The day that Montana humbled Buddy, Eagles

July 5, 2012, 7:52 pm
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Ray Didinger

Q. I saw you on the NFL Networks Best Comebacks episode and I totally agree with you; San Franciscos 38-28 win over the Eagles in 1989 was Joe Montana at his finest.
That game holds a special place in my heart. I was at the game and brought Montanas autobiography with me. After the game, an usher saw that I had it and let me on the bus where Joe signed it for me. I still have the autographed book.

I remember well Montana that day. He was 11 for 12 (passing) for 227 yards and four touchdowns in the fourth quarter. I remember all of his TD passes (in particular) the 66 yarder he threw to Jerry Rice. I recall Rice going after Izel Jenkins for revenge for some extracurricular activity on a Roger Craig running play earlier.
-- Kevin Booth
A. Thats a cool story about Montana signing your book after the game. I remember that game very well. When I think back on his great career that is the game I think about first, even more than his four Super Bowl victories.

That was the fearsome Eagles defense coached by Buddy Ryan with Reggie White, Seth Joyner, Jerome Brown and Clyde Simmons. They pounded Montana that day, sacking him eight times (White had three). It got so ugly that Mike Holmgren, the 49ers offensive coordinator, wanted to pull Montana to spare him further punishment. Montana refused to come out.

He had seen some holes in the Eagles defense Jenkins being an obvious one and felt with just a tweak or two, he could take advantage. In the fourth quarter, Montana went to a spread formation -- one running back, four wide receivers -- and a three-step drop so he got rid of the ball quicker. Once he got in a rhythm, there was no stopping him.

Ryan was in shock afterwards. The Eagles led by 11 points midway through the final period. He couldnt believe that his defense, his pride and joy, could collapse so totally.

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