1994 San Francisco 49ers season
OwnerEddie DeBartolo, Jr.
General managerJohn McVay and Carmen Policy
Head coachGeorge Seifert
Offensive coordinatorMike Shanahan
Defensive coordinatorRay Rhodes
Home fieldCandlestick Park
Division place1st NFC West
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs
(vs. Bears) 44–15
Won NFC Championship
(vs. Cowboys) 38–28
Won Super Bowl XXIX
(vs. Chargers) 49–26
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros

The 1994 season was the San Francisco 49ers' 45th in the National Football League (NFL), their 49th overall, and their sixth under head coach George Seifert. This season was highlighted by a victory in Super Bowl XXIX. The championship made San Francisco the first team to win five Super Bowls. After losing to the Dallas Cowboys in the previous two conference championship games, the 49ers made significant acquisitions in the 1994 free agent market. This included the signing of two-sport star Deion Sanders and Cowboys linebacker Ken Norton, Jr. Sanders had a major impact on the team's success, winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and recording six interceptions. The 49ers won their division, the NFC West, for the eighth time in nine seasons.

Quarterback Steve Young had his best NFL season and won his second MVP award. Young set what was, at the time, the NFL record for highest passer rating in a season – 112.8.[3] Cold Hard Football Facts states that Young's 1994 season is the second greatest passing season in NFL history,[4] behind only Joe Montana's 1989 season. The team also set a franchise record for most points scored in the regular season with 505 total. The team also set the NFL playoff record for most points scored in a postseason with 131.

For the third consecutive season, the 49ers met the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game. From the mid-1980s until the latter 1990s, the AFC was widely regarded as the NFL's weaker conference. At the time of this conference championship game, AFC teams had lost the previous 10 Super Bowls in a row, starting with Super Bowl XIX after the 1984 season. All but two of those losses were by at least 10 points; five of them were by more than 20 points. As a result, the NFC Championship meeting between the Niners and Cowboys was dubbed by many as "the real Super Bowl."[5][6] The contest was one of the highest rated non-Super Bowl games in NFL history.

The 49ers beat the two time defending champion Cowboys, ending their hopes of becoming the first NFL team to three-peat and went on to defeat the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Young was named the game's MVP after throwing a record six touchdown passes. The game also set the record for most points scored by both teams in a Super Bowl with 75 total, a record that stands to this day.

The 1994 49ers ranked #19 on the 100 greatest teams of all time presented by the NFL on its 100th anniversary.[7][8] As of the 2023 NFL season, this is the last Super Bowl the 49ers have won.


NFL Draft

Main article: 1994 NFL draft

Round Pick Player Position College
1 7(Choice from Atlanta via Indianapolis & L.A. Rams) Bryant Young DT Notre Dame
1 Choice to L.A. Rams from San Diego
1 Choice to Dallas
1 28(Choice from Dallas) William Floyd RB Florida State
2 53(Choice from Green Bay) Kevin Mitchell LB Syracuse
2 Choice to L.A. Rams
2 62 Tyronne Drakeford CB Virginia Tech
3 Compensatory Choice to Green Bay
3 85(Compensatory Choice) Doug Brien K California
3 87 Cory Fleming WR Tennessee
3 Choice to Kansas City
3 Choice to Denver from Dallas
3 Compensatory Choice to L.A. Rams from Philadelphia
4 Choice to L.A. Raiders
5 Choice to Green Bay from Denver
5 153 Tony Peterson LB Notre Dame
6 Choice to Green Bay from San Diego
6 182 Lee Woodall LB West Chester
6 Compensatory Choice to Green Bay from Philadelphia
7 Choice to Dallas


Training camp

The 49ers held training camp at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.



1994 San Francisco 49ers staff

Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Physical Development Coordinator – Jerry Attaway
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Michael Barnes



1994 San Francisco 49ers roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

53 active, 4 practice squad

Rookies in italics


Pre season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Recap
1 August 5 at Arizona Cardinals L 7–17 0–1 Sun Devil Stadium Recap
2 August 12 Denver Broncos W 20–3 1–1 Candlestick Park Recap
3 August 18 at San Diego Chargers W 30–24 2–1 Jack Murphy Stadium Recap
4 August 26 Seattle Seahawks W 13–9 3–1 Candlestick Park Recap

Regular season

In 1994, after the retirements and departures of several stalwarts from the late 1980s and early 1990s teams, the 49ers spent large amounts of money on the addition of several star free agent veterans. The revamp focused mainly on defense, where six new starters including Ken Norton, Jr., Gary Plummer, Rickey Jackson, and Deion Sanders were implemented, all with the ultimate goal in mind of dethroning the Dallas Cowboys. Said safety Merton Hanks, "Those players came in on one and two-year deals and they understood, 'if we do not get it done this year this organization is going to blow itself up.'" Additionally, several rookie players made key contributions to the team, some becoming season-long starters. This included defensive tackle Bryant Young, fullback William Floyd, and linebacker Lee Woodall. The 49ers started slowly early in the season. They defeated the Raiders in a game where Jerry Rice broke the NFL record for career touchdowns, but followed with a 24–17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, led by former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana.

Despite victories over the Rams and Saints, the 49ers offensive line was struggling, having lost four starters to injury, and in Week 5 the Niners were crushed 40–8 by the Eagles. Following the Eagles game, a poll conducted on local sports radio station KNBR showed that an overwhelming majority of 49er fans wanted head coach George Seifert fired.

A 49ers Super Bowl ring for Super Bowl XXIX.

The game against the Eagles was a turning point for the 49ers despite being a lopsided loss. Steve Young was benched for Elvis Grbac abruptly during a series in the 3rd quarter. Soon after, Young was livid on the sidelines, shouting profanities at head coach George Seifert. Young later admitted "I was looking for a fistfight," and would later say that this incident caused his teammates to respond better to his leadership, as they saw how much he cared about winning ("It galvanized the guys behind Steve," said Brent Jones).

The following week in Detroit, the 49ers trailed the Lions 7–0. After throwing a pass, Young was hit, picked up, and driven into the ground by three Lions defenders. After the hit, Young was screaming with his face dark red in color. He crawled most of the way off of the field before refusing help from the trainers as he limped the remaining way off the field. He miraculously returned to the field two plays later (NFL rules state that after trainers attend to an injured player, that player must leave the field for at least one play (Elvis Grbac came in for that one play and threw an incompletion) to lead the 49ers to a 27–21 victory.

The team rallied around Young to win 10 straight games, including a 21–14 victory over the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Cowboys. During that span, the 49ers' average margin of victory was nearly 20 points per game; they broke 35+ points scored eleven times, breaking 40 points four of those times.

Throwback uniforms

During the 1994 season, many NFL teams wore "throwback uniforms" for occasional games (after Week 2 of the season) to celebrate the NFL's 75th anniversary (a corresponding diamond 75th Anniversary patch was also worn by all teams). The 49ers chose to wear a version of their 1955 uniforms as throwbacks. This design featured sans-serif block numerals that were outlined and shadowed in black. White pants with thinner red-black-red striping were also worn, along with the old striped red socks (the team later reverted to their regular solid red socks after receiving permission from the NFL to wear the uniforms starting from Week 10 until Super Bowl XXIX). The team's regular 1989–95 gold helmet was worn with this uniform, as there was no logo on the 1955 helmet.

The team first donned the 1955 throwback uniforms during a week 3 match against the Los Angeles Rams and the following week at home versus the Saints. Both games ended in victory (coincidentally, these were also the first two games Deion Sanders played with the 49ers after signing as a free-agent after week 2). The team then suffered an embarrassing 40–8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at home wearing their regular red uniforms with gold pants. (Football statistics site Football Outsiders calculates this 49ers loss to be the second-most lopsided football game they'd tracked from 1994 to 2008.)

For the subsequent three games until their bye week, the team again was scheduled to play games wearing the throwback uniforms with white pants and blockshadow numerals, and all three games resulted in wins. During the following weeks the 49ers embarked on a 10-game winning streak. The team, prompted both by the superstition of coach George Seifert, and the preference of players, petitioned the NFL to wear the throwback uniforms for the rest of the season. The league granted the request and the switch to solid red socks after the bye week marked this occurrence. In all, the team went 15–1 (including the playoffs) wearing the 1955/1994 throwback uniforms. The only loss occurred during the regular season finale at Minnesota, with the team wearing white jerseys and resting most of their starters for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the 49ers went undefeated wearing the red jerseys of the throwback uniform. After winning Super Bowl XXIX however, the team was compelled to revert to wearing its regular 1964-style uniforms (1991 revised design) for the following 1995 season. One year later, the throwback design strongly influenced the 49ers to redesign their uniform set. In 1996, the team revealed a new helmet and uniform design featuring a darker red, shadowed numbers, black accents, and white pants. In 1998, the team changed the pants to a gold color and wore these uniforms through the 2008 season. The 49ers brought back the 1994 white throwback uniform design as an alternate set for the 2018 season. The 1994 red throwback jerseys were brought back by the team as an alternate uniform for the 2021 season, the 49ers franchise's 75th anniversary.


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Recap
1 September 5 Los Angeles Raiders W 44–14 1–0 Candlestick Park Recap
2 September 11 at Kansas City Chiefs L 17–24 1–1 Arrowhead Stadium Recap
3 September 18 at Los Angeles Rams W 34–19 2–1 Anaheim Stadium Recap
4 September 25 New Orleans Saints W 24–13 3–1 Candlestick Park Recap
5 October 2 Philadelphia Eagles L 8–40 3–2 Candlestick Park Recap
6 October 9 at Detroit Lions W 27–21 4–2 Pontiac Silverdome Recap
7 October 16 at Atlanta Falcons W 42–3 5–2 Georgia Dome Recap
8 October 23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 41–6 6–2 Candlestick Park Recap
9 Bye
10 November 6 at Washington Redskins W 37–22 7–2 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
11 November 13 Dallas Cowboys W 21–14 8–2 Candlestick Park Recap
12 November 20 Los Angeles Rams W 31–27 9–2 Candlestick Park Recap
13 November 28 at New Orleans Saints W 35–14 10–2 Louisiana Superdome Recap
14 December 4 Atlanta Falcons W 50–14 11–2 Candlestick Park Recap
15 December 11 at San Diego Chargers W 38–15 12–2 Jack Murphy Stadium Recap
16 December 17 Denver Broncos W 42–19 13–2 Candlestick Park Recap
17 December 26 at Minnesota Vikings L 14–21 13–3 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Recap
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 1 vs. Los Angeles Raiders

Week One: Los Angeles Raiders at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Raiders 0 14 0014
49ers 14 9 02144

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

The Niners led wire to wire as Steve Young opened with two touchdowns. Jerry Rice’s 69-yard score set an NFL record for career touchdowns.

Week 2 at Kansas City Chiefs

Week Two: San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
49ers 0 14 0317
Chiefs 7 2 15024

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Game information

This was the much-hyped match between Steve Young and Joe Montana, Young's predecessor as the 49ers' quarterback. Montana threw two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Young clawed the Niners to a 14–7 lead but was then sacked for a safety; the Niners also fumbled twice while Young threw two picks. San Francisco sports bars airing the game saw viewers overwhelmingly cheer for Montana's Chiefs over Young and the Niners.

Week 3 at Los Angeles Rams

Week Three: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
49ers 10 7 31434
Rams 7 3 0919

at Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, California

Game information

This became the final game between the 49ers and Rams in Los Angeles until 2016.

Week 4 vs. New Orleans Saints

Week Four: New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Saints 3 10 0013
49ers 3 7 7724

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 5 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Week Five: Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Eagles 14 16 3740
49ers 0 8 008

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Steve Young was benched after going 11 of 23 with two interceptions and getting sacked for a safety by William Fuller; Elvis Grbac completed four of eight passes and was sacked twice. The Eagles outgained the Niners in yardage 437 to 189. This was the second worst loss by an eventual Super Bowl champion in NFL history.

Week 6 at Detroit Lions

Week Six: San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
49ers 0 14 7627
Lions 7 7 0721

at Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan

Game information

The Lions jumped to a 14–0 lead on a Brett Perriman touchdown catch and a nine-yard score from Barry Sanders. Young was knocked out for one play with a pinched nerve in his leg; he came back in despite heavy pain and rallied the Niners to 27 unanswered points.

Week 7 at Atlanta Falcons

Week Seven: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
49ers 14 14 14042
Falcons 0 3 003

at Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Game information

Ex-Falcon Deion Sanders returned to the Georgia Dome and ran back a 93-yard interception for a touchdown. Steve Young threw four touchdowns while Jeff George threw four interceptions; it was the second six-turnover game for the Falcons that season.

Week 8 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week Eight: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Buccaneers 0 0 01616
49ers 7 10 17741

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Facing the team with which he entered the NFL, Steve Young completed twenty passes for 255 yards and one score. Ricky Watters and William Floyd rushed for a combined three more touchdowns. In contrast Trent Dilfer completed just seven passes and was benched.

Week 9: Bye

The 1994 San Francisco 49ers season had a bye week, as did all of the NFC West. The team was granted permission from the NFL to wear throwback uniforms for the remainder of the season.

Week 10 at Washington Redskins

Week Ten: San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
49ers 10 7 13737
Redskins 0 3 31622

at RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.

Game information

Week 11 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Week Eleven: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Cowboys 7 0 0714
49ers 0 7 7721

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

The 49ers posted their first win over the Cowboys since 1990. The game was tied 7–7 until the Niners scored in the final three minutes of the third quarter on a 57-yard Jerry Rice touchdown catch. Following an exchange of four consecutive punts, Troy Aikman was intercepted by Merton Hanks; the ensuing Niners drive took fifteen plays and ended on a Brent Jones touchdown catch just before the two-minute warning. A very late Cowboys touchdown was followed by an unsuccessful onside kick and Niners win.

Week 12 vs. Los Angeles Rams

Week Twelve: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Rams 3 3 13827
49ers 14 7 3731

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

In their last home meeting with the Rams as a Los Angeles team until 2016, the Niners blew a 21–6 lead and trailed 27–24; Jerry Rice fumbled with 6:05 to go but the Rams had to punt. Steve Young threw on seven of the next ten plays and connected with Rice for the go-ahead score with 1:56 to go; the Rams failed on 4th and 20 and the Niners were winners.

Week 13 at New Orleans Saints

Week Thirteen: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
49ers 10 10 8735
Saints 0 14 0014

at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans

Game information

Week 14 vs. Atlanta Falcons

Week Fourteen: Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Falcons 7 7 0014
49ers 3 24 71650

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 15 at San Diego Chargers

Week Fifteen: San Francisco 49ers at San Diego Chargers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
49ers 7 14 31438
Chargers 0 3 6615

at Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego

Game information

In the preview to Super Bowl XXIX, Steve Young threw two touchdown passes and Deion Sanders recorded a pick six as the 49ers never trailed.

Week 16 vs. Denver Broncos

Week Sixteen: Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Broncos 0 6 13019
49ers 14 14 14042

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Week 17 at Minnesota Vikings

Week Seventeen: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
49ers 0 7 0714
Vikings 7 3 11021

at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

Having secured the first playoff seed, the Niners started Steve Young and he completed all but one of thirteen passes before giving way to Elvis Grbac. Ricky Watters fumbled on San Francisco's second drive and the Vikings scored. Needing the game for the NFC Central division title, the Vikings won 21–14.


NFC West
(1) San Francisco 49ers 13 3 0 .813 505 296 L1
New Orleans Saints 7 9 0 .438 348 407 W1
Atlanta Falcons 7 9 0 .438 317 385 W1
Los Angeles Rams 4 12 0 .250 286 365 L7


Round Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Stadium Attendance
Wild Card First-round bye
NFC Divisional Playoff January 7, 1995 Chicago Bears (6) W 44–15 1–0 Candlestick Park 64,644
NFC Championship Game January 15, 1995 Dallas Cowboys (2) W 38–28 2–0 Candlestick Park 69,125
Super Bowl XXIX January 29, 1995 San Diego Chargers (A2) W 49–26 3–0 Joe Robbie Stadium 74,107


a All times in Pacific Time Zone.

NFC Divisional Playoff

After a Brent Jones fumble on their first drive of the game, in which the Bears converted with a field goal by Kevin Butler, the 49ers went on to score 37 unanswered points to rout the Bears 44–15, including scoring 23 in the second quarter (Jones caught an eight-yard score in the second). The Bears would not score until the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. An endzone brawl erupted late in the second quarter following Steve Young's six-yard rushing score. Shaun Gayle of the Bears pushed Young to the dirt after the score; when Young threw the ball in the ground and in Gayle's face, a fight erupted.

NFC Divisional Playoff: (#6) Chicago Bears at (#1) San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Bears 3 0 01215
49ers 7 23 7744

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

NFC Championship Game

Looking to make a statement after being knocked out of the playoffs the previous two years by the Cowboys, the 49ers pounced on turnovers by the Cowboys on their first three possessions to start the game; San Francisco thus broke out to a 21–0 lead midway through the first quarter. It started with an interception by Eric Davis that was returned 44 yards for a touchdown on just the third play of the game; it was followed by a Michael Irvin fumble that set up a 29-yard screen pass by Steve Young to Ricky Watters for a touchdown, and then a fumble on the ensuing kickoff in which the 49ers converted with a one-yard touchdown run by William Floyd. The 49ers went into halftime up 31–14 after a 28-yard pass by Young to Jerry Rice. The Cowboys fought back in the 2nd half, but fell short. The 49ers eliminated the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Cowboys, 38–28, advancing to their 5th Super Bowl and ending the Cowboys’ chance of becoming the first NFL team ever to win three consecutive Super Bowl championships. The last team with a chance of winning three consecutive Super Bowls before the Cowboys were the 49ers themselves. The Cowboys turned the ball over 5 times, which ended up being a major factor in the game. The 49ers also handed Troy Aikman his first ever loss as a starting quarterback in the post season. Young's victory came ironically with almost the same passer rating (84.7) he'd had in his 1992 championship loss to Dallas (84.6).

NFC Championship Game: (#2) Dallas Cowboys at (#1) San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Cowboys 7 7 7728
49ers 21 10 7038

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Super Bowl XXIX

Steve Young set a Super Bowl record by throwing six touchdown passes in a game. The record had previously been held by his predecessor Joe Montana, who threw for a then-record five touchdowns in Super Bowl XXIV (ironically against one of San Diego's AFC West rivals).

Super Bowl XXIX: (A2) San Diego Chargers vs. (N1) San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
Period 1 2 34Total
Chargers 7 3 8826
49ers 14 14 14749

at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami

Game information

(*)The Chargers became the first team to have a successful two-point conversion in the Super Bowl. This was the first season in which the NFL allowed 2-point conversions (a rule in place in the American Football League in San Diego's first ten seasons), and the Chargers actually had two in the game.


Pre season Local TV

Channel Play-by-play Color commentator(s)

Local Radio

Flagship station Play-by-play Color commentator(s) Sideline reporter (s)
KGO–AM Joe Starkey Wayne Walker

1995 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl

Main article: 1995 Pro Bowl


Awards and honors



  1. ^ "1994 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  2. ^ "1994 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  3. ^ The record was eclipsed by Peyton Manning in 2004.
  4. ^ "The Dandy Dozen: 12 best passing seasons in history". Cold Hard Football Facts. June 28, 2010. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012.
  5. ^ "The Real Super Bowl". Sports Illustrated cover, January 16, 1995 issue. The magazine cover shows a blown-up image of a ticket to the 1994 NFC Championship game, and photos of 49ers quarterback Steve Young and Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, all beneath the caption "The Real Super Bowl".
  6. ^ Carucci, Vic (January 15, 1995). "Today's Winner Will Earn Title, But Not Respect". The Buffalo News. Buffalo, New York. Archived from the original on January 26, 2022. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  7. ^ "NFL Top 100 Teams". Pro Football Reference.
  8. ^ "100 Greatest Teams: Numbers 100–1 SUPERCUT". NFL.com.
  9. ^ San Francisco 49ers 2014 Media Guide. San Francisco 49ers. p. 575.
  10. ^ "Administration Directory". San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl XXIX Media Guide. San Francisco 49ers. 1995. p. 1.
  11. ^ "1994 San Francisco 49ers starters and roster". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s San Francisco 49ers 2014 Media Guide. San Francisco 49ers. p. 476.
  13. ^ Plaschke, Bill (January 16, 1995). "Third Time a Charm for 49ers". The Herald-News. Passaic, New Jersey. Los Angeles Times. p. B1 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ San Francisco 49ers 2014 Media Guide. San Francisco 49ers. p. 531.
  15. ^ "Bert Bell Award – Professional Player of the Year: Past Recipients". Maxwell Football Club. Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  16. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 440
  17. ^ "NFL Touchdowns Career Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  18. ^ "Rice, Jerry 1962–". Encyclopedia.com.