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SB # XXIII — SF 49ers 20, Cin. 16

Super Bowl 23

Super Bowl XXIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Cincinnati Bengals and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1988 season. The 49ers defeated the Bengals by the score of 20–16, winning their third Super Bowl. The game was played on January 22, 1989 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida, the first Super Bowl hosted in the Miami area in 10 years, and the first in Miami not held at the Orange Bowl.

This was the second meeting between these two teams in the Super Bowl; their first meeting wasseven years earlier. The game was also the third rematch between Super Bowl teams after Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XVII. This was the Bengals' second Super Bowl appearance after finishing the regular season with a 12–4 record. The 49ers were making their third Super Bowl appearance after posting a 10–6 regular season record.

The game is best remembered for the 49ers' fourth-quarter game-winning drive. Down 16–13, San Francisco got the ball on their own eight-yard line with 3:10 on the clock and marched 92 yards down the field in under three minutes. They then scored the winning touchdown on a Joe Montanapass to John Taylor with just 34 seconds left in the game. The game was tight throughout. The teams combined for 5 field goals, and battled to a 3–3 score by the end of the second quarter, the first halftime tie in Super Bowl history. Cincinnati's only touchdown, a 93-yard kickoff return by Stanford Jennings in the third quarter, was quickly answered by a four-play, 85-yard drive that ended with San Francisco wide receiver Jerry Rice's 14-yard touchdown reception. Rice, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, caught 11 passes for a Super Bowl record 215 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing once for 5 yards.