Joe Montana wasn’t always great. But he was great when he had to be.
In the 1982 NFC Championship Game against Dallas, Montana had four turnovers – three interceptions and a fumble – before he found Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone for the victory that catapulted the 49ers to five Super Bowl wins.
In the 1999 wild-card game against Green Bay, Steve Young threw two interceptions before connecting with Terrell Owens at the front of the end zone for one of the most dramatic victories in 49ers history.
But nobody remembers those turnovers by Montana or Young.
All history remembers is two quarterbacks making big plays when they needed to be made.
Which is why, at least at this point in his career, we can only talk about Colin Kaepernick’s failures in big moments of big games.
Twice in the postseason – last year’s Super Bowl and Sunday’s NFC Championship Game – Kaepernick came up short – or long – on passes to Michael Crabtree that cost the 49ers a victory and the quarterback the opportunity to be remembered among the franchise’s greats.
This is not to say Kaepernick will never complete that game-winning drive to win a title. But, for now, all we can do is wonder if those moments will ever come.
What to watch
NBA, Kings at New Orleans, 5 p.m., CSNCA : Can the Kings bounce back from Sunday’s loss to the Thunder?
Will the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick ever complete a do-or-die pass to win a championship?
• Yes, he’ll grow from the experience.
• No, he can’t handle the pressure.
Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports
Who is the greatest quarterback of all time?
• Tom Brady: 5%
• Terry Bradshaw: 3%
• John Elway: 3%
• Brett Favre: 1%
• Peyton Manning: 8%
• Joe Montana: 66%
• Bart Starr: 1%
• Johnny Unitas: 7%
• Steve Young: 4%
• Other: 2%
Total votes: 435
Follow The Bee’s sports Facebook page: facebook.com/ sacbeesports