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Joe Montana: 1989 49ers would've beaten this year's team

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

In 1989, the San Francisco 49ers went 17-2 and won the Super Bowl. And Joe Montana thinks that team would beat up on this year's squad.

Asked before the NFL Honors show on Saturday about what would happen if the two teams squared off, Montana told NFL.com it "would be bad" for the 2012 49ers.

"That would be bad for this year's team," Montana said. "That was one of, I think, our more explosive teams all around, offensively and defensively. It would have been a good matchup, I think, but two different styles."

This is a really good 49ers team Jim Harbaugh's leading. It went 11-4-1 in the regular season and finished with the second-best defensive-points-allowed total in the league and the fourth-best point differential. Colin Kaepernick took over for Alex Smith just over halfway through the season, and the 49ers offense instantly became more explosive. Frank Gore is criminally underrated. Michael Crabtree developed into one of the game's better wideouts down the stretch. The defense features Justin Smith and Aldon Smith and the best linebacker pairing in the league in Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.

But the '89 Niners? That team was stacked, man. And it's not like Montana was ripping this team; NFL.com points out he was "quick to compliment" what Harbaugh's done.

The '89 team had Montana, with Steve Young backing him up. Sorry, Alex and Colin. Roger Craig ran for 1,000 yards and Jerry Rice is the G.O.A.T. Charles Haley and Ronnie Lott? Mercy.

Folks in San Francisco say '89 was the best team in franchise history. And as I recall, Young said in the 1994 49ers version of America's Game produced by NFL Films, Bill Walsh was conflicted about walking away after winning a title in 1988 because he believed he'd have the best team of his career coming up the next season.

There's a pretty good chance Montana would agree with that notion as well.

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