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Quarterback Joe Montana hit wide receiver John Taylor on a 10-yard touchdown strike with 34 seconds to go in Super Bowl XXIII, lifting the San Francisco 49ers to a thrilling 20-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami and sending a tearful head coach Bill Walsh into retirement with his third Super Bowl title.
The Niners won the game but couldn't cover the spread as 7-point favorites. And after a 3-3 first half the game stayed UNDER its total of 48.
The early portion of the game was marred by two nasty injuries; San Francisco offensive lineman Steve Wallace was carted off the field after breaking an ankle, and Cincinnati nose tackle Tim Krumrie suffered a gruesome broken leg.
The two teams battled to a 3-3 halftime tie, then kicked field goals in the third quarter to make the score 6-6. The excitement then really began when Cincinnati's Stanford Jennings returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score, giving the Bengals a 13-6 advantage.
But San Francisco answered promptly, driving 85 yards in just four plays, scoring on a Montana-to-Jerry Rice 14-yard hook-up to tie the game at 13-13.
Cincinnati later took a 16-13 lead on a 40-yard Jim Breech field goal with just over three minutes to go, setting up the late-game heroics from Montana, who led his troops on a last-gasp drive starting at their own eight-yard line. Eleven plays later Joe Cool hit Taylor on a slant route in the end zone for the game-winning score.
On the day the 49ers outgained the Bengals 453-229.
During its three-game playoff sweep the San Francisco defense allowed a total of just 21 points.
San Francisco wide receiver Jerry Rice was named Super Bowl MVP after catching 11 balls for 215 yards and one score. It was just the third time through the first 22 Super Bowls that a wide receiver won the award.
The Niners win gave the NFC a fifth straight Super Bowl victory, a string that would eventually reach 13. San Francisco made it back-to-back titles the following season, busting the Denver Broncos 55-10 at the Superdome.