The Louisiana Superdome was a blight on the NFL landscape long before Joe Montana brought his big-sky game to the league, and the New Orleans Saints' ugly domicile figures to be standing long after Montana is gone. But Montana has made a monument to himself out of the edifice, running his record there to 10-0 on Sunday as he led the Kansas City Chiefs to a 30-17 victory over the Saints.
Montana had the 36th 300-yard passing day of his 16-year career and guided the Chiefs to scores on six of their first nine series. One of the nonscoring possessions came when Montana went to his knee to run out the clock at the half, and another ended with a missed field goal attempt. The Chiefs didn't have to punt until early in the fourth quarter. "The guy is unbelievable," said New Orleans defensive lineman Frank Warren. "He hasn't lost a thing. He comes here and waves his magic wand around, and we all fall down. It's unbelievable, except it keeps happening."
The first time the Chiefs had the ball they faced fourth-and-two at the Saints' 40 and elected to go for the first down. Kansas City coach Marty Schottenheimer had the 38-year-old Montana hand off to the other so-called Wheez Kid, 34-year-old running back Marcus Allen, who picked up 13 yards, "In that situation you don't think about plays," Schottenheimer said. "You think about players."
Allen gave everyone a lot to think about, finishing with 82 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and nicely complementing Montana, who passed for 315 yards and two TDs while shredding a New Orleans defense that showed him 40 different looks, none of which gave him any trouble. He completed 24 of 33 attempts, was not intercepted and was sacked only once. "We couldn't stop the run, we couldn't stop the pass, we couldn't get off the held on third down," New Orleans coach Jim Mora said afterward.
The Saints made their own contributions to K.C.'s cause, trying seven players who were either first-time starters or playing new positions in the defensive secondary. Montana picked them apart with his quick passes. "The rhythm he had was unbelievable," said the Saints' 26-year-old free safety, Vince Buck. "He looked as good today as he did when I was a kid."
The Saints had chances but turned the ball over on three of their last five possessions, once when Kansas City defensive end Neil Smith picked off a pass by the Saints' new quarterback. Jim Everett, and returned it 41 yards to the Chiefs' 25 to set up K.C.'s last TD. Everett, who finished 26 of 37 for 326 yards and two scores, said he "felt comfortable" in his first start for the Saints. But compared with Montana, he looked far from home.
Montana's 24 complete passes included two to wide receiver Lake Dawson in the third quarter.