How and Why: Joe Montana is still the king of the quarterbacks

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LAST Monday night at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Joe Montana demonstrated why he is regarded as the best quarterback in American football history. The 38-year-old Montana, who led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl victories, is now quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs and, with only 1min 29sec of their game at Denver remaining, the Chiefs had just gone 28-24 behind. Nine plays later and, with eight seconds left on the game clock, Montana had driven his team 75 yards up the field for a touchdown to secure an astonishing 31-28 victory. 'I can't remember when an opposing quarterback did that against our team,' Montana's opposite number, John Elway, said.

'But Joe's a class act. He's done it his whole career.' These were the critical plays. . .

1. Second play of drive The Chiefs' drive had begun with a 7-yard gain, thanks to a Montana lateral pass to the running back Marcus Allen (32). On the next play, facing second down and three, the Broncos expected a passing play. However, Montana handed the ball on to Allen, who found plenty of space towards the right and was able to make 11 yards, claim a first down, and keep the drive alive.

2. Eighth play Twenty seconds remained, and the Chiefs had driven to the Broncos' 24-yard line. Instead of passing towards the sideline, allowing one of his receivers to get out of bounds and thus stop the clock, Montana stepped back under no pressure and threw the ball over the top to his tight end Tracy Greene (82).

Greene was pulled down at the six-yard line, and the Chiefs took their last time-out with 13 seconds on the game clock.

3. Ninth play, touchdown pass First down and goal at the six-yard line. Again under little pressure from the Broncos' defense, Montana steps back a dozen yards into the 'pocket' and quickly weighs up the options. The wide receiver Willie Davis (84) breaks for the end zone, then darts to the right and takes Montana's beautifully-judged pass close to the corner to squeeze in for the game-winning touchdown.

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