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Super Bowl XIX featured the number one offense in the AFC and NFL in the Miami Dolphins against the number one defense of the NFC and NFL, the San Francisco 49ers, also the second best offense in the National Football League. Each team had a future Hall of Fame quarterback, Miami's Dan Marino, who would go on to rewrite the record books for career completions, passing yards and touchdown passes as well as numerous other offensive milestones, and San Francisco's Joe Montana, golden boy out of the University of Notre Dame who would go on to win four league titles and three Super Bowl MVP awards including his second in Super Bowl XIX. Marino was the unanimous NFL MVP after throwing for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns, 20 more than his opponent Montana. Miami returned to the big game, just two years removed from the thrashing they took at the hands of the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl, but now sporting a more offensive minded corps behind the young gun slinging Marino, deep threats in wide receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton and Woody Bennett and Tony Nathan coming out of the backfield. The Dolphins took a 14-2 record into the playoff where they beat the Seattle Seahawks 31-10 in the Divisional Playoff and then pounded the Pittsburgh Steelers 45-28 in the AFC Conference Championship Game. The 49ers, on the other hand, were making their third appearance in the Super Bowl in eight years and carried and NFL-best record of 16-1 into the playoffs, the best record since the Super Bowl XI champion Oakland Raiders went 16-1 for a 14-game schedule in 1976. The Niners defense shined in the playoff allowing only ten points as they beat the New York Giants 21-10 in the Divisional Playoff and then hammered the Chicago Bears 23-0 in the NFC Conference Championship.
Super Bowl XIX took place on January 20, 1985 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California, the first time the Super Bowl was played at this venue and the fourth time the game was played at a college stadium. The coin toss was handled via satellite from the White House as President Ronald Reagan in honor of his inauguration that took place earlier that day in a private ceremony. (The public inauguration occurred the following day.) Despite the Dolphins beginning the scoring with a 37-yard field goal from kicker Uwe von Schamann on their first possession, the 49ers offense came fast and came often, coming right back on the next drive with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Montana to Carl Monroe to take the lead 7-3. Marino hit tight end Dan Johnson with a 2-yard touchdown pass to close out the first half scoring giving Miami the 10-7 lead. It was the last time the Dolphins would reach the end zone for the rest of the day. At the start of the second quarter, Montana hit running back Roger Craig with an 8-yard TD pass, a 2-yard TD pass and scored a touchdown on a 6-yard rushing play to put the score at 28-10 in favor of San Francisco. Von Schamann kicked two field goals, 31 and 30 yards, to cut the score to 28-16 and end the Miami and first half scoring. The second half became a defensive beating given by the 49ers as they sacked Dan Marino three times, four times during the game for a loss of 29 yards, and stopped all Miami drives. Niners kicker Ray Wersching kicked a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter and Roger Craig scored for the third time on a 16-yard rush to cap off the scoring at 38-16. Craig was the first player in Super Bowl history to score three touchdowns in a Super Bowl. The 49ers obliterated the previous record of 429 total yards set by the Oakland Raiders with an exceptional 537 yards while limiting the Dolphins to only 314 yards. Montana went 24-for-35 for 331 passing yards and three touchdowns to earn his second Super Bowl MVP award.