Super Bowl XVI

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Super Bowl XVI was an American football game played on January 24, 1982, at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit) to decide the National Football League champion following the 1981 regular season. It marked the first time that a Super Bowl was held at a cold-weather city. The domed stadium saved the crowd at the game from the very cold and snowy weather, but the weather did affect traffic and other logistical issues related to the game. Icy roads and a windchill well below zero caused the 49ers motorcade to be delayed out on the slippery roads before they finally made it to the Silverdome, although no one was hurt and the team made it there with plenty of time before kickoff.

The National Football Conference NFC champion San Francisco 49ers (16-3) defeated the American Football Conference AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals (14-5), 26-21. Although the Bengals gained 356 yards of total offense to the 49ers' 275, San Francisco forced 5 turnovers and jumped to a 20-0 lead by halftime. This marked the first time in Super Bowl history that the team which compiled the most yards and touchdowns lost.

49ers quarterback Joe Montana was named the Super Bowl MVP, completing 14 of 22 passes for 157 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 18 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Contents

Background

San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco finished the regular season with a league-best 13-3 record. The 49ers' success surprised many because they finished with a 6-10 record during the previous season, and a 2-14 record before that. A major reason for the team's improvement was the emergence of their young quarterback Joe Montana. In just his third season in the league, Montana completed 311 out of 488 passes (a 63.7 completion percentage) for 3,565 yards and 19 touchdowns. His favorite targets were receivers Dwight Clark (85 receptions, 1,104 yards, and 4 touchdowns) and Freddie Solomon (59 receptions, 969 yards, and 8 touchdowns). Running back Ricky Patton was the top rusher on the team with 543 yards and 4 touchdowns, while also catching 27 passes for 195 yards. Multi-talented running back Earl Cooper also provided the team with a good running and receiving threat, rushing for 330 yards and catching 51 passes for 477 yards. Much of San Francisco's success was aided by their offensive line, which featured Dan Audick (LT), John Ayers (LG), Fred Quillan (C), Randy Cross (RG), and Keith Fahnhorst (RT).

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