Monday, November 19, 1990


Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco 49ers said beforehand that they did not care about tying any National Football League record for consecutive victories. Well, they did, and they don't.

The 49ers won their record-tying 18th in a row Sunday by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-7, as Joe Montana had a pair of touchdown passes to Brent Jones.

''We really don't pay much attention to it at this point,'' Montana said of the winning streak. ''It will be nice later to look back on, but right now it's no big deal. It's just something that's going along with us.''

The 49ers' winning streak, which includes playoff games and dates to Nov. 27, 1989, marks the fourth time in NFL history a team has won 18 games in a row. The Chicago Bears accomplished the feat twice - in 1933-34 and 1941-42 - and the Miami Dolphins did it during the 1972-73 seasons.

Victory No. 18 was typical of the 49ers' methodical march through their 1990 schedule.

''The thing that makes them the team they are is that they win games,'' said Tampa Bay coach Ray Perkins. ''They were not devastating in any one area, but they did what they had to do to get the ball into the end zone.''

San Francisco (10-0) tied the record by stifling the Tampa Bay offense, which gained 180 total yards and could not score a touchdown. The Bucs managed to get inside the 49ers' 30-yard line once.

''Our defense has been playing well and they continued to do that today,'' Montana said.

The 49ers sacked Chris Chandler seven times, including twice in the fourth quarter after Tampa Bay drove to the San Francisco 4.

Chandler, scrambling seemingly on every pass play, completed 13 of 29 for 125 yards with one interception. Tampa Bay (4-7) lost its fifth in a row.

Montana was 23 of 35 for 230 yards with two touchdowns and an interception before leaving midway through the fourth quarter. Montana's yardage total gave him 3,065 yards this season. He became the first player to eclipse the 3,000-yard mark in passing yards seven times.

Montana hit Jones for an 11-yard touchdown 5 minutes 58 seconds into the game, capping a 66-yard, eight-play drive on the 49ers' first possession.

After Mike Cofer kicked a 24-yard field goal 4:48 into the second quarter, the 49ers went ahead 17-3 with 1:56 left in the half as Montana and Jones connected on a 4-yard touchdown.

The Bucs scored their only touchdown when cornerback Wayne Haddix intercepted a pass by Montana and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown 2:51 into the third quarter. It was Haddix's third interception return for a touchdown this season.

Roger Craig scored his first TD of the season on a 10-yard run with 4:35 left in the third quarter, putting the 49ers ahead 24-7. Harry Sydney scored San Francisco's final touchdown on a 1-yard run with four seconds remaining in the game.

The last time San Francisco lost was on Nov. 19, 1989, when it dropped a 21-17 decision to the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park. The 49ers have a record 15-game road winning streak.