In 1985, 1986 and 1987 the San Francisco 49ers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, all three years. The 1988 team looked like they might not even qualify for the playoffs, as they began the year with a 6-5 record.
Joe Montana and Steve Young were fighting it out to take over the offense. Even with Jerry Rice on the team, the leading receiver for 1988 was running back Roger Craig.
The 49ers ended the regular season with a 10-6 record, which was not overly impressive. In fact, the six losses by San Francisco is tied for the Super Bowl record for most losses by a Super Bowl winning team.
In the Super Bowl game, the 49ers lost Steve Wallace to a broken ankle. They missed a 19-yard field goal, which was the shortest miss in the history of the Super Bowl. With weapons like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig and John Taylor, the 49ers only scored three points in the first half.
Lucky for them, that was the same amount that Boomer Esiason led the Cincinnati Bengals to. Ugh.
In the second half, the 49ers gave up a 93-yard kickoff return touchdown to Stanford Jennings. Also in the second half, Mike Cofer missed another field goal and John Taylor fumbled a punt return. It is a wonder that the 49ers won this game, but the classic drive by Joe Montana and the game winning catch by John Taylor saved the day.