The San Francisco 49ers started the final quarter against the Arizona Cardinals with a 19-14 lead, but quickly gave up a 53-yard reception to Larry Fitzgerald, and Arizona was once again in business. John Skelton scrambled once again and the Cardinals were inside the 49ers 20 yard line. After a short run from Beanie Wells, the Cardinals have a third down, and they convert it with a screen pass to Early Doucet. They get inside the five-yard line and a first and goal. Skelton lines up in the shotgun, and it's an easy screen pass to Andre Roberts for the touchdown, putting Arizona back in front 21-19 after the extra point. They didn't go for two, which was odd.
Ted Ginn Jr. fielded the kickoff in the back of the endzone, and took it out to the 27 yard line. Frank Gore took the opening handoff of the drive, and picked up a couple yards. Then it was Kendall Hunter with a run, bringing it to a third and two, but the 49ers have been poor on third down this game. Alex Smith overthrows Vernon Davis by about ten yards, and the 49ers were forced to punt. The coverage units came out and stopped Patrick Peterson once again, though, and the Cardinals took over inside the 20 yard line.
Beanie Wells picked up a few yards on first down, and then Ahmad Brooks makes a huge tackle in the backfield on LaRod Stephens-Holwing, setting up an Arizona 3rd and 4. Skelton takes the snap from the shotgun, and hits Andre Roberts no problem for the first down. Fitzgerald picks up eight yards on first down right after that. They end up with a 3rd and 1 and try and run the ball, but Wells is stuffed and they don't pick up the first down. The punt rolls into the endzone and the 49ers take over with a little over five minutes remaining in the game.
Alex Smith gets the ball off for no gain, shrugging off a sack. The referees whistle him down though, even though his knees don't even bend and he's standing up straight. Terrible refereeing. Smith hits Crabtree on second down for a gain of a few, and the 49ers have a third and six. Smith's pass is off-target with pressure in his face and the 49ers go three and out once again.
Arizona loses yardage on first and second down runs, and the Cardinals will have a 3rd and 13. They pick up some yardage, but it's not enough, and the Cardinals punted. Ted Ginn Jr. has a great return and the 49ers get set up with good field position. Smith hit Michael Crabtree for a couple yards on first down, and he goes out of bounds. But Smith is sacked big time ... but this time, they're called for a false start, so they gain a yard. Smith hits Crabtree again for a couple yards and it's a third down again. Smith has his third pass of the day batted down at the line of scrimmage. On fourth down, the offensive line gives up pressure once again, and Smith has to run around to the tune of Yakkety Sax for a few seconds before throwing a deep incompletion to running back Kendall Hunter. They turn the ball over on downs. Arizona killed the clock, and the 49ers lose 21-19.
It was a poor, poor showing by the 49ers. The only bright spot for the 49ers was special teams play, and that wasn't enough to give them the win. The offensive line played poorly, Alex Smith was abysmal and the 49ers move to 10-3 on the season, threatening to lose the No. 2 seed to the New Orleans Saints.