Seven turnovers, count’em SEVEN, turnovers prevented the Arizona Cardinals from clinching their second straight NFC West title. At the start of the day, the defending NFC champions were one game away from another winning season. Two interceptions and five fumbles later, the San Francisco 49ers all of a sudden find themselves just two games behind Arizona in the NFC West with three games left in the season.
49ers quarterback Alex Smith completed 19 of 35 passes for 144 yards, throwing two touchdown strikes, but just as many passes to the Cardinals defense. Smith connected with Vernon Davis on a 5-yard pass to give San Francisco a 7-0 lead in the first quarter; Smith also found Michael Crabtree on a 35-yard bomb late in the first half to increase the 49ers’ lead to 17-0.
A Neil Rackers 48-yard field goal and a Beanie Wells 1-yard rushing touchdown brought the Cardinals to within eight points, but Frank Gore’s 2-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter sealed the victory for San Francisco, who improved to 6-7 on the season.
Kurt Warner went 16-of-29 passing for 178 yards. Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald combined for just 62 receiving yards on seven catches.