By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA-The San Francisco 49ers (7-8) will host the Arizona Cardinals (11-4) on Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale. San Francisco is looking to avoid their first losing season since the 2010 campaign where they finished 6-10. Arizona, on the other hand is looking to lock up the number one seed in the NFC Playoffs with a victory.
The 49ers are once again looking to play the role of spoiler by costing Arizona a first round bye in the playoffs. The Cardinals have already secured a playoff berth and are looking to get an extra week of rest and head straight to the divisional round of the playoffs. San Francisco could not get the job done last week as they blew a 28-7 lead to the playoff hopeful San Diego Chargers on Saturday night. The victory keeps the Chargers playoff hopes alive as they look to sneak into the AFC Playoffs via a Wild Card spot.
The 49ers loss on Saturday means that they will finish no better then 8-8 on the season. San Francisco last finished with a .500 record in 2009 under head coach Mike Singletary. That was Singletary’s last full season as the head coach for the 49ers as he did not finish the 2010 season with the team. Head coach Jim Harbaugh did not speak too much about the loss to San Diego, but backed up his players 100 percent.
“The young guys were out there battling. It was a tough loss. Give a lot of credit to San Diego,” said Harbaugh.
The feeling in the locker room was like no other for San Francisco. After playing such a great game offensively, the team seemed as if they were hit in the gut. The 49ers offense ran for over 350 yards in the 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers. Runningback Frank Gore finished with 158 yards on the ground, including a 55-yard touchdown run to open up the scoring. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick tallied up 151 rushing yards and ran himself into the records books with a 90-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring for San Francisco. The 90-yard scramble was the second longest touchdown run by quarterback in NFL history. The team finished with a team record 355 yards on the ground, 335 of which came in regulation.
Despite the three interceptions, including one pick six by San Francisco, the 49ers defense still allowed 454 yards of total offense. Including 356 yards through the air by Philip Rivers and four touchdown passes. The defense could not hang onto a 28-7 second quarter lead, and looked completely over matched in the overtime frame.
Arizona will be playing for the division title and a shot to become the number one seed in the NFC. They would need a Seattle Seahawks loss to the St. Louis Rams. The Seahawks will be hosting the Rams at CenturyLink field. Kickoff for the 49ers v.s. Cardinals game will be at 1:25 PM.