Joe Montana's five best plays are often in the most critical situations. Nicknamed "Joe Cool" for his calmness when the game's on the line, Montana is an NFL Legend. Here are the 5 Best Plays in his storied career.
- "The Chicken Soup Game." On January 1, 1979, Montana made one of his best plays against the University of Houston in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Nicknamed the "Chicken Soup Game", Montana fell so ill that, during half time, he was forced to drink chicken soup and cover himself in warm blankets to prevent hypothermia. Sitting in the locker room most of the game, Montana finally entered the game with seven minutes and 37 seconds left to go in the fourth quarter and his Notre Dame Fighting Irish down 34-12. Cutting the lead to 34-28, Montana drove his team the length of the field and, with two seconds remaining, he threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Kris Haines, making Notre Dame the Cotton Bowl Champions. This was the first of many great Montana plays in championship games.
- "The Catch." In the 1981 NFC Championship game against the Dallas Cowboys, Montana took the field and made one of the five best plays of his career. With the San Francisco 49ers down 27-21 and starting at his own eleven yard line with four minutes and 54 seconds to go in the game, Montana drove down to the Cowboys' 6 yard line. On third down, he scrambled to his right and made an off balance throw to tight end Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone, giving San Francisco a 28-27 lead, and making the 49ers the NFC Champions. To this day, the play is simply referred to as "The Catch."
- "Montana to Taylor." In January of 1989, Montana made one of his best plays. Facing the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl for the second time in his career, Montana's 49ers were down 16-13 with three minutes and ten seconds to go in the game. Starting at his own eight yard line, Montana completed eight of his nine passes, driving the length of the field. With 39 seconds remaining, Montana threw a ten yard touchdown pass to receiver John Taylor, making the 49ers Super Bowl XXIII Champions.
- "Montana's First Professional Comeback." On December 7, 1980, Joe Montana made one of the best plays of his career against the New Orleans Saints. Down 35-7 at half time, the 49ers managed to cut the lead down to 35-21 by the fourth quarter. Capitalizing on the Saints' turnovers, Montana led the 49ers to two fourth quarter touchdowns, and San Francisco prevailed in over time. This marked the first of many times Joe Cool would lead his team to a come from behind victory, and the first of many great performances in his career.
- "Against His Old Team." When Joe Montana played against the San Francisco 49ers for the first time in his career, he made one of his best plays. After being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993, Montana was eager to play his former team and their new starting quarterback Steve Young. In the 1994 season, he got that chance. Leading the Chiefs to a 24-17 victory, Montana got the best of Young and his former team, and, in his final NFL season, led the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs.