49ers lead Falcons 20-10 early in 4th quarter
Colin Kaepernick threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin
and ran for a score to help the San Francisco 49ers take a 20-10
lead over the Atlanta Falcons early in the fourth quarter on Monday
night in the final regular-season game at Candlestick Park.
The Falcons led 10-3 at halftime before Kaepernick and the 49ers
offense woke up with two scoring drives in the third quarter in a
game crucial to San Francisco’s playoff hopes.
Steven Jackson scored on a 2-yard run and Matt Bryant kicked a
35-yard field goal in the second quarter for Atlanta.
San Francisco still needs help to win the division and secure at
least one home playoff game. The Niners need to win their final two
games and have Seattle lose at home next week to St. Louis to win
the division. San Francisco would miss the playoffs if it loses to
Atlanta and at Arizona next week.
After a lackluster first half, the 49ers did their best to make
sure that wouldn’t happen. Helped by a third-down offside penalty
on Osi Umenyiora on the opening drive of the third quarter,
Kaepernick moved the Niners down the field with passes of 47 yards
and 19 yards to Michael Crabtree.
Kaepernick capped the drive with a short pass to Boldin, who ran
10 yards for the tying score. Boldin went over the 1,000-tard
receiving mark for the first time since 2009 earlier in the
After stopping Atlanta on the next drive, the 49ers took the
lead with help from another penalty. Paul Worrilow was called for
pass interference against Boldin on third-and-19, helping set up a
30-yard field goal by Phil Dawson, who has made a franchise-record
26 straight attempts.
Kaepernick was 7 for 9 for 128 yards in the third quarter, with
Crabtree catching four of the passes for 99 yards. Kaepernick then
added a 4-yard TD run at the beginning of the final period.
It was a celebratory night with a star presence, with Hall of
Famers Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Willie Mays and Willie McCovey all
in attendance at the stadium that used to be the home of the San
Francisco Giants. Even the end zones were painted red – something
usually reserved for playoff games.
The Niners will move into $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa
Clara while Candlestick waits out its implosion day, likely in late
It was the 358th game played at Candlestick by the 49ers since
moving here in 1971, including the playoffs. No opponent has lost
more times here than the Falcons, who are 10-23 heading into Monday
Atlanta tried its best to avoid adding to that loss total. After
being forced to punt on their first two possessions, the Falcons
broke through the third time they had the ball thanks to a long
pass play by Matt Ryan and a pair of personal fouls on Donte
Ryan hit Drew Davis in stride on a slant pass and Davis eluded
safety Eric Reid and sprinted for a 59-yard gain to the San
Francisco 5. Whitner then was called for a hit to the head of a
defenseless receiver on an incomplete pass to Jackson and got
another personal foul for arguing the call.
Jackson ran it in on the next play to give the Falcons a 7-3
lead and Atlanta’s defense held the rest of the half to preserve
Bryant added his field goal with 5 seconds left in the half
after Carlos Rogers dropped a potential interception.
San Francisco scored on its first possession to take the lead.
Kaepernick completed a pair of passes to Boldin and scrambled for 8
yards before getting sacked on third-and-2 from the 29.
Dawson came in and kicked a 49-yard field goal to give the
Niners a 3-0 lead.
The Falcons lost defensive tackle Corey Peters to an Achilles
injury in the first half. He will not return.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org