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Steve Young named Super Bowl MVP

By IAN LOVE UPI Sports Editor

MIAMI, Jan. 29 -- San Francisco quarterback Steve Young took another lofty step toward entering 49er lore with an MVP performance Sunday in Super Bowl XXIX. Young led the 49ers to a 49-26 triumph over the San Diego Chargers and in the process earned the Most Valuable Player award. Young's performance was masterful, completing 24 of 36 passes for 325 yards and a Super Bowl-record six touchdowns. In addition, he scrambled for a game-best 49 yards. 'Under the circumstances, with what it meant and everything else, it has to be (my best game),' Young said. 'It was the kind of performance under the pressure of the Super Bowl that you have to feel very good about, so I'll always remember this.' Young took control of the game from the start, engineering scoring drives on San Francisco's first three possessions. He provided two quick scoring strikes of 44 yards to Jerry Rice and 51 yards to Ricky Watters within the first five minutes. Those drives effectively sent San Diego's Super Bowl dreams out to sea. However, the Chargers countered with a TD to pull within 14-7, only to have Young send them further adrift. He produced a 10-play, 70-yard drive to build the San Francisco cushion back to 14 and Chargers were never to get closer. 'I can't describe the feeling,' Young said while clutching the Super Bowl trophy. 'You get to share it with all the guys.' In Young's four seasons with San Francisco he has constantly been saddled with comparisons to the Bay Area's beloved Joe Montana, who has four Super Bowl triumphs in his arsenal.

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'The way he played, he's got to be considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time,' San Francisco coach George Seifert said. 'Joe Montana was a phenomenal quarterback and Steve Young was talented enough and worked hard enough to sustain what he accomplished.' Young said: 'The critics and skeptics continue to backpedal. I had to backpedal pretty fast because they still had this game to fall back on. It's nice to put that away because it's really the ultimate experience as a football player.' Young, a 10-year veteran, has indeed left an indelible mark this season and throughout the postseason. He set a league-record with a 112. 8 quarterback rating and also earned league passing honors a record fourth straight year. In leading San Francisco to a league-best 13-3 mark, he set team records with 35 TDs and a 70.2 completion percentage. 'He's the best ever,' said linebacker Ken Norton Jr., who saw Young operate as an opponent when he was with Dallas before joining the 49ers this season. 'If there's anybody better, we haven't seen him yet. 'He makes all the right decisions, he throws the ball so well, has great touch, the fact he can run with the ball really puts a special threat against a defense.' In the postseason, the Young-led 49ers went 3-0 and set a record with 131 points. They also ended the Dallas Super Bowl juggernaut in the NFC Championship game, before crushing San Diego in the final Super Bowl in the XX's. 'Steve has been phenomenal all season,' Seifert said. 'I think he has freed himself emotionally.He has that much better of a sense of our offense and opposing defenses. He's just maturing with each ballgame and each season he just gets better.' Young said: 'I wish everyone who ever played football can feel this feeling. It's just a wonderful feeling. I wish this on everybody. To score that many points in the postseason, we have made our mark. I believe we have put together a string that we would like to believe might not be matched.'

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