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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

49ers rally past Cardinals 36-26 on 4 TD passes by Garoppolo

Sun Nov 17 8:00pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Larry Fitzgerald, Charles Clay, David Johnson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Zane Gonzalez, Pharoh Cooper, Ross Dwelley, Richie James, Jeff Wilson, Christian Kirk, Kyler Murray

San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (30) celebrates after scoring against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/John Hefti)


Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, left, is congratulated by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver KeeSean Johnson after scoring against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)


Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)


San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84) celebrates after scoring against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)


Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, left, talks with head coach Kliff Kingsbury during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/John Hefti)


San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Kevin Peterson (27) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/John Hefti)


Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (41) runs against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) and middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/John Hefti)


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jimmy Garoppolo threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Wilson Jr. with 31 seconds left for his fourth TD pass of the game and the San Francisco 49ers rallied for a 36-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Garoppolo connected with Wilson over the middle for the go-ahead score one play after the Niners (9-1) narrowly converted on a third-and-3 pass that went to replay review.

Instead of being ruled short and having to decide whether to kick a tying field goal or go for it on fourth down, San Francisco had a new set of downs and took advantage on Wilson's first career touchdown catch.

David Johnson fumbled on the next play for the Cardinals (3-7-1), who squandered a 16-0 lead and lost their fourth straight game. San Francisco added a fumble recovery for a touchdown by D.J. Reed on the final play after a botched lateral by Arizona.

This marked the biggest deficit erased by the 49ers in a win since rallying from 20 points down to beat Philadelphia on Oct. 2, 2011. San Francisco also overcame a 17-point deficit in the NFC title game at Atlanta following the 2012 season.

Garoppolo threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions deep in Arizona territory that nearly doomed the 49ers. The first set up a field goal that put Arizona up 19-17 and the second came with San Francisco trailing by three late in the fourth quarter.

The defense responded by forcing a three-and-out on a sack by Arik Armstead. Garoppolo then went 6 of 7 for 58 yards on the game-winning drive.

Kyler Murray threw two TD passes and put the Cardinals ahead 26-23 on a 22-yard keeper with 6:30 to play but it wasn't enough to beat the 49ers.

The Cardinals scored on their first two drives to take a 9-0 lead when Murray found Larry Fitzgerald all alone for a 5-yard score that was his 19th career touchdown against San Francisco.

Arizona added to the lead in the second quarter on a 5-yard TD pass from Murray to Pharoh Cooper before the Niners mostly abandoned an ineffective running game to get back into the contest thanks to a series of underneath passes.

Richie James Jr. took a screen 57 yards to set up Garoppolo's first of two TD passes to backup tight end Ross Dwelley. San Francisco settled for a field goal at the end of the half before Garoppolo and Dwelley connected again on the opening drive of the third quarter to put the Niners up 17-16.

San Francisco looked poised to add to that lead with a drive down to the 12 before Garoppolo threw an interception right to linebacker Jordan Hicks, whose 48-yard return set up a go-ahead field goal by Zane Gonzalez.

INJURIES

49ers DE Dee Ford left in the first half with a hamstring injury.

FLAG DAY

The Cardinals won a rare challenge of a pass interference call set up an early score. Coach Kliff Kingsbury challenged a no-call on a deep pass to Christian Kirk and had it overturned to pass interference on Richard Sherman. The 41-yard penalty turned a fourth-and-7 into a first-and-goal from the 3.

The Cardinals had to settle for a field goal after an offensive pass interference on Christian Kirk wiped out an apparent TD pass to Charles Clay.

Sherman, who hadn't been penalized since the season opener, was called for two more pass interferences against Kirk in the first half.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Week off before hosting the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 1.

49ers: Host Green Bay on Sunday.

Player Notes
Kendrick Bourne Apr 6 6:40pm ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne signed his one-year tender on Monday. Bourne had 30 receptions on 44 targets for 358 yards and a career-high five touchdowns in 16 games (zero starts) for the team in 2019. There is plenty of opportunity for Bourne and others to start in three-receiver sets in 2020 behind Deebo Samuel. With nine touchdowns in his last two seasons with the Niners, the 24-year-old has proven to be a nice red-zone presence for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but it remains to be seen if he can become a consistent starting option. There will be plenty of competition at the receiver position in San Fran, and they're also likely to address the position in the draft.

From RotoBaller

Christian McCaffrey Apr 6 6:30pm ET

Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said that the team has "had internal discussions" about an extension for running back Christian McCaffrey. The stud running back is heading into the final year of his rookie deal, but the Panthers may wait and have him play on the fifth-year team option in 2021 before signing him to a long-term extension. Whether or not McCaffrey is playing with a new deal or not, he should be the No. 1 overall fantasy selection this fall. The 23-year-old former eighth overall pick ran the ball 287 times for a career-high 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns, while also catching 116 passes for 1,005 yards and another four scores.

From RotoBaller

Quincy Enunwa Apr 6 11:10am ET

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas acknowledged that wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (neck) remains a "big question mark" heading into the 2020 season and beyond. Enunwa played in just one game in 2019 before being shut down for the year, and he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. He also played in just 1 games in 2018 due to neck and back issues, and it's unknown if he'll ever be 100 percent again, which makes it hard for the Jets to rely on him behind Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder. If healthy, the 27-year-old (28 in May) wideout would likely be the team's No. 3 receiver, but he'll have to compete with Josh Doctson and Vyncint Smith and prove he's healthy in training camp.

From RotoBaller

Chris Jones Apr 6 9:56am ET

The Kansas City Chiefs have had contract talks with defensive tackle Chris Jones, but there haven't been any offers up to this point. The Chiefs will also be trying to work out a long-term extension with Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, but that is unlikely to happen until sometime after the draft. The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Jones earlier this offseason, but they'll have until July 15 to figure out an extension. The 25-year-old made the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2019, registering nine sacks, 36 tackles (23 solo), eight tackles for loss and 20 QB hits. Jones has become an essential inside presence on KC's defensive line and has 33 sacks in his four seasons in the league.

Irv Smith Jr. Apr 6 9:55am ET

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith should see an increased role in the offense in 2020 now that Stefon Diggs is playing for the Bills. When wide receiver Adam Thielen was out for almost two months with an injury last year, Smith caught 36 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns and emerged as a reliable target for quarterback Kirk Cousins. Minnesota's offense also relies heavily on tight ends under coach Gary Kubiak; tight ends have received an average of 23 percent of targets per season in Kubiak's 21 seasons as a head coach or offensive coordinator. Even battling for targets with Kyle Rudolph, Smith could become worth rostering as a TE2 in standard leagues in his second season in the NFL.

Michael Gallup Apr 5 11:23pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup had 39 catches for 686 yards and five touchdowns in November and December last season compared to 27 catches, 421 yards and one touchdown in the first two months of the year.

Fantasy Spin: Gallup had more receptions, yards and touchdowns in the final two months of 2019 than he did in his entire rookie season, and he and Amari Cooper suddenly look like one of the better receiver duos heading into 2020. For his part, Gallup should be a WR3 with upside.

From TheHuddle

Tyler Higbee Apr 5 11:23pm ET

Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee had 43 catches for 522 yards and two touchdowns in the month of December last season compared to 26 catches, 212 yards and one score over the first three months combined.

Fantasy Spin: Jared Goff actually led the NFL in pass attempts last year, and now that Todd Gurley is not in the mix, Higbee's strong finish to 2019 could be a sign of things to come if the Rams continue to embrace a pass-heavy attack. Target him as a TE1 in 2020.

From TheHuddle

Mark Andrews Apr 5 11:03pm ET

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews caught 31 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns at home in 2019 and had 33 receptions for 412 yards and five scores in road contests.

Fantasy Spin: It didn't matter where the Ravens were playing. Andrews was routinely Lamar Jackson's favorite target and the most consistent member of the passing attack in an otherwise run-heavy offense. He's locked in as a TE1 heading into 2020.

From TheHuddle

Will Fuller Apr 5 10:43pm ET

Houston Texans WR Will Fuller played in 11 games in 2019, and the team averaged 26.3 points in those contests compared to 19.6 in the five games he missed. Houston had an 8-3 record when Fuller played and went 2-3 without him in the lineup.

Fantasy Spin: Fuller will be asked to be the No. 1 receiver for Houston in 2020 following the trade of DeAndre Hopkins, and while good things tend to happen when he is on the field, he has yet to play a full season. In fact, Fuller has played 11 or fewer games in each of the past three seasons. Fuller will have WR2 upside, but fantasy owners need to make sure to have depth at the receiver position if they choose to take a chance on him.

From TheHuddle

Deshaun Watson Apr 5 7:03pm ET

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson threw for 14 touchdowns versus only three interceptions in seven home games last season. In eight road outings, he accounted for 12 passing scores versus nine interceptions.

From TheHuddle

Nick Chubb Apr 5 6:33pm ET

Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb averaged 100.4 yards rushing, 0.75 touchdowns and 3.1 catches in eight games while Kareem Hunt served his eight-game suspension to begin last season. After Hunt was activated, Chubb averaged 86.4 yards rushing, 0.25 TDs and 1.4 catches.

Fantasy Spin: Hunt was very successful in his backup running back/slot role over the second half of the season, so it's fair to wonder if new head coach Kevin Stefanski has any designs on changing something that worked so well under the previous regime. Working in Chubb's favor is the likelihood Cleveland will be holding leads more often this season, meaning he could in a position to break off some more long scoring runs against tired defenses late in games. With Hunt around, however, Chubb should be considered a high-end RB2.

From TheHuddle

James Conner Apr 5 6:13pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner broke a tackle once only every 23.2 rush attempts last season. In 2018, he broke a tackle once every 10.8 carries.

From TheHuddle

Mark Ingram Apr 5 6:03pm ET

Baltimore Ravens RB Gus Edwards averaged 2.5 yards per carry before contact and 2.8 yards per carry after contact in 2019, slightly outperforming starter and backfield teammate Mark Ingram (2.4 and 2.6, respectively) in each category.

From TheHuddle

DeVante Parker Apr 5 5:33pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker finished third in the league with 939 yards before the catch last season, while his 13 yards before catch per reception was good for sixth among qualified players.

From TheHuddle

Sony Michel Apr 5 5:13pm ET

New England Patriots RB Sony Michel averaged 19 carries for 73 yards and scored four touchdowns in three games with Rex Burkhead injured last season. In those same contests, Michel compiled six of his 12 catches for the year. In the 13 games Burkhead was active, Michel averaged 14.6 carries for 53 yards and scored only three times.

From TheHuddle

Jaron Brown Apr 5 2:33pm ET

Free-agent WR Jaron Brown (Seahawks) likely will not re-sign with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason since the Seahawks signed WR Phillip Dorsett earlier in the offseason.

From TheHuddle

Quincy Enunwa Apr 5 1:33pm ET

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (neck) is not considering retirement even though he is recovering from a neck injury. He is scheduled to receive $10.1 million in guaranteed money over the next two seasons.

Fantasy Spin: Enunwa has been limited to 12 games over the last three seasons because of injury and his status for the 2020 season is still uncertain. Fantasy players should keep an eye on his situation, but he should be considered a risky option in all leagues.

From TheHuddle

Matt Breida Apr 5 1:20pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida didn't have much of a role on offense to end last season behind Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. If Jerick McKinnon is actually healthy in 2020, he gives the 49ers a legitimate route-runner and third-down option out of the backfield. San Fran could be willing to trade Breida's rights for a low-round draft pick. Of all the backs in this crowded backfield, Breida is the most likely to be playing for another team come the start of the season. The 25-year-old from Georgia Southern has been productive with 5.0 yards per carry on 381 career rushing attempts in his three years with the Niners, but he's also consistently battled nagging injuries and is now buried on the depth chart. A move out of this crowded backfield and onto another team with more opportunity would be best for Breida's real-life and fantasy value.

From RotoBaller

Jadeveon Clowney Apr 5 9:23am ET

The Seattle Seahawks may only be willing to pay free-agent LB Jadeveon Clowney $13 million to $15 million annually to return, according to 710 ESPN Seattle's John Clayton. Clowney is reportedly seeking a deal which will pay him at least $17 million per year.

From TheHuddle

Eric Ebron Apr 4 10:03pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Eric Ebron is one of six tight ends with at least 20 red zone touchdowns over the last five seasons, and he joins a Pittsburgh offense that ranked last in red zone scoring in 2019.

Fantasy Spin: A healthy Ben Roethlisberger under center should also go a long way to helping the Pittsburgh offense, but Ebron addresses a big need. He's a lower-end TE1 candidate, even if he could be a little touchdown dependent.

From TheHuddle