Montana, Joe (Joseph Clifford Montana) mŏntăn´ə [key], 1956–, American football player, b. New Eagle, Pa. After playing at Notre Dame Univ., he starred (1979–93) for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League, before moving (1993–95) to the Kansas City Chiefs. Montana came to be regarded as the greatest quarterback in NFL history and was known especially for his collaboration with such receivers as Jerry Rice . He had at the time of his retirement the second highest pass completion rate on record (63.2%); his records included 5 consecutive games with over 300 yards passing (1982) and 22 consecutive completed passes (1987). Noted for driving his team to fourth-quarter come-from-behind wins, he led San Francisco to four NFL championships and was the most valuable player in the Super Bowls of 1982, 1985, and 1990. In 1989 and 1990 he was the NFL's most valuable player.
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