Super Bowl XXIII (23): San Francisco 49ers vs Cincinnati Bengals (Full Game)
Super Bowl XXIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Cincinnati Bengals and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1988 season. The 49ers defeated the Bengals by the score of 20–16, winning their third Super Bowl. The game was played on January 22, 1989 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami (now part of the suburb of Miami Gardens, which became a separate city in 2003). This was the first Super Bowl hosted in the Miami area in 10 years, and the first in Miami not held at the Orange Bowl.
This was the second meeting between these two teams in the Super Bowl; their first meeting was seven years earlier. The game was also the third rematch between Super Bowl teams after Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XVII. This was the Bengals' second Super Bowl appearance after finishing the regular season with a 12–4 record. The 49ers were making their third Super Bowl appearance after posting a 10–6 regular season record.
The game is best remembered for the 49ers' fourth-quarter game-winning drive. Down 16–13, San Francisco got the ball on their own eight-yard line with 3:10 on the clock and marched 92 yards down the field in under three minutes. They then scored the winning touchdown on a Joe Montana pass to John Taylor with just 34 seconds left in the game. The game was tight throughout. The teams combined for 5 field goals, and battled to a 3–3 score by the end of the second quarter, the first halftime tie in Super Bowl history. Cincinnati's only touchdown, a 93-yard kickoff return by Stanford Jennings in the third quarter, was quickly answered by a four-play, 85-yard drive that ended with San Francisco wide receiver Jerry Rice's 14-yard touchdown reception. Rice, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, caught 11 passes for a Super Bowl record 215 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing once for 5 yards.
NFL owners voted to award Super Bowl XXIII to Miami, Florida on March 14, 1985 during their March 10–15, 1985 meetings held in Phoenix. This was the sixth time that Miami hosted the game, and the first at Joe Robbie Stadium; the 5 previous Super Bowls in the area were played at the Miami Orange Bowl.
Originally, the selection was to be voted on during the May 23–25, 1984 meetings. However, after balloting for XXI took more than two hours, voting for XXIII was rescheduled. Twelve cities were part of the bidding process, which was scheduled to award two Super Bowls (XXIII and XXIV). The bidding cities included: Anaheim, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, and Tempe. Miami entered as the favorite.
This was the last Super Bowl played on the second to last Sunday in January. From 1990 to 2001, the game was played on the last Sunday of January and since 2002, on the first Sunday in February (with the exception of Super Bowl XXXVII, which was played on January 26, 2003). This was also the last east coast Super Bowl that began under daylight.
San Francisco 49ers
Main article: 1988 San Francisco 49ers season
For the 49ers, it was their first Super Bowl appearance since they defeated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX. They had made the playoffs in the three seasons between Super Bowl XIX and Super Bowl XXIII, but were eliminated each time in the first round, primarily because of the poor performances by their offensive stars in those games; quarterback Joe Montana, receiver Jerry Rice, and running back Roger Craig all failed to produce a single touchdown. The previous season's 36–24 playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings had been a particularly low point for Montana, who had played so poorly that head coach Bill Walsh had benched him early in the third quarter.
In the 1988 season, San Francisco won the NFC West with a 10–6 regular season record, but it was a long uphill battle. The team had a quarterback controversy with Montana and Steve Young each starting during the season. But after a 6–5 start, Montana led the 49ers to win four of their final five regular season games.
Montana finished the regular season with 238 completions for 2,981 yards and 18 touchdowns, and also added 132 rushing yards. His favorite target was Rice, who recorded 64 receptions for 1,306 yards (a 20.4 yards per catch average) and 9 touchdowns. Craig was also a key contributor, leading the team in receptions (76) while finishing the season with a total of 2,036 combined rushing and receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, earning him the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award. Fullback Tom Rathman also made a big impact, rushing for 427 yards and catching 42 passes for 387 yards. San Francisco also had a major special teams threat in second-year receiver John Taylor, who led the NFL in punt return yards (556), yards per return, ...
Read More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl_XXIII
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