Young at the ESPN's broadcast set
for the 2009 NFL Draft
|Date of birth:||October 11, 1961|
|Place of birth:||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school:||Greenwich (CT)|
|Supplemental draft:||1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players / Round: 1|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame
Jon Steven "Steve" Young (born October 11, 1961) is a former professional American football quarterback who played 15 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Young played college football for Brigham Young University (BYU), and played professionally for the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League (USFL), and the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers. Young was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1992 and 1994, and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement, he had the highest passer rating among NFL quarterbacks with at least 1,500 passing attempts (96.8). As of October 2015, he is ranked fourth all-time, and is ranked highest amongst retired players. His 43 career rushing touchdowns is an NFL record among quarterbacks, while his 4,239 rushing yards ranks third all time. Young also won a record six NFL passer rating titles.
- Early years 1
- College career 2
Professional career 3
- USFL 3.1
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3.2.1
Trade to the San Francisco 49ers 3.3
- Montana's backup: 1987–1990 3.3.1
Montana out, Young in 3.4
- 1991 season 3.4.1
- 1992 season 3.4.2
- 1993 season 3.4.3
- 1994 Super Bowl season 3.4.4
- Later years and injuries 3.5
- Career Statistics 4
- Records and legacy 5
- Endorsements 6
- Acting 7
- Personal life 8
- Post-football 9
- Philanthropy 10
- See also 11
- References 12
- External links 13
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Young attended Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut. He earned 1978 All-FCIAC West Division First Team honors in his junior year, his first year starting at quarterback for the Cardinals, under head coach Mike Ornato. In 1979, he once again earned All-FCIAC West Division First Team honors, along with CIAC All-State honors, rushing for 13 touchdowns. In two seasons, he ran the ball 267 times for 1,928 yards. In the option offense run by Greenwich, passing was always the second option; he completed only 41 percent of his throws for 1,220 yards. On Thanksgiving Day in November 1979, Steve was Quarterback for Greenwich High School starting in the F.C.I.A.C (Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference) Championship Game. In that FCIAC game, Greenwich High lost to Darien High School, known for its "Tidal Wave Defense" by the score of 17-0. During his senior year he was co-captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. In basketball, he averaged 15 points a game. In baseball, he hit .384 and played center field when he wasn't pitching. He was 5-1 and threw a 3-0 no-hitter against New Canaan High School.
Because Young was such a great runner, he was heavily recruited by the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, which recognizes the nation's best collegiate quarterback each year. He also finished second in voting for the Heisman Trophy, behind Nebraska running back Mike Rozier. Young capped his college career by scoring the game-winning touchdown (he caught a halfback pass) in BYU's 21–17 victory over Missouri in the 1983 Holiday Bowl.
Young finished his college career with 592 pass completions for 7,733 yards and 56 touchdowns, along with 1,048 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground. He was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
Young signed a record 10-year, $40 million contract with the USFL's Los Angeles Expressin 1984. He agreed to take his payment in the form of an annuity to help the fledgling team; he would receive $40 million paid out over 40 years. It was reported that he would still be paid until 2027 because he insured the contract. However, in a 1985 article the Los Angeles Times stated that he received a $1.4 million settlement on the annuity.
At the time, it was another huge signing by the fledgling league, who had also succeeded in signing then-current Heisman Trophy winner, Rozier of Nebraska, as well as the previous winner, Herschel Walker. Despite being surrounded with some talent, such as future NFL players Jojo Townsell, Mel Gray, and Kevin Nelson, and making the playoffs in Young's first season, the Express was never able to create a sustaining fan base in Los Angeles. Young missed the first six games of his rookie season because he took some college classes so he could graduate on time. However, he started the final 12 games and had a decent year. His most notable accomplishment was becoming the first pro football player ever to pass for 300 yards and rush for another 100 in a single game.
In his second season with the Express, owner William Oldenburg went bankrupt, and was forced to turn the team over to the league after being unable to find a buyer. The 1985 season rapidly became a fiasco. Before one game, the team bus driver refused to drive the Express to the Coliseum after his paycheck bounced. Young contributed a lot of money, as did some of his teammates, and the driver got them to their game. Young then lined up in the tailback position and took snaps from the shotgun formation because the Express were left with no healthy running backs.
The league ceased operations in 1986 after losing most of its claims in an antitrust suit against the NFL.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Young signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1985 after being the first player selected in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players. However, the Buccaneers posted 2–14 records in each of Young's two seasons with them, and Young's record as starter was 3–16. In his 19 games, he threw for only 11 touchdowns with 21 interceptions while completing fewer than 55% of his passes. Although his time in Tampa Bay was miserable, San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh was impressed by Young's natural abilities and felt that his problems were due to the struggling Bucs organization.
Trade to the San Francisco 49ers
The Buccaneers selected University of Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde first overall in the 1987 NFL Draft because Young was deemed a bust. Young was traded to the San Francisco 49ers on April 24, 1987 to serve as a backup to Joe Montana. The Buccaneers received 2nd and 4th round draft picks in the trade, which they used to draft Miami linebacker Winston Moss, and Arizona State wide receiver Bruce Hill, respectively.
Montana's backup: 1987–1990
Young played behind Montana his first several years, but shined as a backup. Substituting for an injured Montana, early in the first quarter of a 1987 game against the Chicago Bears, he threw four touchdown passes in a 41–0 victory. In their 1987 divisional playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings, he replaced Montana in the second half after the team fell behind 27-10. The 49ers still lost the game, but Young had a fairly good performance with 12/17 completions for 158 yards and a touchdown, with one interception, while also leading San Francisco in rushing with 72 yards and a touchdown on six carries. On October 30, 1988, Young ran through the Minnesota Vikings for a 49-yard, game-winning touchdown run. He started the game out with a 73-yard touchdown pass to John Taylor, after Montana went down with an injury. The play earned the 49ers a 24–21 victory and a bit of revenge on the Vikings for their previous season's playoff loss.
In 1989, he displayed his potential to become the team's starter in the future. While Montana won the NFL MVP award and led the team to victory in Super Bowl XXIV, Young still had a good season, completing 69% of his passes for 1,001 yards and eight touchdowns, with only three interceptions. On October 22, 1989, he posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when he completed 11 of 12 passes for 188 yards and three touchdown passes in a 37–20 victory over the New England Patriots. In his four seasons as a backup, Young had thrown 23 touchdown passes and only six interceptions.
He rushed for a career high 102 yards on just eight carries vs. the New Orleans Saints on December 23, 1990, making him only the second 49ers quarterback to rush for at least 100 yards in a single game. The 49ers lost the game 13-10.
Montana out, Young in
Young finished the season with an NFL best 101.8 passer rating. Despite missing five full games and most of a sixth, he still threw for 2,517 yards and 17 touchdowns with only 8 interceptions. But despite Young's strong season, the season for the team was widely regarded as a disappointment. The 49ers had slipped from a 14–2 record in the previous season to a 10–6 record in 1991. While 10 wins is usually enough to make the playoffs, this time it was not, and San Francisco ended up not playing in the postseason for the first time since 1982. It was thought by many that Young's days as the 49ers starter were numbered due to the impending return of Montana from the injury to his right elbow, and some observers said the 49ers should trade Young and keep Montana and Bono. However, none of that happened.
By the start of the 1992 season, it appeared that Young's starting job was in serious peril. In addition to having to compete with Bono, Montana appeared to be close to recovering from his elbow tendon surgery. San Francisco came close to trading Young to the Los Angeles Raiders, but no deal was finalized and it turned out that Montana would not recover in time to start in the opening game. Montana would not return until the final game of the 1992 season, a Monday Night home game against the Detroit Lions. Montana played the entire second half and guided the 49ers to victory.
Young ended up as San Francisco's starting quarterback, but once again got off to a rough start. On the fifth play of the opening game at the Giants, he suffered a concussion and was replaced by Bono, who threw two touchdown passes while leading the 49ers to a 31–14 win. The following week, San Francisco lost 34–31 to the Buffalo Bills, despite a career high 449 passing yards and three touchdowns from Young, in a game that for the first time in NFL history there were zero punts from either team.
Young recovered and led the 49ers on a five-game winning streak, capped off by a 56-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons in which Young passed for 399 yards and three touchdowns. After missing most of the next game (a 24-14 loss to the Cardinals) with the flu, he led San Francisco to victory in all of their remaining games of the season, giving the team a 14–2 record. He went on to throw for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns, and rush for 73 yards, in a 20–13 divisional playoff win over the Washington Redskins. The 49ers lost the NFC title game, however, 30–20 against the eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys. Young threw for 313 yards, completing 71.4% of his passes while passing for one touchdown and rushing for another. He also threw two interceptions, but the final one came with the outcome of the game already decided.
Young finished the season with 3,465 passing yards and 537 rushing yards, along with an NFL best 25 touchdown passes and 107.0 passer rating, earning him the NFL Most Valuable Player Award and his first selection to the Pro Bowl. He was the first quarterback ever to record a triple digit rating in consecutive seasons. Many credit Young's turnaround to the arrival of then 49ers Offensive Coordinator Mike Shanahan, who mentored Young just as he would mentor John Elway in the years to come. Shanahan worked with Young on combining his running skill with on-the-move passing decisions.
Before the start of the 1993 season, team owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. announced that he wanted Montana to resume his role as starting quarterback for the 49ers. However, a rift in the locker room had developed, with players split on whom they wanted at quarterback. In the spring of 1993, at Montana's request, San Francisco traded Montana to the Kansas City Chiefs. Young was now the 49ers' undisputed starter, and would remain so for the rest of his career. But once again, he had a rough start to the season. Over the first four games of 1993, Young, who was hindered by a swollen thumb on his throwing hand, threw eight interceptions, more than he had thrown during the entire 1992 season. But after his thumb healed, Young went on an incredible streak over a span of seven games, throwing 16 touchdown passes with only 2 interceptions and a 122.2 passer rating. By the end of the year, Young set franchise records for most passing yards (4,023), and consecutive passes thrown without an interception (189), (later eclipsed by Alex Smith in 2012) while leading the NFL in touchdown passes (29) and passer rating (101.5). The team slipped to a 10–6 record, but advanced to the NFC championship game again by blowing out the New York Giants 44–3 in the divisional round. However, once again they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, this time 38–21.
1994 Super Bowl season
After several key free agent signings including All-Pro cornerback
|Awards and achievements|
Richard J. Giusto
Charles F. Kiraly
David R. Rimington
NCAA Top Five Award
Class of 1984
John E. Frank
Terrell L. Hoage
Stefan G. Humphries
Mark J. Traynowicz
Susan E. Walsh
- Steve Young at the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Steve Young at the College Football Hall of Fame
- Forever Young Foundation
- Career statistics and player information from NFL.com • Pro-Football-Reference • Databasefootball.com
- Steve Young at the Internet Movie Database
- Steve Young
- Steve Young Will Make $1 Million in 2014 from USFL Deal Signed in 1984
- USFL Confirms Young Is Highest-Paid Player at $2.4 Million a Year, Los Angeles Times, Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- New Orleans Saints 13 at San Francisco 49ers 10 pro-football.reference.com
- "SI.com". CNN.
- Broncos in pursuit of a Young gun
- Use Your Head, Brian: Be Smart and Walk Away Now
- "League of Denial" extended interviewFrontline
- "Steve Young's NCAA Division I-A records".
- "NFL Records", pro-football-reference.com
- "Steve Young career highlights", ESPN.com
- "All-time 100-point passers", Pro Football Hall of Fame
- "NFL Playoff Records: Individual - Passing", NFL.com
- "Steve Young - Pro Football Hall of Fame", Pro Football Hall of Fame
- "Player Game Finder Query Results", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- 49ers to Retire Steve Young's Jersey
- IMDb entry for Steve Young
- "Don’t Forget: ‘There’s Something About Mary’". Yahoo.com. February 23, 2011.
- Krakauer, John. "Under The Banner of Heaven" pg. 203
- "Brigham Young University (Clark)," US News & World Report, accessed 23 November 2013.
- Leiber, Ron (10 September 2011). "Your Money: inancial essons from Sports Stars' Mistakes". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "Steve Young Speaker, Steve Young Appearance, Steve Young Endorsement". Premiere Athlete & Celebrity. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- BYU Real Cougar 2 – Jimmered!. YouTube (Brigham Young University). September 9, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- Sixteen Celebrities Join Together Promoting a Life Changing Cause
- "Forever Young Foundation", Condé Nast Portfolio.com.
- "Sports Commission, Forever Young Foundation join forces for Chelsea Cohen Courage Award", StamfordPlus.com, July 29, 2008.
- "Best Shot Foundation". Retrieved 21 April 2011.
- "Steve Young: Honorary League Commissioner". Retrieved 21 April 2011.
- List of most career 300-yard passing games in the NFL
- List of NFL quarterbacks who have passed for 400 or more yards in a game
- List of NFL quarterbacks who have posted a perfect passer rating
- Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame
- List of college football yearly passing leaders
 an organization founded by former Save Darfur Coalition executive director and founder,  Young also serves as the National Spokesman for the Best Shot Foundation,
In 1993, Young founded a charitable foundation known as the Forever Young Foundation, which serves children facing significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges by providing academic, athletic, and therapeutic opportunities otherwise unavailable to them.
 Young serves as a National Advisor to
- Young: I love BYU so much I even got my law degree here.
- Cougar: (growls)
- Young: Lawyers... I know.
Young was one of several notable BYU athletes and coaches who appeared in the school's 2011 "Real Cougar" advertising campaign, which featured the individuals telling an actual cougar about being a "real cougar." In one of the ads, Young poked fun at himself:
Young spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2000, leading some to speculate that he might be interested in entering politics in the future.
He has also maintained involvement with football. He is seen on the pre- and post-game shows for ESPN's Monday Night Football, formerly hosted by Stuart Scott, along with Trent Dilfer and Ray Lewis. He also co-hosts a radio show on KNBR at 5 pm on Wednesdays during football season along with The Razor and Mr. T, Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert.
When Salt Lake City was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympics in 1995, Young was the first volunteer to help publicize the event. During the 2002 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, Young carried the placard for Great Britain. Additionally, Young was among the contingent at Salt Lake City in February 1998 to receive the Olympic Flag after the 1998 Winter Olympics closed in Nagano, Japan at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Young serves as a managing director of Huntsman Gay Global Capital after being involved in business ventures with this private equity firm founded by billionaire industrialist Jon M. Huntsman and former Bain Capital executive Robert C. Gay, also a co-founder of Sorenson Capital, in Lehi, Utah. Young also sat on the board of Foundry Networks before it was acquired by Brocade Communications Systems in 2008.
Young received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Utah Valley University (then Utah Valley State College) for speaking at its graduation ceremonies in 2005.
Young is a great-great-great-grandson of Brigham Young, second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for whom BYU is named. His father, LeGrande "Grit" Young, played football at BYU in the late 1950s. He led the school in scoring in 1955 and in rushing and total offense in 1959. Steve Young's younger brothers, Mike and Tom, both played quarterback at BYU after Steve, but neither received much playing time.
Young appeared in one episode of Frasier and one episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (cast as Lois' former high school football quarterback boyfriend, Joe Maloy). He also made a guest appearance as himself in the Dharma & Greg episode "Are You Ready for Some Football?" encouraging Dharma, the team's Number One Fan. In 1995, Young appeared as himself in the Season 6, Episode 12 episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. He also made cameo appearances in the Mormon comedy The Singles Ward (2002) and in a season 5 episode of BYUtv's Studio C (2014).
He is also the star and voiceover talent of the iOS game "Steve Young Football".
He appeared in the football video game All-Pro Football 2K8, along with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.
He appeared in All Sport, Visa, and Gatorade commercials with Jerry Rice while the two played for the 49ers. His 1988 scramble against the Minnesota Vikings was featured in a 2006 Burger King commercial with the Burger King "King" digitally superimposed over the young quarterback.
The San Francisco 49ers had his #8 jersey retired during a halftime ceremony against the New England Patriots on October 5, 2008. He was the 11th player in team history to receive this honor.
A left-handed thrower, Young was famous for his ability to "scramble" away from the pass rush. In 1999, he was ranked #63 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. Young was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on February 5, 2005; he was the first left-handed quarterback to be so honored. He was enshrined August 7, 2005. His induction speech was given by his father, LeGrande "Grit" Young.
- Third-Highest Passer Rating, Career - 96.8
- Highest Passer Rating, Career, Retired Players - 96.8
- Most Rushing Touchdowns by a QB, Career - 43
- Most Passing Titles, Career - 6 (tied w/Sammy Baugh)
- Most Consecutive Passing Titles - 4 (1991–94)
- Most Seasons With a Passer Rating Over 100, Career - 6 (1991–94, 1997–98)
- One of 6 QB's to lead the league in touchdown passes 4 times (tied w/Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Len Dawson)
- Most Passes Attempted, Playoff Game - 65 vs. Green Bay, 1995
- Most TD Passes, Playoff Game - 6 (tied w/Daryle Lamonica & Tom Brady)
- Most TD Passes in one Super Bowl - 6
- Most Rushing Yards by a QB, Postseason Career - 594
- Most Rushing Touchdowns by a QB, Postseason Career - 8
- Second most career passing yards amongst left-handed QB's (behind Boomer Esiason).
- First Super Bowl MVP to be the leading QB and leading rusher in a Super Bowl. (Rushed for 49 yards)
National Football League records:
- Highest Completion Percentage (20+ Atts) (Game):Vs Det. (10/20/91), 90.0
- Most Average Yards Per Attempt (20+ Atts) (Game): Vs Det. (12/19/93), 15.39
- Most Touchdown Passes (Season): 36 (1998)
- Best Completion Percentage (Season): 70.3 (1994)
- Best QB Rating (Season): 112.8 (1994)
- Most 300 Yard Passing Games (Season): 7 (1998)
- Best QB Rating (Career): 101.4
- Most Average Yards Per Attempt (Career): 8.20
- Most Consecutive Games With A Touchdown Pass: 18, At Det. (10/9/94) To Vs StL (11/26/95) Note: (DNP In 5 Games In 1995)
- Best Completion Percentage (Career): 65.8
- Most Rushing Touchdowns By A QB (Career): 43
- Most consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass - 22 games
- Most consecutive games gained 200 yards or more, career - 22
- Most completions, one season - 308
- Highest completion percentage, one season [minimum 300 attempts] - 70.3 percent
- Highest completion percentage, career [minimum 400 attempts] - 64.3 percent
- Most consecutive completions, one game - 18
- Most consecutive completions - 22
- Most games gained 200 yards or more, one season - 11 (tied with others)
- Most consecutive games gained 200 yards or more, one season - 11 (tied with others)
- Most career games gaining 300 yards or more - 182
- Most average yards gained per game, one season - 395.09 yards
- Most average yards gained per game, career - 284.42 yards
- Highest average gain per play, career [minimum 6,500 yards] - 7.5 yards
- Most seasons gained 3,000 yards or more - 2 (tied with others)
College NCAA Division I records:
Records and legacy
Although he did not become the 49ers' starter until his 8th NFL season, and he played a full season only three times during his 15-year career, Young compiled impressive career numbers. He completed 2,667 of 4,149 passes for 33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns, with 107 interceptions, and 43 rushing touchdowns. His 96.8 career passer rating is the fourth highest in NFL history and highest amongst retired players; his 4,239 rushing yards are the third most ever gained by a quarterback, behind Michael Vick and Randall Cunningham. He was the NFL's top rated passer in six different seasons and led the league in touchdown passes four times. In 20 postseason games, he threw 20 touchdown passes with only 13 interceptions, and scored 8 touchdowns on the ground. In his stint with the San Francisco 49ers, Young passed for 29,907 yards, 221 touchdowns, and 86 interceptions, with a passer rating of 101.4, highest in franchise history. He was also sacked 290 times, also most in franchise history.
The 1999 season would turn out to be Steve Young's last. Young was plagued by concussions throughout his career. During a Week 3 Monday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Young was violently sacked by Cardinals' cornerback Aeneas Williams due to a missed blocking assignment by 49ers' running back Lawrence Phillips. Young was knocked out of the game with a concussion, and didn't return again for the rest of the season due to symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. The concussion he suffered against the Cardinals was reportedly his second in a season that was only three weeks old, and the seventh (at least) of his career. Young was forced to retire at the end of the year; the team informed him that he would be released if he did not retire. Although Young was offered a job as the Broncos starting quarterback, he retired because of his repeated concussions. In a 2013 Frontline interview, Young said that, partially based upon their own experiences, he and many retired players are increasingly concerned about repeated concussions and subconcussive hits. He is particularly concerned about certain positions that take frequent hits, such as running backs and linemen.
In the three years following Super Bowl XXIX, the 49ers would be eliminated each year by Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers, twice in San Francisco. In addition to the early playoff exits, Young suffered a series of injuries that forced him to miss several games from 1995 to 1997. Young entered the 1998 season at age 37 and some began to wonder if his skills would diminish because of his history of injuries and a general decline in his game due to age. However he silenced all critics once again, putting up career numbers in passing yards (4,170) and passing touchdowns (36). He finally beat Favre and the Packers in the NFC wild card game that year, as he threw the winning touchdown to wide receiver Terrell Owens with three seconds remaining to win the game 30–27. In reference to Dwight Clark's legendary catch against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC championship game, Owens' grab was called "The Catch II." A week later, however, Garrison Hearst broke his ankle on the 49ers first play from scrimmage. Without the threat of a running game, Young threw three interceptions (the last one a Hail Mary pass with under 30 seconds remaining in the game) and the 49ers were defeated by the Atlanta Falcons 20-18. Over that span of seasons from 1995 to 1998, Young led the NFL in passer rating twice (in 1996 and 1997), and led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes in 1998.
Later years and injuries
The victory capped off an incredible year for Young, who had one of the best seasons by a quarterback in NFL history. He threw for 3,969 yards, a then-franchise record 35 touchdown passes with only 10 interceptions, completed an 70.28 percent of his passes—the highest completion percentage of the 1990s, third all-time, and at the time, the best completion percentage by any quarterback with more than 400 attempts (later eclipsed by Drew Brees in 2009). Additionally, Young broke Joe Montana's single season mark with a then-record 112.8 passer rating, and also once again demonstrated his great scrambling ability, accumulating another 289 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground. For his record-breaking season performances, Young was awarded his second AP NFL MVP award, becoming the 6th player in NFL history to win both league and Super Bowl MVP honors in the same season.
On the strength of a six touchdown performance that surpassed the previous Super Bowl record of five, owned by the man Young replaced, Joe Montana, Steve Young was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX, as the 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers, 49-26. Young also threw for 325 yards and rushed for 49 yards, making him the first player ever to finish a Super Bowl as the game's leader in both rushing and passing yards.
After an easy 44-15 victory over the Chicago Bears in the divisional round of the playoffs, the 49ers jumped out to a 31-14 halftime lead over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game, holding on to win 38-28. Young threw for two touchdowns, while adding 47 yards and another touchdown on the ground. As a result, he would head to his first Super Bowl as a starting quarterback. The 49ers were heavy favorites to become the first team with five Super Bowl victories.
But the game was considered a turning point in the season; from there, Young led the team to 10 consecutive wins, by an average of 20 points, before losing the meaningless finale against the Vikings in which Young completed his first 12 of 13 attempts before going to the sidelines. They finished an NFL best 13–3, securing home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The 49ers had the number one offense in the NFL, and were so dominant that Seifert often took Young out of games early if he felt that the 49ers had an insurmountable lead at the time.
"Is this great or what? I mean, I haven't thrown six touchdown passes in a game in my life. Then I throw six in the Super Bowl! Unbelievable."