other three as the 49ers scored on TDs by Tom Rathman for 3 yards and Roger Craig from one yard out with the final score being 55-10 in one of the most lopsided Super Bowls in the history of the game.

Joe Montana won the battle of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks with 22 of 29 passing for 297 yards, 5 TD’s, no interceptions and was sacked once while John Elway was 10 for 26, no TD’s, 2 interceptions and was sacked four times.

In his last Super Bowl Joe Montana got the game MVP and they would return in 1995 with Steve Young as quarterback. It was Montana’s third game MVP as only Tom Brady with four has more.

After the 1990 season he had elbow surgery and played in only two games in the next two seasons before concluding his career with two years in Kansas City in which he led them to the playoffs both years.

Better days were ahead for the Broncos as they returned with Elway in 1998 for a win and followed that up with a victory in 1999.

By Ron Griffitts

Contributing Columnist

Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate

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