The 2019 San Francisco 49ers will be remembered as one of the top 10 squads in franchise history regardless of the outcome of Super Bowl LIV. Formed in 1946 as a part of the All-American Football Conference, the 49ers joined the National Football League in 1949. It wasn’t until 1982 that San Francisco finally won a championship, but since then they’ve established themselves as one of the best teams in the league.
The 49ers have won five Super Bowls and set numerous other records along the way, including the longest active road winning streak (eighteen games) and the most points scored in a Super Bowl (55-10 vs. Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV). At $3.05 billion, San Francisco ranks as the sixth-most valuable franchise on Forbes’ list.
Football legends like Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Ronnie Lott have played their whole careers for the San Francisco 49ers, who have fielded many great teams over the years.
Which 49ers team was the best?
The 1989 San Francisco 49ers were one of the best teams of all time. Number one in scoring offense and total offense, fourth in total defense, and third in points allowed. Completed the season undefeated on the road while losing both home games by a combined five points.
When Joe Montana was at the top of his game, he had a league-record 112.4 passer rating by completing 70.2% of his throws for 3,521 yards and 26 touchdowns against just 8.2% interceptions.
The 227 yards he ran for were the second most in his career, despite the fact that he was 33 years old and in rough shape.
Wideouts Jerry Rice and John Taylor each caught over 100 passes for over a thousand yards, and running backs Roger Craig and Tom Rathman caught a combined 122 passes for over a thousand yards (Taylor’s career-high 1,077).
Bill Walsh turned over a winning squad to new head coach George Seifert. The defensive linemen Pierce Holt and Charles Haley combined for 10.5 sacks, and Ronnie Lott led the team with 5 interceptions.
Maybe the team wanted to prove that they could win without Bill Walsh, who had recently acknowledged that he now regretted retiring.
They defeated the Vikings (41-13), the Rams (30-3), and John Elway and the Broncos (55-10), with Rice collecting three of Montana’s five touchdowns, passes in that game. Their 136-26 playoff scoring differential was 110 points higher than the regular-season totals of the 1981 and 1988 Niners.
Despite having his finest regular season ever, Montana somehow played even better in the playoffs, throwing 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in three playoff games, with his lowest passer rating being 125.3 against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game.