The San Francisco 49ers of the 1980’s and early 1990’s were one of the greatest teams of the era. All eyes were on them each and every fall weekend as they were sure to put on a great show. They had a number of star players on their roster that helped them do this too, including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Brent Jones, and Steve Young.
Another great player from this era for the team that doesn’t get the credit he is due outside of fans of the team is wide receiver John Taylor. Taylor not only made big plays himself, but as Jerry Rice’s counterpart, he took some much needed heat off of other aspects of the offense. He also was a very well respected special teams player too.
On Monday Night Football on December 11th, 1989, John Taylor got a chance to show the world what he could do.
The 49ers were on the road, visiting the Los Angeles Rams at Anaheim Stadium. They had a 11-2 record at the time and the very dangerous Rams were sitting at 9-4. Los Angeles scored 17 unanswered first quarter points and at the end of the third quarter had a 24-10 lead. The fourth quarter would belong to the 49ers though as they outscored the Rams 20-3 and won the game by the score of 30-27.
Joe Montana certainly had a great game that night, one of his best ever, completing 30 of 42 passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns. Montana was used to the limelight at that point and there was another deserving player who would also get his share of attention for his performance.
John Taylor finished the game with 11 receptions for 286 yards and two touchdowns. A 300 yard game is considered a very successful performance for a quarterback and Taylor almost topped that mark as a wide receiver. He scored on passes of 92 and 95 yards during the game, and he also returned three punts too.
John Taylor had a number of great performances during his career, but 286 yards receiving is something not even his biggest fans could have predicted going into that game. John Taylor’s greatest game is also one of the all time great performances in NFL history.