|Date of game: 12/28/2014
Recap: San Francisco vs. Arizona
Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Colin Kaepernick threw two touchdown passes to lift San Francisco to a 20-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Jim Harbaugh's final game as the 49ers' head coach.
Harbaugh and the 49ers have agreed to part ways following the game, making Harbaugh available to pursue other head coaching opportunities. According to several reports, Harbaugh is expected to replace Brady Hoke as the head coach of his alma mater, Michigan.
"It's been the time of my life. There's been a lot of memories, great moments," said Harbaugh. "I feel like I'm going to be friends for life with anybody who wants to be. I truly love this team."
Kaepernick completed 15-of-26 passes for 204 yards and rushed for 63 yards on seven carries. Anquan Boldin and Bruce Miller had a receiving touchdown and Frank Gore carried the ball 25 times for 144 yards for the 49ers (8-8), who ended a four-game skid.
Ryan Lindley threw both of his first two career touchdown passes to Michael Floyd and completed 23-of-39 passes for 316 yards with three interceptions for the Cardinals (11-5). Floyd made eight catches for 153 yards
"It's a loss and no one wants to lose in the NFL, but I think we gained some confidence," said Lindley. "We ran the ball a lot better this week. We did a great job of pass protection ... Floyd had a great day."
Arizona will return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and face the NFC South champion Carolina Panthers on the road in the first round.
The Cardinals moved the ball past midfield on their first possession of the second half, but Chris Culliver picked off Lindley. Kaepernick scrambled for a 30-yard pickup and Gore ran 20 yards to the Arizona 31 before the 49ers quarterback took off for 15 more yards and a fresh set of downs.
Boldin had a 9-yard touchdown catch called back on 3rd-and-goal due to Marcus Martin's chop block. After an Arizona illegal use of hands penalty, Gore ran nine yards and Kaepernick hit Miller in the right corner of the end zone for a 20-17 edge with 25 seconds to play in the third.
Arizona got the ball with two minutes remaining. Lindley was sacked for a nine-yard loss by Aaron Lynch and then picked off by Craig Dahl with 1:30 remaining.
The Cardinals struck first on their opening drive off a flea flicker as Lindley aired out a pass over the middle to Floyd, who caught the ball in the back of the end zone for a 20-yard score.
San Francisco answered right back as Kaepernick hit Boldin in stride and the former Cardinal took it 76 yards down the field for a 7-7 game with 9:24 left in the first quarter.
Kaepernick scrambled 19 yards to midfield and completed an 8-yard pass to Michael Crabtree on third down. Phil Dawson's 53-yard field goal made it just over the uprights for a 10-7 lead over three minutes into the second.
Lindley fired a 27-yard pass to Floyd, who made a stellar catch to move the Cardinals to the 49ers' 24. San Francisco's defense stood tall as Tank Carradine sacked Lindley for an 8-yard loss before Michael Wilhoite intercepted the ball at his team's 25.
Following the interception, Kaepernick sent a 35-yard dart to Quinton Patton to move the chains down to the Arizona 18. Dawson was true from 37 yards out for a 13-7 advantage with 6:04 to play in the second.
Arizona countered by scoring 10 points with under two minutes to play. Chandler Catanzaro booted a 36-yard field goal to cut the 49ers' lead to 13-10 with 1:35 left in the first half.
After a quick San Francisco three-and-out, Lindley lofted a 41-yard pass to Floyd, who was hit by at the two-yard line and flew over the pylon for a 17-13 Arizona lead heading into halftime.Game Notes
Gore became the 11th player in NFL history to register eight career 1,000-yard
seasons ... Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald passed wide receiver Charlie
Joiner for 21st place on the NFL's all-time receiving yardage list with 12,151
... San Francisco has won eight straight regular-season home finales ... The
49ers lead the all-time series, 29-18 ... Arizona outgained San Francisco,