Montana strikes back with first 400-yard game

Updated: October 14, 2005, 10:57 AM ET
By Larry Schwartz | Special to ESPN.com

Nov. 21, 1982

During the players' 57-day strike, Joe Montana was a part-time sports announcer. In the first game since the strike ended, Montana shows he's more comfortable being a fulltime quarterback.

For the first time in his three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, he passes for more than 400 yards. To counteract the St. Louis Cardinals' blitzes and pass rushes, 49ers coach Bill Walsh has Montana sprint out more than usual. The strategy works, as Montana completes 26-of-39 passes for 408 yards and three second-half touchdowns in a 31-20 victory in St. Louis.

"The sprint-out made it easier for both me and the offensive linemen," Montana says. "It gave me much more time to look for receivers and it helped the linemen because of instead of watching for tricky stunts and blitzes, they just sort of walled off the defenders and I sprinted behind the wall."

Montana gains more than a quarter of his yardage with 55-yard completions to Renaldo Nehemiah and Jeff Moore. His touchdown passes are six yards to Russ Francis, 33 to Dwight Clark and 17 to Earl Cooper.

Montana will pass for at least 400 yards six more times in his career.