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1994

Record: 16-3, Super Bowl XXIX champions
George Seifert's six-year record: 84-24

Keys to the 1994 season had their roots in the offseason.

With an offense that was the best in the league, the 49ers lured top free agents to bolster the defense: linebackers Ken Norton Jr. and Gary Plummer, defensive end Richard Dent, linebacker/defensive end Rickey Jackson and, after the second game, cornerback Deion Sanders. The 49ers drafted defensive tackle Bryant Young, who teamed with second-year man Dana Stubblefield to anchor the defensive line. And linebacker Lee Woodall was plucked in the sixth round from a Division II college.

The 49ers overcame a shaky start to the season. Injuries destroyed the offensive line and contributed to team's worst defeat in almost 14 years: a 40-8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 2. During the game, George Seifert angered Steve Young by removing him from the game to save the quarterback from the pounding he was taking. After the game, 85 percent of the callers to a San Francisco radio show said they wanted Seifert replaced by Jimmy Johnson. Seifert's wry reaction? "I'd like to thank the 15 percent who voted for me."

The season turned around the following week, as the Niners rallied from a 14-0 deficit to beat Detroit 27-21 and then embarked on a 10-game winning streak.

During the regular season, the 49ers scored 505 points, which ranks as the fourth-highest total in NFL history.

The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Weekly each named Seifert coach of the year.

The 49ers' Super Bowl team of 1994 had only seven players that were carry-overs from Bill Walsh's tenure.

Super Bowl XXIX was marked by one of the best offenses rising to peak efficiency. Game MVP Steve Young threw a record six touchdown passes (24 of 36 for 325 yards) and was the 49ers' leading rusher with 49 yards on five carries.

Young said, "I really want to give George credit for what he has done this year. He let the reins go and let the horses run."

Seifert said, "I honestly felt that if I tried to impose too much of myself on that team and be too restrictive, the whole thing would have crumbled."

The emotional time for Seifert had come in the previous game -- the NFC Championship, when the 49ers beat Dallas 38-28.

It was the third straight title-game meeting between the teams, and this time the 49ers prevailed. They jumped out to a 21-0 lead midway through the first quarter and then kept the Cowboys at bay.

"I've got four championship rings," Seifert said on his way to a fifth. "Nothing compares to the emotions of this one."

It even brought a smile from George.

 

 1994 Results

W L.A. Raiders 44-14 
L at Kansas City 24-17 
W at L.A. Rams 34-19 
W New Orleans 24-13 
L Philadelphia 40-8 
W at Detroit 27-21 
W at Atlanta 42-3 
W Tampa Bay 41-16 
W at Washington 37-22 
W Dallas 21-14 
W L.A. Rams 31-27 
W at New Orleans 35-14 
W Atlanta 50-14 
W at San Diego 38-15 
W Denver 42-19 
L at Minnesota 21-14

 Playoffs

W Chicago 44-15 
W Dallas 38-28

 Super Bowl XXIX

W San Diego 49-26

The winning coach:
Seifert's plan is all wet
Seifert sees championship
as win for players, organization


After the Super Bowl, George Seifert was rewarded with a new three-year contract, running through the 1997 season and paying him a little more than $4.2 million, guaranteed. His old contract had one year left, which would have paid him $900,000. Seifert's new deal left only Miami's Don Shula, at $1.6 million a year, earning more money among the NFL's 30 head coaches.

Seifert also became a member of the NFL's competition committee, one of football's more powerful and influential bodies. Comprised of NFL coaches, administrators and owners, the committee reviews rules and initiates changes.

The Seifert Era
continues: 1995