SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals 20-17 Sunday, in what became Jim Harbaugh's last game as head coach. The team made it official after the game, saying in a press released they mutually agreed to part ways.
But between the lines, the day belonged to Frank Gore, who finished with 144 yards after having just 22 at halftime. Gore is a free agent after the season as has expressed interest on returning in 2015.
The Cardinals opened the game with a 20-yard touchdown pass on a flea flicker to Michael Floyd, culminating a quick 8-play scoring drive to open the game. The 49ers responded with a 76-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin, who got behind the defense to become the fourth player in franchise history to have multiple 1,000-yard seasons. He notched 1,179 yards in his first year with San Francisco in 2013.
The 49ers added field goals of 53 and 37 yards in the second quarter, before the Cardinals scored 10 unanswered points to end the first half, starting with Chandler Catanzaro’s 36-yard field goal.
Floyd scored his second touchdown of the half with :36 remaining when he beat rookie defensive back Dontae Johnson down the right sideline for 41 yards. It capped a nifty four-play, 75-yard drive and gave Arizona the 17-13 lead at the break.
Quarterback Ryan Lindley’s two TD passes were the first of his career. His 260 yards at halftime set a new single-game career high. Lindley was re-inserted into the starting lineup during the week after rookie Logan Thomas was unimpressive during practice leading up to Sunday’s game. Lindley threw interceptions to Michael Wilhoite in the second quarter and cornerback Chris Culliver in the third.
The 49ers took the lead on Bruce Miller’s 3-yard touchdown grab. Frank Gore ran for 44 yards on the drive, giving him 1,037 for the season - making 2014 his eighth 1,000-yard season of his career. He also eclipsed 11,000 career yards, becoming the 20th player in league history to do so.
Lindley's third interception late to reserve safety Craig Dahl, playing for Eric Reid, sealed the game for San Francisco. He finished with 316 yards on 23 of 39 completions. Colin Kaepernick completed 15 of 26 for 204 yards with two TDs. He added 63 yards on seven carries.