Cardinals' punchless loss to 49ers opens playoff door for Bears
The Arizona Cardinals couldn't move the ball effectively against the San Francisco 49ers and lost 20-12 on Saturday. Now they have entered the danger zone in the NFC playoff race.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals fell eight points after about three-quarters against Robert Saleh's Niners defense after Murray hit KeeSean Johnson for a 45-yard pass to initiate a touchdown. However, Murray had given DeAndre Hopkins a miss in the two-point conversion attempt.
This would be just the first of several missed opportunities on either side for the remainder of the game.
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The Niners missed their chance to score two points on a late touchdown when kicker Robbie Gould missed an extra point, giving the Cardinals a chance to march across the field and ... watch Murray intercept Ahkello Witherspoon in the end zone in fourth and runner-up from San Francisco 14.
What then followed was a clock-guzzling 65-yard drive for the Niners that ended when Gould got another chance to score two points, this time a 37-yard field goal attempt. Gould went far to the left, his third miss of the day.
That gave the Cardinals one more chance to tie the game, but the ride ended in sales with Downs in Arizona and Murray hobbling off the field.
It's been a tough day for Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)
Murray finished day 31 of 50 for 247 yards, no touchdowns and an interception with 75 rushing yards.
Where the NFC playoff picture is
The defeat brings the Cardinals to 8-7 and they are now in a position to lose last place in the NFC playoffs when the Chicago Bears beat the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. (The bears seem to be aware of this fact.)
A Bears win would put them in front of the Cardinals due to a tiebreaker. The Bears will play the Green Bay Packers last week of the season, while the Cardinals will play the Los Angeles Rams. It would take the Cardinals a win and a loss for the Bears to jump into the playoff picture.
Jeff Wilson Jr. is crazy about Niners
While the Cardinals offensive was struggling, it was a Niners offensive that lacked the top quarterback and the setbacks impressed.
Jeff Wilson Jr. was very successful with 183 rushing yards on 22 carries and that 21 yard touchdown catch.
Jeff Wilson cuts through defending cards on 21 yard TD catch and runs
The San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson cut the Arizona Cardinals' defense in a 21-yard touchdown. This game will be streamed live on the Yahoo Sports mobile app or on NFL.com
Even if the cardinals stacked the box frequently, they simply couldn't stop Kyle Shanahan's hasty attack.
C.J. Beathard was efficient in the middle, going 13-of-22 for 182 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
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