49ers batter Bucs in march toward playoffs
The 49ers rolled to their fourth straight win Sunday, making the Buccaneers look pathetic en route to a 33-14 victory.
San Francisco (10-4) won all three phases of the game at Tampa Bay (4-10) led by Colin Kaepernick, who went 19-of-29 for 203 yards and two touchdowns while adding 39 rushing yards on seven carries.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh commented on Kaepernick’s performance:
“There’s not a lot of people who can make the type of plays he was making.”
Kaepernick found Michael Crabtree in the endzone on a four-yard laser and later hit Vernon Davis on a 52-yard bomb that prompted Harbaugh to say post-game:
“It looked like Willie Mays running down a long fly ball.”
Frank Gore rushed for 86 yards on 22 attempts and went over the 1,000 yard mark for the seventh time in his career.
Meanwhile Phil Dawson connected on all four field goal attempts extending his streak of consecutive makes to 24.
Late in the fourth quarter with the game still in reach for Tampa Bay, Kendall Hunter recovered a botched reverse kickoff return in the endzone for a touchdown that sealed the win for the 49ers.
The 49ers defense notably held the Bucs offense to just 183 total yards with Aldon Smith (two sacks), Justin Smith and Patrick Willis combining to sack quarterback Mike Glennon four times.
Glennon threw touchdowns to Vincent Jackson and Tim Wright, but Vic Fangio’s unit also batted down seven of his passes and Eric Reid picked him off in the fourth to end the game. Willis led the team with six tackles.
One appalling play of note occurred following a non-call and incompletion early in the fourth when an emotionally hijacked Crabtree threw the football which hit another player.
Crabtree drew an unsportsmanlike penalty and was lucky — plays like that often end up costing teams the game.
He negated the loss by hauling in a clutch third down pass on the same set of downs, but that doesn’t erase a very dumb decision.
Next up, the 49ers host the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 23 for Monday Night Football in what is very likely the final game at Candlestick Park.
The only way the 49ers could earn a home playoff game would be an NFC Championship game as a No. 5 seed against the other NFC wild-card qualifier. Two wild-card teams have never met in a conference championship.