A home loss to the Seattle Seahawks wasn’t really that bad for the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle’s a good team and the game went all the way to the end of overtime. No big deal.
A loss at home to the Arizona Cardinals would have been really bad.
Jimmy Garoppolo saved the day. With 31 seconds left he hit Jeff Wilson for a 25-yard score to give the 49ers a lead and they won 36-26. Garoppolo had 424 yards and four touchdown passes. A fumble on the Cardinals’ first play after the touchdown practically put it away, and a weird 49ers defensive touchdown on the final play finished the scoring. The 49ers improved to 9-1.
The 49ers survived a scare. They would have been tied with Seattle for first place in the NFC West had they lost. They maintain their lead, though Sunday’s win was closer than they would have liked.
Jimmy Garoppolo throws for four scores
Garoppolo has had two big games this season, both against Arizona.
The 49ers needed Garoppolo to come up big on Sunday, and he delivered. Garoppolo hasn’t had a big season, statistically, mainly because the 49ers rely on their running game and defense. The defense hasn’t been as good the last two games, including the overtime loss to Seattle. Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. His rushing touchdown gave Arizona a fourth-quarter lead.
The 49ers got the ball with a little more than two minutes left on their own 35. Garoppolo completed 6-of-7 passes on that drive. He also ran for 7 more yards. On a third-and-3 Garoppolo hit tight end Ross Dwelley for a first down, then hit Wilson out of the backfield for the game-winning score on the next play.
The 49ers paid Garoppolo to be a franchise quarterback and he probably hasn’t been quite that, but he was clutch on Sunday.
49ers were tested by Cardinals
The Cardinals came in at 3-6-1 and weren’t expected to beat the 49ers, who didn’t lose their first game this season until Monday night against Seattle. But Arizona jumped out to an early lead and played very well. They gave the 49ers all they could handle.
The 49ers were 8-1 coming in but a loss would have been tough. The 49ers host the Packers and then go on the road to play the Ravens and Saints over the next three weeks. They also have a game at Seattle in Week 17. They can’t afford to drop winnable games with the schedule getting tougher.
Garoppolo came through. It wasn’t a pretty win, but that’s better than a loss and a tie for first place in the NFC West.
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