NFL Wire News

49ers 20, Cardinals 17

on

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Frank Gore rushed for 144 yards on 25 carries, leading San Francisco to a 20-17 victory Sunday at Levi’s Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals in what was likely coach Jim Harbaugh’s final game with the 49ers.

Gore cracked the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the eighth time in his career. He became just the 20th player in NFL history to rush for at least 11,000 yards.

Quarterback Ryan Lindley completed 23 of 39 passes for a career-high 316 yards and his first two NFL touchdown passes for the Cardinals (11-5), but he was intercepted three times.

Arizona clinched an NFC wild card playoff berth earlier this month but entered the game with hopes of winning the NFC West and earning a first-round bye. The Cardinals needed to beat the 49ers and have Seattle lose to St. Louis. However, the Seahawks beat the Rams minutes before the Cardinals fell to San Francisco.

According to multiple reports, Harbaugh is likely to become the University of Michigan’s coach, although the possibility of him being traded to another NFL was not ruled out.

The 49ers (8-8) snapped a four-game losing streak.

San Francisco trailed 17-13 at halftime but moved ahead 20-17 on quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 3-yard touchdown pass to fullback Bruce Miller with 25 seconds left in the third quarter. The 49ers marched 82 yards in 10 plays for the score after cornerback Chris Culliver intercepted a Lindley pass.

The 49ers’ injury-ravaged defense pitched a second-half shutout. Safety Craig Dahl picked off a Lindley pass late in the game, ending Arizona’s final drive.

Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd caught eight passes for 153 yards and two scores.

Kaepernick completed 15 of 26 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns.

Lindley completed 16 of 25 passes for 260 yards and his first two NFL touchdowns in the first half. Floyd caught six passes for 119 yards and both of his touchdowns in the opening half.

The Cardinals resorted to trickery to grab a 7-0 lead with 10:55 left in the first quarter as Lindley burned the 49ers on a 20-yard flea-flicker pass to Floyd. Running back Marion Grice faked a run up the middle, then turned and pitched the ball back to Lindley. Floyd ran past cornerback Dontae Johnson, who bit on the run fake, and caught Lindley’s pass in the back of the end zone.

Lindley’s first NFL touchdown pass came on his 229th attempt.

The 49ers pulled even on Kaepernick’s 76-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Anquan Boldin, a former Cardinal, making it 7-7 with 9:24 left in the opening quarter. With that catch, Boldin cracked the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the seventh time in his career and second straight year as a 49er.

Phil Dawson hit a 53-yard field goal with 12:33 left in the first half, giving San Francisco a 10-7 lead. Dawson’s 37-yarder made it 13-7 with 6:04 remaining in the half.

Arizona cut San Francisco’s lead to 13-10 on Chandler Catanzaro’s 36-yard field goal with 1:35 showing. The Cardinals got the ball back with 58 seconds left and marched 75 yards in four plays for a touchdown, Lindley hitting Floyd on a 41-strike down the right sideline with 36 seconds remaining. Once again, Floyd got behind Johnson.

NOTES: Cardinals ILB Larry Foote (knee) was inactive, and Glenn Carson started in his place. … San Francisco FS Eric Reid (concussion), CB Perrish Cox (shoulder), OLB Ahmad Brooks (thumb), RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) and WR Stevie Johnson (knee) were inactive. … WR Trindon Holliday, who signed with the 49ers earlier in the week, gained 83 yards on three kickoff returns.


About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business