Monday, October 15, 1990


Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Joe Montana and Jerry Rice went on a record-setting binge Sunday that caught the attention of others more than themselves.

Montana passed for career highs of 476 yards and six touchdowns and Rice tied a National Football League record with five scoring receptions as they led the San Francisco 49ers past the Atlanta Falcons 45-35.

Montana described his performance as ''on and off.''

''At times I played pretty well, but I didn't feel like I played up to the standard of the Super Bowl,'' he said. ''I was up and down.''

Rice wasn't calling it his best game either. As for the record he tied, he said, ''I don't want to think about it. I had a decent game today . . . but I don't compare games. I don't think I made two mistakes in the Super Bowl. Today, I made four or five.''

The Montana-Rice show enabled the 49ers to extend their league record for consecutive regular-season victories on the road to 13.

Rice had a club-record 13 catches for 225 yards, with the touchdown receptions covering 24, 25, 19, 13 and 15 yards.


He tied the TD receiving record set by Bob Shaw of the Chicago Cardinals against Baltimore on Oct. 2, 1950, and tied by Kellen Winslow of the San Diego Chargers against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 22, 1981.

Montana, who completed 32 of 49 passes, also threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sherrard. The six scoring passes broke the club record of five shared by Montana and several others.

Montana and Rice picked on cornerback Charles Dimry throughout the game.

''He's a great defensive back, but it is one-on-one coverage and the defensive back doesn't know where I'm going,'' Rice said.

Falcons coach Jerry Glanville pointed his praise at Montana.

''I don't know of a quarterback that can play any better,'' Glanville said. ''He gave us a lesson. I can't wait until that quarterback retires.''

Mike Cofer also joined the record-setting binge with a 56-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. The kick broke the 49ers' record of 54 yards shared by Steve Mike-Mayer and Bruce Gossett.

The regular-season victory was the 10th in a row for the 49ers (5-0) and 13 in a row including their three playoff victories last year en route to a their second Super Bowl championship in the last two years.

For the Falcons (2-3), Chris Miller completed 18 of 31 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns before leaving because of an injury to his right knee with 8 minutes 38 seconds remaining in the game.

Miller's touchdown passes covered 75 yards to Andre Rison, 5 yards to James Milling and 3 yards to Gary Wilkins.

Scott Campbell came off the bench and guided a 66-yard drive that ended with his 13-yard scoring pass to Rison with 7:14 to play.

Bobby Butler was credited with a 62-yard return of a blocked punt for another Falcons touchdown, one he scooped up on the 49ers' 35-yard line. The punt was blocked by George Thomas, his second in the game.

Thomas' first blocked punt eventually resulted in a 49ers touchdown. When he blocked Barry Helton's punt, the ball went forward and touched an Atlanta player beyond the line of scrimmage. Darryl Pollard recovered on the Falcons 42, setting up Montana's 25-yard TD pass to Rice in the first quarter.