In 1994, Steve Young was considered one of the elite quarterbacks of the 1990s. He had quite the journey to get to this point, from the USFL to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to being a backup to one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time Joe Montana up until 1991. In 1992, Young won his first NFL MVP award. However there was still a big shadow casted on him. He felt the pressure of trying to succeed after replacing a legend. After two straight playoff losses to eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, the 49ers retooled in 1994 by adding cornerback Deion Sanders to help their defense. On offense, it was Young’s year.
Young, 49ers Steamroll through 1994 Regular Season
Steve Young and the 49ers were on a mission that season. In Week 1, they were on primetime and put on a show. In Jerry Rice’s record setting game, the 49ers torched the Los Angeles Raiders 44-14. Young had 308 yards on just 19 completions (19/32) with 4 TDs and 1 INT. The 59.4 completion percentage was one of only 3 games he had a below 60 percent completion rate that year. During the first five games however, the 49ers sat at 3-2, not exactly the type of start they were hoping for. The two losses were significant: a 24-17 loss to the Montana-led Kansas City Chiefs and a embarrassing 40-8 loss at home to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Maybe it was the blowout but something clicked after that game. The 49ers wouldn’t lose again until the last game of the season. They rattled off 10 straight wins, many in convincing fashion. During the ten game win streak:
- 49ers scored 30 or more points in eight of the games
- Scored 40 or more in 5 games
- Beat the Atlanta Falcons by a combined score of 92-17, first season Sanders went against his former team
- Won by double digits in seven of the games, and by 21 or more in six.
With a 13-3 record, the 49ers had home field advantage and that would be key if the playoffs went as planned. After pummeling the Chicago Bears 44-15 in the Divisional Round, the stage was set. It was the 49ers and Cowboys meeting for the right to go the Super Bowl for the third year in a row in the NFC Championship game, this time in Candlestick.
It was a hard fought battle between the two titans, but this was the 49ers time. Young, who won his second NFL MVP award, was finally heading to the big game as the 49ers slayed their rival with a 38-28 win. He didn’t play his best game in the NFC Championship game (13-29, 155 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs), but the team had his back. He would return the favor in Super Bowl XXIX.
Young Sets Super Bowl Record in Win
The 49ers were heavy favorites over the San Diego Chargers, the surprise team out of the AFC, in Super Bowl XXIX. This was due to the juggernaut 49ers squad that no team in the AFC could beat but more importantly, the 49ers thrashed the Chargers in Jack Murphy Stadium in Week 15, 38-15. It was looking like a sure title win for the 49ers, just by how much was the only question.
The game wasn’t close. The Chargers were outmatched and the 49ers dominated from start to finish. Young was finally a Super Bowl champion as the 49ers won 49-26. The win gave Young the validation he deserved. He put on a record setting performance as well. Young completed 24 of 36 passes for 325 yards. He set a new Super Bowl record with 6 TD passes. Young was named Super Bowl MVP, the icing on the cake in his sensational season.
Steve Young 1994 Season Stats
Steve Young had a productive season in 1994. Here are some of his stats and awards:
- 324/461 (70.3 completion pct. – new team record)
- 3,969 yards
- 35 TDs/10 INTs
- 112.8 passer rating
- 58 rushes, 293 yards
- 7 rushing TDs
- NFL MVP