"Quarterbacks may come and go, but none will ever be as brilliant, nor as exciting as Joe Montana. He was Joe Cool, the quarterback who never quit, the quarterback who could overcome any deficit, any pressure, any injury. Despite horrible injuries, he won more than 70% of the games he started during an illustrious 16-year career in the National Football League. Not bad for someone who had 81 players picked ahead of him in the 1979 draft. This page is my vote for Joe Montana as the "Greatest Quarterback in NFL History." - Debbie Miller

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Comebacks

Record as Starter - Regular Season

Regular Season Touchdown Targets

Single Game Career Highs

Regular Season Passing Statistics

Regular Season Rushing Statistics

Post Season Passing Statistics

Post Season Rushing Statistics

THE COMEBACK KID

Known to many as "The Comeback Kid," Joe engineered 31 fourth quarter comebacks in his magnificent NFL career. The following is a list of games in which Joe brought the 49ers (26 times) and the Chiefs (5 times) back from fourth quarter deficits to dramatic wins:

Date Opponent End of 3rd Quarter Score Final Score
12-7-80 New Orleans Saints (OT game) 21-35 38-35
11-1-81 at Pittsburgh Steelers 10-14 17-14
11-22-81 at Los Angeles Rams (team fell behind during 4th qtr) 27-24 33-31
1-10-82 Dallas Cowboys (NFL Championship game) 21-27 28-27
12-2-82 at Los Angeles Rams 20-17 30-24
12-26-82 at Kansas City 9-10 26-13
9-25-83 Atlanta Falcons 17-20 24-20
10-23-83 at Los Angeles Rams 17-28 45-35
12-31-83 Detroit Lions 17-23 24-23
9-2-84 at Detroit Lions 17-20 30-27
11-4-84 Cincinnati Bengals 10-17 23-17
12-15-85 at New Orleans Saints 17-19 31-19
12-14-86 at New England Patriots 16-17 29-24
9-20-87 at Cincinnati Bengals 20-26 27-26
10-18-87 at St. Louis Cardinals 21-28 34-28
10-27-87 at New Orleans Saints 17-19 24-22
9-11-88 at New York Giants 13-17 20-17
10-16-88 at Los Angeles Rams 17-21 24-21
1-22-89 Cincinnati Bengals-Super Bowl XXIII 6-13 20-16
8-17-89 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-9 20-16
9-24-89 at Philadelphia Eagles 10-21 38-28
11-6-89 at New Orleans Saints 10-17 24-20
12-11-89 at Los Angeles Rams 10-24 30-27
9-10-90 at New Orleans Saints (team fell behind during 4th qtr) 10-9 13-12
10-7-90 at Houston Oilers 14-21 24-21
12-10-90 at Cincinnati Bengals (OT game) 14-10 20-17
10-17-93 at San Diego Chargers 7-10 17-14
1-8-94 Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC 1st round - OT game) 10-17 27-24
1-16-94 at Houston Oilers 7-10 28-20
10-17-94 at Denver Broncos 21-21 31-28
11-20-94 Cleveland Browns 10-13 20-13
RECORD AS STARTER - REGULAR SEASON

NO FINER NINER: "In many ways, he was Your Average Joe: physically unremarkable, self-effacing, deferential. But on NFL Sundays, particularly those denoted by a Roman numeral, he was anything but ordinary.

"Joe Montana was as far from ordinary as the Western Pennsylvania roots were from the stubbornly idiosyncratic city by the bay that embraced him like a native son. His unparalleled skill at not merely rising to the occasion but always rising to the occasion marks him as one of the greatest clutch performers in the history of sport. Other athletes have shined in the spotlight, sure. Some more than once. But every time?

"Four times he reached pro football's ultimate game, and four times he performed impeccably, even heroically. In delivering four world championships to the 49ers, Joe also transformed the franchise from an object of ridicule to an object of envy. Along the way, he captivated NFL fandom with an uncanny ability to engineer comebacks, captured and unified the hearts of a self-doubting city and compiled a record of achievement that is unlikely to be surpassed - ever.

"What greater legacy can an athlete leave? This outwardly ordinary Joe forever will be remembered as anything but." - Gary Santaniello, Sr. Editor, Beckett Great Sports Heroes: Joe Montana.

Team Wins Losses
Atlanta Falcons 14 5
Buffalo Bills 3 2
Chicago Bears 3 3
Cincinnati Bengals 4 0
Cleveland Browns 4 1
Dallas Cowboys 4 0
Denver Broncos 2 4
Detroit Lions 1 3
Green Bay Packers 3 1
Houston Oilers 5 0
Indianapolis Colts 1 0
Kansas City Chiefs 2 0
Los Angeles Raiders 4 2
Los Angeles Rams 12 8
Miami Dolphins 0 2
Minnesota Vikings 3 2
New England Patriots 4 0
New Orleans Saints 15 2
New York Giants 4 1
New York Jets 1 1
Philadelphia Eagles 1 1
Phoenix/St. Louis Cardinals 4 1
Pittsburgh Steelers 2 2
San Diego Chargers 3 3
San Francisco 49ers 1 0
Seattle Seahawks 5 1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 1
Washington Redskins 5 1
Total 117 47
REGULAR SEASON TOUCHDOWN TARGETS

JOE MONTANA AND JERRY RICE: "Joe Montana firing downfield to Jerry Rice is the stuff of 49ers legend. In the six seasons they played together - 1985-1990 - they hooked up for 55 scoring passes during the regular season, plus another 13 in the post season, including three in a 55-10 rout of Denver in Super Bowl XXIV.

Montana's uncanny accuracy and Rice's deft moves were the perfect combination in an NFL where defensive backs have to provide receivers a five-yard cushion at the line of scrimmage. Rice's precision in running his routes, honed by a work ethic that amazed teammates, found its mirror image in a quarterback such as Montana, who could spot four receivers amid the chaos of moving bodies and deliver a perfectly thrown pass to his target." - Gary Swan, Beckett Sports Heroes: Joe Montana

RECEIVER TOUCHDOWNS
Jerry Rice 55
Dwight Clark 41
Freddie Solomon 29
Roger Craig 15
John Taylor 15
Russ Francis 12
Mike Wilson 12
Brent Jones 9
Earl Cooper 8
Willie Davis 8
John Frank 8
Wendell Tyler 6
Charle Young 6
J. J. Birden 5
Jeff Moore 4
Renaldo Nehemiah 4
Tom Rathman 4
Marcus Allen 3
Keith Cash 3
Ron Heller 3
Eason Ramson 3
Joe Valerio 3
Lake Dawson 2
Mike Sherrard 2
Derrick Walker 2
Kimble Anders 1
Bob Bruer 1
Lenvil Elliott 1
Tracy Greene 1
Jonathan Hayes 1
Amp Lee 1
Guy McIntyre 1
Carl Monroe 1
Ricky Patton 1
Bill Ring 1
Harry Sydney 1
TOTALS 273
SINGLE GAME CAREER HIGHS (INCLUDES PLAYOFFS)

"It is almost impossible to measure Joe Montana's career purely in numbers, impressive as they are. He ranks among the top four quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League in passes attempted, passes completed, passing yardage, and touchdown passes. He is second in highest percentage of passes completed and in lowest percentage of passes intercepted. But the numbers only hint at the magnitude of his ability." - Dick Schaap from Montana.

Pass Attempts 60 vs. Washington Redskins 11-17-86
Pass Completions 37 vs. Atlanta Falcons 10-6-85
Passing Yards 476 vs. Atlanta Falcons 10-14-90
Touchdown Passes 6 vs. Atlanta Falcons 10-14-90
Interceptions 4 vs. Cincinnati Bengals 11-4-84
Long Pass 96 to Jerry Rice vs. San Diego Chargers 11-27-88
Rushing Attempts 9 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-17-89
Rushing Yards 63 vs. New York Giants 12-29-84
Touchdown Runs 1, 22 times .
Long Run 53 yards vs. New York Giants 12-29-84
Times Sacked 8 vs. Los Angeles Rams, and 12-18-88
Times Sacked 8 vs. Philadelphia Eagles 9-24-88

REGULAR SEASON - PASSING STATISTICS

"If the success of a leader of any team is defined in victories, then Joe Montana and the teams he has been associated with would be recognized as simply the best" - Marty Schottenheimer, as told to Rick Gosselin, The Dallas Morning News.

YEAR TEAM G/S ATT COMP YDS PCT TD INT LG RATING
1979 49ers 16-1 23 13 96 56.5 1 0 18 81.1
1980 49ers 15-7 273 176 1795 64.5 15 9 71 87.8
1981 49ers 16-16 488 311 3565 63.7 19 12 58 88.4
1982 49ers 9-9 346 213 2613 61.6 17 11 55 88
1983 49ers 16-16 515 332 3910 64.5 226 12 77 94.6
1984 49ers 16-15 432 279 3630 64.6 28 10 80 102.9
1985 49ers 15-15 494 303 3653 61.3 27 13 66 91.3
1986 49ers 8-8 307 191 2236 62.2 8 9 48 80.7
1987 49ers 13-11 398 266 3054 66.8 31 13 57 102.1
1988 49ers 14-13 397 238 2981 59.9 18 10 96 87.9
1989 49ers 13-13 386 271 3521 70.2 26 8 95 112.4
1990 49ers 15-15 520 321 3944 61.7 26 16 78 89
1991 Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured
1992 Chiefs 1-0 21 15 126 71.4 2 0 17 118.4
1993 Chiefs 11-11 298 181 2144 60.7 13 7 50 87.4
1994 Chiefs 14-14 394 299 3283 60.6 16 9 57 83.6
TOTALS . 192-164 5391 3409 40551 63.2 273 139 96 92.3
G/S = Game Starter; YDS = Total Yards; INT = Interceptions; ATT = Attempts; PCT = Completion Percentage; LG = Longest Gain; COMP = Completions; TD = Touchdowns; RATING = Qtrback Rating
REGULAR SEASON - RUSHING STATISTICS

"Joe has to be considered the best quarterback who ever played. He has to be considered one of the best players who ever played, maybe THE best player. When you go through other positions, it's tough to quarrel with some of them. For the man who handles the ball, he would have to be the best." - Bill Walsh (as told to Mark Soltau), Beckett Great Sports Heroes: Joe Montana

YEAR TEAM NO YDS AVG LG TD
1979 49ers 3 22 7.3 13 0
1980 49ers 32 77 2.4 11 2
1981 49ers 25 95 3.8 20 2
1982 49ers 30 118 3.9 21 1
1983 49ers 61 284 4.7 18 2
1984 49ers 39 118 3 15 2
1985 49ers 42 153 3.6 16 3
1986 49ers 17 38 2.2 17 0
1987 49ers 35 141 4 20 1
1988 49ers 38 132 3.5 15 3
1989 49ers 49 227 4.6 19 3
1990 49ers 40 162 4.1 20 1
1991 Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured
1992 49ers 3 28 9.3 16 0
1993 Chiefs 25 64 2.6 17 0
1994 Chiefs 18 17 0.9 13 0
TOTALS . 457 1676 3.7 21 20
NO = Number of Rushes; AVG = Average Gain; LG = Longest Gain
POST SEASON - PASSING STATISTICS

"Some people wither when a big moment arrives," columnist Lowell Cohn wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle. "Montana grabs it by the throat. If there is a better quarterback out there, let him come forward."


YEAR TEAM G/S ATT COMP YDS PCT TD INT LG RATING
1981 49ers 3-3 88 56 747 63.6 6 4 58 94.4
1983 49ers 2-2 79 45 548 57 4 2 76 85.1
1984 49ers 3-3 108 67 873 62 7 5 40 89.9
1985 49ers 1-1 47 26 296 55.3 0 1 36 65.7
1986 49ers 1-1 15 8 98 53.3 0 2 24 34.2
1987 49ers 1-1 26 12 109 46.2 0 1 33 42
1988 49ers 3-3 90 56 823 62.2 8 1 61 117
1989 49ers 3-3 83 65 800 78.3 11 0 72 146.4
1990 49ers 2-2 57 40 464 70.2 3 1 61 104.7
1992 Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured
1993 Chiefs 3-3 104 59 700 56.7 4 3 41 78.2
1994 Chiefs 1-1 37 26 314 70.3 2 1 57 102.8
TOTALS . 23-23 734 460 5772 62.7 45 21 76 95.3

G/S = Game Starter; YDS = Total Yards; INT = Interceptions; ATT = Attempts; PCT = Completion Percentage; LG = Longest Gain; COMP = Completions; TD = Touchdowns; RATING = Qtrback Rating

POST SEASON - RUSHING STATISTICS

Commenting on game, San Francisco 38, Philadelphia 28: "I think we relaxed on them," former Eagles defensive end Reggie White said afterward. "You think we would have learned. You can't relax on Joe Montana. We had him beat up. We kept knocking him down. But he just got back up and beat us. It hurts. He doesn't quit." -as told to Dave Spadaro, Eagles Digest, Beckett Great Sports Heroes: Joe Montana.

YEAR TEAM NO YDS AVG LG TD
1981 49ers 12 4 0.3 7 1
1983 49ers 7 56 3.2 18 0
1984 49ers 13 144 11.1 53 1
1985 49ers 1 0 0 0 0
1986 49ers 0 0 0 0 0
1987 49ers 3 20 6.7 14 0
1988 49ers 11 39 3.5 11 0
1989 49ers 5 19 3.8 10 0
1990 49ers 3 10 3.3 6 0
1992 49ers Injured Injured Injured Injured Injured
1993 Chiefs 6 13 2.2 7 0
1994 Chiefs 2 5 2.5 7 0
TOTALS . 63 310 4.9 53 2
NO = Number of Rushes; AVG = Average Gain; LG = Longest Gain
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