January 8, 1989 • Soldier Field • Chicago, Illinois • CBS-TV • 3:00 p.m. CST
NFC #2 San Francisco 49ers 1988 NFC Championship Game NFC #1 Chicago Bears
NFL-NFC-SF49ers-1964 1994 Helmet-Left Face 28
Team 1 2 3 4 Totals
49ers 7 7 7 7 28
Bears 0 3 0 0 3
900px-NFCN-Helmet-Bear Logo-Right Face-CHI 3

Template:Infobox NFL single game The 1988 NFC Championship Game was an American football game played on January 8, 1989 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois to decide the National Football Conference (NFC) champion following the 1988 regular season.

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Chicago Bears, 28-3, to advance to their third Super Bowl in eight seasons. This was the second meeting between the two teams in the NFC Championship Game, their first meeting being in 1984.


San Francisco 49ersEdit

Chicago BearsEdit



The game was broadcast in the United States by CBS with Pat Summerall handling the play-by-play duties and color commentator John Madden in the broadcast booth. Brent Musburger hosted The NFL Today pregame (30 minutes), halftime, and postgame coverage with analysts Dick Butkus and Irv Cross and roving reporter Will McDonough.


Game summaryEdit

Despite playing in a game-time temperature of 17 °F, a wind chill of −26 °F, and wind gusts up to 30 MPH, the 49ers scored a touchdown in every quarter and gained 406 total yards of offense while limiting Chicago quarterback Jim McMahon to just 121 passing yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Chicago only made inside the San Francisco 40-yard line twice during the whole game.[1]

San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns, including completing nine of 15 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. After the first five possessions of the game ended in punts, the 49ers faced a third and long from their own 39-yard line. Despite the high winds, Montana was able to throw a long pass to Rice, who, despite double coverage from Bears defenders Mike Richardson and Todd Krumm, was able to catch the pass and outrun both defenders to score a 61-yard touchdown.

Midway through the second quarter, 49ers defensive back Jeff Fuller intercepted a pass from McMahon on the San Francisco 36, and the team moved the ball 64 yards on a drive that included Rice's 20-yard catch and Tom Rathman's 12-yard run on third and 10. Montana finished the series with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Rice in which he caught a low slant pass in stride and scored untouched. Chicago responded with a 25-yard field goal by Kevin Butler. Then defensive back Vestee Jackson recovered a fumble from receiver John Taylor on the Bears 18-yard line with 2:45 left in the half. Chicago subsequently advanced to the 49ers 47, but on third down, cornerback Don Griffin tackled Neal Anderson for a 5-yard loss and forced a punt.[2]

In the third quarter, the 49ers marched 78 yards, including a 17-yard reception by Rice, to score on Montana's 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end John Frank. San Francisco's final score was Rathman's 4-yard touchdown run.

Rice finished the game with five receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Fuller had an interception and 10 tackles, while linebacker Michael Walter had 11. This was San Francisco's first playoff win on the road since the 1970 season. It was also the first time an NFC team won a conference title on the road since 1979.

Box scoreEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
49ers 7 7 7 7 28
Bears 0 3 0 0 3

Quarter Time Team Drive Scoring Information Score
Length Plays Time SF CHI
1 3:18 SF TD: Jerry Rice 61 yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick) 7 0
2 7:25 SF TD: Jerry Rice 27 yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick) 14 0
2 3:06 CHI FG: Kevin Butler 25 yards 14 3
3 9:33 SF TD: John Frank 5 yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick) 21 3
4 6:53 SF TD: Tom Rathmann 4 yard run (Mike Cofer kick) 28 3

Starting lineupsEdit


  • Umpire:
  • Head Linesman:
  • Line Judge:
  • Back Judge:
  • Side Judge:
  • Field Judge:
  • Alternate:

See alsoEdit



Template:San Francisco 49ers Template:Chicago Bears Template:NFL on CBS

Template:NFC Championship Game

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