Vikings Beat 49ers, Win Title : Pro football: S.F.’s 10-game streak halted, 21-14, as Young, Rice score early, then leave.

From Associated Press

Only the Minnesota Vikings had something to gain from Monday night’s final regular-season game, and they got what they needed--a tough defensive performance and the NFC Central championship.

Rookie Dewayne Washington returned a fumble for a touchdown and John Randle had two of the Vikings’ three sacks in a 21-14 victory over San Francisco, snapping the 49ers’ 10-game winning streak.

“It feels great,” Viking cornerback Anthony Parker said. “We wanted to win the Central Division, that’s the bottom line. But we let it slip away from us too many times, and it was important for us to finally get it.”


The Vikings (10-6), who won with Sean Salisbury at quarterback instead of the injured Warren Moon, will play host to the Chicago Bears in a playoff game Sunday.

The 49ers (13-3) were already assured of the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, causing Coach George Seifert to give many regulars extra time off.

Quarterback Steve Young and receiver Jerry Rice left the game after connecting on a six-yard touchdown pass that tied the score, 7-7, on the second play of the second quarter.

“We like to run, we’re like thoroughbreds, and when George pulls the reins in, guys are ticked,” said Young, who still set two NFL records. “Guys don’t want to be held back, but we understand. We’ll get mad and take it out on the next opponent.”

Young surpassed Joe Montana’s passer rating of 112.4, set in 1989, with a 112.8. Young also broke Ken Anderson’s NFL record for completions of 70.55%, set in 1982, with a 70.7%, connecting on 325 of 460.

Young completed 12 of 13 passes before leaving. His 35 touchdown passes broke Montana’s team record of 31.


Rice caught four passes to move into second place behind Art Monk on the NFL all-time list with 820, one ahead of Steve Largent.

Young and Rice were the first 49ers to leave.

Rice agreed with Young’s assessment that it was hard to leave.

“That’s why I hate games like this,” Rice said. “I felt I was just getting into a groove.”


Passing Fancies

The NFL’s all-time top 10 passing efficiency ratings for a season.

Player Team Year Rtng Steve Young S.F. 1994 112.8 Joe Montana S.F. 1989 112.4 Dan Marino Miami 1984 108.9 Steve Young S.F. 1992 107.0 Ken Stabler Oak. 1976 103.4 Joe Montana S.F. 1984 102.9 Bert Jones Balt. 1976 102.6 Joe Montana S.F. 1987 102.1 Steve Young S.F. 1991 101.8 Steve Young S.F. 1993 101.5


Receiving End

The NFL’s all-time reception leaders for a season:

Player Team Year Rec. Yds TD Cris Carter Minn. 1994 122 1,256 7 Jerry Rice S.F. 1994 112 1,499 13 Sterling Sharpe G.B. 1993 112 1,274 11 Terance Mathis Atl. 1994 111 1,342 11 Sterling Sharpe G.B. 1992 108 1,461 13 Art Monk Wash. 1984 106 1,372 7 Charley Hennigan Hou. 1964 101 1,546 8 Lionel Taylor Den. 1961 100 1,176 4 Jerry Rice S.F. 1990 100 1,502 13 Haywood Jeffires Hou. 1991 100 1,181 7