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How Many Championship Rings Does Joe Montana Have?

Written by: Richard Janvrin
Published August 22, 2023
8 min read

For modern NFL fans, we know Tom Brady to be the best NFL player and quarterback ever to live, but before Brady, there was Joe Montana, the legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback who has four Super bowl rings.

During the 1980s, Montana and the 49ers were a dominant force in the NFL, simply wiping out most teams in their path. 

As Montana’s career progressed, he went from having Dwight Clark and Roger Craig as his go-to weapon to Jerry Rice. Rice is easily considered one of the best receivers of all time. 

Here, we’ll look back on Montana’s fantastic career and remember the player who was considered the best to play before Brady's reign. 

Joe Montana NFL Championship Rings

1981-82: San Francisco 49ers

After getting selected in the third round a few years earlier out of Notre Dame, Montana, the 49ers hit their stride, making it to their first Super Bowl together during the 1981-82 season. That year, Montana finished second in MVP voting, throwing 19 touchdowns in his first season as a starter. 

The team battled the Ken Anderson-led Cincinnati Bengals victorious, 26-21. 

In the game, Montana completed 14 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown and added another on the ground. His rushing touchdown was the first score of the game, and his lone passing touchdown came after that, an 11-yard pass to Earl Cooper. 

The 49ers had a 20-0 lead at one point, but the Bengals stormed back, trimming the lead to 20-14. The Bengals couldn’t catch back up from there as the 49ers held them in check. 

1984-85: San Francisco 49ers

Here it was. 

Joe Montana.

Dan Marino.

The 49ers. 

The Dolphins. 

This game was set to be legendary as Montana, with one Super Bowl under his belt, took on one of the most purely talented quarterbacks ever in Marino. 

This Super Bowl came just before the team drafted Rice, but he still had Clark. 

The game started with a 3-0 Dolphins lead, and after the first quarter, the Dolphins led 10-7. 

After that first quarter, the Dolphins never came close to having a lead again. Montana threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns while adding 59 rushing yards and a touchdown. He hit Clark for six receptions and 77 yards, while Craig had seven receptions for 77 yards and two scores. 

The 49ers, trailing 10-7 after the first quarter, went on to win 38-16. 

1988-89: San Francisco 49ers

The Montana/Rice era was in full effect as the 49ers battled the Bengals again. This time, the Bengals had an offense led by Boomer Esiason, and he had Cris Collinsworth as one of his receivers. 

For the first three quarters, the 49ers and Bengals exchanged field goals, tied 6-6 before Bengals return man Stanford Jennings had a 93-yard kick-off return. 

Based on how the game had gone to that point, that looked like the nail in the coffin.

Well, not so fast for Joe “Cool” Montana. 

In the fourth quarter, the Bengals got another field, but the 49ers scored two touchdowns—one pass to Rice and the other to John Taylor. 

The Taylor touchdown came toward the game’s end, giving the 49ers the 20-16 lead.

Montana finished with 357 passing yards and two touchdowns. Rice caught 11 balls for a massive 215 yards and the lone score.

This was an exciting finish for Montana’s third ring. 

1989-90: San Francisco 49ers

As Montana’s career with the 49ers was winding down—he left after 1992—he had another Super Bowl in him, this time against the Denver Broncos. 

Folks, when we tell you this game wasn’t close, we’re talking even more lopsided than the Broncos and Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl from the 2013-14 season.

The 49ers beat the Broncos here 55-10. 

Montana was electric, completing 22 of 29 passes. He had 297 passing yards, five touchdowns, and 15 rushing yards. Rice caught seven of his completions for 148 yards and three scores. 

The Broncos never led in the game and only scored in the first and third quarters. 

The 49ers dominance was on full display here. 

Comparing Montana’s Rings to the Winningest Players in NFL History

With four Super Bowl titles, Montana is in elite company. If not for Charles Haley, he’d be tied for second all-time, but instead, he’s up there with many of the greats, as you’ll see in the chart below. 

PlayerNo. of RingsYears WonTeams Won With

Tom Brady

7

2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021

New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Charles Haley

5

1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996

San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys

Ted Hendricks

4

1971, 1977, 1981, 1984

Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Raiders

Marv Fleming

4

1967, 1968, 1973, 1974

Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins

Matt Millen

4

1981, 1984, 1990, 1991

Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins

Bill Romanowski

4

1989, 1990, 1998, 1999

San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos

Adam Vinatieri

4

2002, 2004, 2005, 2007

New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts

Keena Turner

4

1982, 1985, 1989, 1990

San Francisco 49ers

Eric Wright

4

1982, 1985, 1989, 1990

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Conference Championship Appearances Compared to NFL Legends

With four Super Bowl wins, we can already confirm Montana appeared in four Conference Championship games. However, there were three more he was in that resulted in losses, bringing his total to seven.

In Conference Championship games, Montana is 4-3 with 1,731 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

Six of these games came with the 49ers, with the other coming during his brief stint with the Kansas City Chiefs when they lost to the Buffalo Bills in 1994. 

There’s just one play that has more Conference Championship appearances than Montana. 

PlayerFinals AppearancesWinning PercentageYears Appeared in FinalsTeams Appeared With

Tom Brady

14

.714

2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021

New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Steve Young

7

.429

1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998

San Francisco 49ers

Roger Staubach

7

.714

1971, 1972 (2 appearances same year), 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979

Dallas Cowboys

John Elway

6

.833

1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1998, 1999

Denver Broncos

Terry Bradshaw

6

.667

1972, 1974, 1976 (2 appearances same year), 1979, 1980

Pittsburgh Steelers

Aaron Rodgers

5

.200

2008, 2011, 2015, 5017, 2020, 2021

Green Bay Packers

Patrick Mahomes

5

.600

2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

Kansas City Chiefs

Ben Roethlisberger

5

.600

2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers

Donovan McNabb

5

.200

2002, 20223, 2004, 2005, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles

Brett Favre

5

.400

1996, 1997, 1998, 2008, 2010

Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings

Joe Montana Championship Rings FAQ

How Does Joe Montana Compare to Tom Brady in Terms of Championship Rings?

Will Joe Montana Win More Championships in the Future?

How Does Joe Montana’s Championship Count Compare to Other Contemporary NFL Stars?

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AUTHOR

Richard Janvrin

575 Articles

After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.

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