In advance of the Giants and 49ers playing their 37th game all-time against each other, GmenHq will be highlighting some of the posts from the week leading up to the NFC Championship game last year. This post details Giants versus 49ers on January 20, 1991. This post originally appeared on Gmenhq on Jan 19, 2012 at 8:00am
In anticipation of the New York Giants versus the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday for the NFC Championship, GmenHq will be reliving the Giants versus 49ers playoff history. Each day this week (Monday-Saturday will feature a new game).
New York Giants at San Francsisco 49ers, January 20, 1991, Candlestick Park
After playing three consecutive years in the play-offs, the Giants and 49ers did not meet again until the 1990-1991 season. The two teams met for the first time ever in the NFC Championship game. The Giants entered the game with a 14-3 record. The vaunted and favored 49ers entered the game with a 15-2 record. The 49ers had beaten the Giants earlier that year during the regular season.
This game was all about the field goal kickers. A true battle between Matt Bahr for the Giants and Mike Cofer for the 49ers. The teams matched each other with field goals in the first two quarters and went into half-time tied at six apiece. In the third quarter the Matt Bahr connected again for the Giants. However, John Taylor caught a 61 yard TD pass from Montana to give the 49ers a 13-9 lead entering the fourth quarter. Matt Bahr connected on two more field goals in the fourth quarter and Leonard Marshall destroyed Joe Montana; leading the Giants to a legendary 15-13 victory over the 49ers.
Jeff Hostetler, who stepped in for an injured Phil Simms earlier in the season, lead the Giants 176 yards passing. The Giants ground game was OJ Anderson who rushed for 67 yards on 20 attempts. Dave Megget chipped in with 36 yards on 10 carries. Mark Ingram led all Giants WR with 82 yards. Bavaro, playing in his final Giants-49ers Play-Off game had 54 yards receiving. However, the Giants offensive MVP of the game was kicker Matt Bahr. Bahr ended up five out of six on field goals and single handily sent the Giants to the Super Bowl.
Future Hall-of-Fame QB Joe Montana would not be able to finish the game (thanks to Marshall). While in the game Montana threw for 190 yards and a single touchdown. This would be Montana’s fifth and final Play-Off game against the Giants. Similar to previous games, the 49ers were unable to garner any rushing game. Craig and Rathman combined for nine carries and only 30 yards. Without having to worry about covering Dwight Clark, the Giants were able to limit John Taylor and Jerry Rice to a combined seven catches and 129 yards.
The Giants defense sacked Montana three times (Howard .5, Marshall 2.0, and Taylor .5). L.T. also had a fumble recovery continuing his defensive dominance while playing the 49ers in the Play-Offs. This was the first Giants-49ers play-off game with Pepper Johnson starting in the 3-4 formation. He was joined in the LB corps by Taylor, Reasons, and Banks.
This victory against the 49ers represented the Giants first win at Candlestick Park. The Giants would go onto to play and beat the Bills in the Super Bowl.
All-Time Play-Off Series: Giants 3-2 (1-2 at Candlestick and 2-1 at Giants Stadium)