SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — All season long, football fans had been salivating when they thought of a dream match-up between Joe Montana’s San Francisco 49ers and the potent air attack of Miami’s Dan Marino and his ‘Marks Brothers’ receivers in Super Bowl XIX.
Marino had been dazzling in just his second year in the league, rewriting the NFL record book when it came to single season passing statistics. He set a record for the most completions in a season with 362 and became the first quarterback ever to throw for over 5,000 yards.
He tossed for 48 touchdowns, breaking the previous record of 36, which was held by both George Blanda for the Houston Oilers in 1961 and Y. A. Tittle for the New York Giants in 1963.
The combination of his arm and the speed and ability of under-sized wide receivers Mark Clayton and Mark Duper was nearly unstopped.
Meanwhile, the 49ers had motored through the regular season, rolling to a 15-1 record. Montana passed for 3,630 yards and 28 touchdowns while Roger Craig provided unseen versatility as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. The team’s defense was the league’s stingiest, giving up just a total of 227 points all season.
The clash at Stanford Stadium on a foggy late January afternoon would be a test of that stout defensive unit.
The first quarter lived up to the hype with Marino’s Dolphins holding at 10-7 lead, but then Bill Walsh’s staff made a fateful defensive switch — adding a defensive back to go into a dime defensive formation.
The switch shutdown Marino and Montana and the 49ers began rolling at will. At halftime, San Francisco held what would prove to be an insurmountable 28-16 lead.
Miami would not score in the second half as the 49ers claimed their second Super Bowl title with a 38-16 victory. Montana would throw for 331 yards and three touchdowns and run for a fourth as he would be named the game’s MVP.
Marino ended the game with 318 passing yards, a pair of interceptions and a QB rating of 66.9. As a team, the Dolphins rushed for just 25 yards.