Joe Montana: The NFL's Coolest Quarterback


By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Joe Montana was the epitome of NFL quarterback greatness. He had the rugged handsome looks, the height, and even a movie star name. What he lacked in pure athleticism, he made up for with some of the best pure leadership in the history of the game. How much do you know about Joe Montana?

Joe Montana played 16 seasons in the NFL. How many seasons did he play for the Kansas City Chiefs?

Montana, of course, played most of his storied career with the 49ers. But before he retired, he had two productive seasons with the Chiefs.


What was Montana's football nickname?

He faced many seemingly insurmountable challenges during his career, but even in the most pressure-packed situations, Montana was unflappable. He was Joe Cool.


Where did Montana play college football?

Joe attended Notre Dame, which was already having a run of great success when he arrived on campus. The coaches hoped that Montana would help them maintain that momentum.


Notre Dame won the 1977 national championship. Where was Montana listed on the depth chart at the beginning of the season?

Montana wasn't the starter. He wasn't even the backup -- he was listed at third string. Injuries to the top two QBs forced him into action in the third game, in which he rallied the team to a win. It was the start of his legend.


In the 1979 Cotton Bowl, Notre Dame was trailing which team in the fourth quarter?

The Fighting Irish were down 34-12 in the final quarter, but Montana willed his team to a victory over Houston. The Irish won by a single point, 35-34, by scoring three TDs in the final eight minutes.


That frigid Cotton Bowl was so epic it earned a singular nickname in football lore. What do people call it?

Montana was suffering terribly from the flu during the cold, icy game. At halftime, he ate some hot chicken noodle soup that revived his spirits -- and the contest became known as the Chicken Soup Game.


Montana was selected in which round of the NFL draft?

In the 1979 draft, San Francisco got a steal of a pick -- they grabbed Montana in the third round. Joe wasn't considered to be a very good NFL prospect.


Joe won how many Super Bowl titles during his 16-year career?

Montana is tied with Terry Bradshaw for second all-time with four Super Bowl rings. Tom Brady has won five (so far) with New England.


In 1987, Montana had his career high for TD passes in a single season. How many TD passes did he throw?

Thanks to San Francisco's up-tempo West Coast offense, Montana was free to air it out -- and he did just that. He lofted 31 TD passes that year. He also ran for a single TD.


In 1986, Montana suffered a horrific injury to what part of his body?

Early in the '86 season, Montana was tackled hard and suffered a spinal injury that required surgery. He was placed on injured reserve and then sat out until November.


During his time with the 49ers, Montana famously mentored which up-and-coming QB?

San Francisco nabbed Steve Young from Tampa Bay to serve as a backup to Montana, whose health was iffy at times. Montana was at first a mentor to Young, who almost immediately challenged him for the starting job.


Doctors were leery about letting him play so soon after back surgery, but Montana returned later in the 1986 season. How did he perform in his first game following surgery?

The 49ers played the St. Louis Cardinals on the day that Montana returned. He didn't skip a beat -- threw for 270 yards and three TDs in a triumphant victory.


Montana threw for about how many yards during his career?

Joe was a prolific passer who threw for more than 40,000 yards in his career. By comparison, Steve Young threw for 33,000 yards.


Montana has a Top 10 career quarterback passer rating.

Montana was a fantastic passer who finished with a career rating of 92.3, good for 13th all-time. There are some active players ahead of him, but their ratings may drop as they age, perhaps lifting Montana into the top 10.


Steve Young finished his career with a higher quarterback passer rating than Montana.

Young didn't throw for as many yards as Montana, but he was deadly accurate with his throws. His 96.8 passer rating currently puts him at fifth place on the all-time QB rating list and well ahead of Montana.


How many times did Montana throw for more than 400 yards in a game?

Seven times in his career, he threw for more than 400 yards. He also had 35 games with 300 yards or more passing.


During the 1982 NFC Championship game versus Dallas, Montana made a play so spectacular that it earned its own nickname. What's the play called?

The 49ers were down by 6 points with under a minute to play when Montana rolled to his right on a critical third down play. He chucked a high pass to the corner of the end zone and Dwight Clark made "The Catch" with his fingertips.


Montana won four Super Bowl titles. How many times was he named MVP?

After three of his four Super Bowl titles, Montana also won MVP. His dominance in big games was nearly unrivaled.


In Super Bowl XXIII, the 49ers were trailing the Bengals with just over 3 minutes on the clock. Where did San Francisco start its final offensive drive?

Down by three points, San Francisco was buried on its own 8-yard line. Montana coolly trotted onto the field.


Montana quickly drove the 49ers down the field at the end of Super Bowl XXIII. What happened on the final San Francisco drive?

With about a half a minute left in the game, Montana hurled a perfect throw to wide receiver John Taylor. The 49ers won 20-16.


Who was the MVP of Super Bowl XXIII?

Montana threw for an amazing 357 yards and 2 TDs. But it was Jerry Rice, with 215 receiving yards and 1 TD, who claimed the MVP.


Montana was known for his fourth quarter heroics. He has more fourth-quarter comebacks than any other QB.

Joe led an incredible 31 fourth quarter rallies during his career. Peyton Manning, however, had 45.


What injury caused Montana to miss the entire 1991 season?

In a pointless 1991 pre-season game, Joe's elbow was badly injured and he missed the entire season. In Montana's absence, Steve Young proved to be a more-than-capable starter, a fact that soon caused conflict.


What happened when Montana finally returned after two years plagued by injuries?

Young's performance was so phenomenal that it was hard to justify bringing Montana back as a starter. A loud QB controversy erupted.


How did the 49ers QB controversy end?

Joe saw the writing on the wall -- he was getting older and Young was the franchise's new star. He asked to be traded and wound up in Kansas City.


Montana had four Super Bowl appearances. What was his combined passer rating for those four games?

Joe was transcendental in his biggest games. He threw 11 TDs in those four Super Bowls without a single interception, for a crazy-high 127.8 passer rating.


In 1994, the Montana-led Chiefs played Young's 49ers in a highly-anticipated showdown. How did the game end?

It was an epic showdown between the two former teammates and not one that Montana took lightly. In the end, the old master schooled his former apprentice as the Chiefs won, 24-17.


With Montana at QB, how far did Kansas City manage to make it in postseason play?

Joe immediately had a positive impact with the Chiefs. He guided the team to the 1993 AFC Championship game, where they lost to Buffalo.


The 49ers never lost a Super Bowl game with Montana at the helm. How many Super Bowls did Steve Young LOSE?

Young won one Super Bowl as a starter and two as a backup to Montana. Like Montana, he never tasted defeat in the NFL's biggest game.


Montana announced his retirement in 1995. What was his relationship with the 49ers like at the end of his career?

For a while, Montana was frustrated about the way he parted with the 49ers. But once his career was over, he was all smiles with the organization and they happily retired his number.


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