Final

Cardinals 14

(3-10, 0-7 away)

49ers 50

(6-7, 6-1 home)

4:05 PM ET, December 7, 2003

 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 0 0 7 714
SF 14 20 9 750

Garcia throws four TDs, Owens catches two

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jeff Garcia tried to disguise his shock as he moved under center. Two yards from the end zone, the Arizona Cardinals somehow had forgotten to cover Terrell Owens, standing all alone on the left side of the field.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Cardinals: So, are Blake and Smith part of the plans for next year?
There's no way both players are back next season as starters. I firmly believe Smith will retire after this season and I can't see Blake as the starter next season. Blake is a fine quarterback, but he's past the age where he can be the future of a team and right now the Cardinals need to start thinking about the future.

Question on the 49ers: Is there a QB controversy or is this simply Garcia's job?
A couple of weeks ago, there was a definite controversy starting to brew in San Francisco. But after today's performance, all talk of switching QBs should be squashed. Both QBs have done a great job competing and while doing so helped the team win a couple games.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

"I was trying to look around to see where the cornerback was hiding," Garcia said. "I just tried not to blow the throw, which is so easy in that type of situation."

Garcia completed the gift-wrapped touchdown pass to Owens -- and though the rest of the quarterback's six touchdowns weren't quite as easy, the 49ers threw quite a birthday party for Owens in their 50-14 victory on Sunday.

Owens caught seven passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns on his 30th birthday, and Garcia threw four TD passes and ran for two more scores. Kevan Barlow rushed for a career-best 154 yards and a touchdown as the 49ers (6-7) nursed their faint playoff hopes with their sixth win in seven games at Candlestick Park.

This one was almost embarrassingly easy, with Owens and Garcia leading the Niners to their highest-scoring performance since 1994 one week after a 44-6 loss to Baltimore.

"We did almost everything we set out to do in this game, but now the challenge is to put together a streak of games," said safety Tony Parrish, who had an interception in his fifth straight game and a fumble recovery. "If we don't, this is just a blowout, and it doesn't matter."

The sad-sack Cardinals (3-10), who beat San Francisco in overtime six weeks ago, lost their fifth straight. They fell behind 34-0 at halftime with equally pathetic efforts on offense and defense in their biggest loss ever to San Francisco.

"I don't know what their situation was, but they didn't come out with the same intensity that they had when we played them down there," linebacker Julian Peterson said.

Tai Streets and Cedrick Wilson also caught touchdown passes from Garcia, who started the rout with a short scoring run.

Backup quarterback Josh McCown threw his first two career TD passes for Arizona, which has lost all seven of its 2003 road games and 12 straight overall. Coach Dave McGinnis' job security has never been more tenuous, and the Cardinals must finish the season against Carolina, Seattle and Minnesota -- all likely playoff teams.

"It was a total domination of the 49ers' offense over our defense," McGinnis said. "We tried to play man-to-man, and we tried to blitz them. It was clear that we were not covering their receivers and they were moving at will. ... When you don't cover people, it's going to look extremely ugly."

Garcia, 19-of-28 for 252 yards, was outstanding in his second game back from a three-game injury absence. He tied his career-high for touchdown passes while accounting for six total TDs for the first time.

The 49ers were without running back Garrison Hearst and Pro Bowl offensive tackle Ron Stone, but Barlow also excelled in his first NFL start, breaking a 46-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

San Francisco needed just five plays to move 73 yards on its opening drive, scoring on Garcia's 3-yard scramble. Later in the quarter, Owens performed some sort of mime act in celebration of a 1-yard scoring catch.

Jeff Blake couldn't complete a pass until early in the second quarter, and Peterson stripped Blake's second completion away from rookie Anquan Boldin moments later. After Parrish recovered, Garcia hit Wilson with a 27-yard TD pass.

Boldin was a bright spot again for the Cardinals with nine catches for 123 yards and a TD. He also made an unbelievable spinning, one-handed catch late in the first half.

The 49ers got a safety early in the third quarter when McCown hit offensive tackle L.J. Shelton in the head with a lateral while the quarterback was being tackled in the end zone. McCown hit James Hodgins and Boldin for late scores -- while Owens signed autographs on the San Francisco sideline.

"Wow, that was bad," McCown said. "Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to get to the lowest point in order to reach the highest in the future. That (safety) may have been one of the worst plays in my career."

Game notes


Raiders LB Bill Romanowski, on injured reserve after a series of concussions, attended the game in the Fox broadcast booth while Oakland lost at Pittsburgh. ... Emmitt Smith rushed four times for 15 yards in his second game back from a broken shoulder blade. ... San Francisco TE Jed Weaver had four catches for a career-best 76 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERARISF
sfTD12:00Touchdown
Drive info: 3 plays, 63 yds, 1:55
020
sf11:33
Drive info: 3 plays, 63 yds, 1:55
021
THIRD QUARTERARISF
sfSF10:24Arizona safety.
Drive info: 2 plays, -4 yds, 0:00
036
FIRST QUARTERARISF
sfTD12:28Jeff Garcia, 3 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 72 yds, 2:27
06
SECOND QUARTERARISF
sfTD7:26Touchdown
Drive info: 5 plays, 59 yds, 2:17
027
THIRD QUARTERARISF
sfTD2:47Jeff Garcia, 4 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 41 yds, 0:53
742
FIRST QUARTERARISF
sf12:17
Drive info: 5 plays, 72 yds, 2:27
07
SECOND QUARTERARISF
sfTD0:38Touchdown
Drive info: 5 plays, 50 yds, 1:41
033
THIRD QUARTERARISF
sf2:40
Drive info: 5 plays, 41 yds, 0:53
743
FOURTH QUARTERARISF
sfTD15:00Kevan Barlow, 46 yd run
Drive info: 4 plays, 64 yds, 12:11
749
FIRST QUARTERARISF
sfTD0:28Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 57 yds, 3:28
013
SECOND QUARTERARISF
sf0:38
Drive info: 5 plays, 50 yds, 1:41
034
THIRD QUARTERARISF
ariTD5:14Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 66 yds, 2:28
636
FOURTH QUARTERARISF
sf14:51
Drive info: 4 plays, 64 yds, 12:11
750
FIRST QUARTERARISF
sf0:05
Drive info: 6 plays, 57 yds, 3:28
014
THIRD QUARTERARISF
ari5:01
Drive info: 6 plays, 66 yds, 2:28
736
FOURTH QUARTERARISF
ariTD2:15Touchdown
Drive info: 15 plays, 95 yds, 5:53
1350
ari2:01
Drive info: 15 plays, 95 yds, 5:53
1450