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(Sunday, November 20th)
Final Score: San Francisco 23, Arizona 7
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Alex Smith passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals, 23-7, on Sunday to win their eighth straight game for the first time in 14 years.
Smith's touchdown passes to Kyle Williams and Vernon Davis in the third quarter broke the game open, giving the 49ers (9-1) a safe 23-0 advantage.
"A little frustrating," said Smith. "In the passing game we left some stuff out there but at the same time [it was] a little encouraging that we were still able to put the game away."
The first-place 49ers maintained a five-game lead over Seattle for in the NFC West while moving six games ahead of Arizona. This is their longest winning streak since an 11-game run during the 1997 season.
Next up is a Thanksgiving game in Baltimore on Thursday night. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh will coach against his brother, Ravens coach John.
David Akers kicked three field goals in the first half for San Francisco, but also had two blocked and missed another. Frank Gore rushed for 88 yards and Michael Crabtree led all receivers with seven catches and 120 yards.
John Skelton started his third game in a row for the injured Kevin Kolb, but couldn't get a third straight win after beating the Rams and Eagles. He was just 6-of-19 for 99 yards with three interceptions.
"I'm not trying to put it all on John," said Cardinals coach Ken Wisenhunt. "It was a tough day for a lot of us out there today and we didn't get the job done."
Richard Bartel went 8-of-16 in the fourth quarter for the Cardinals (3-7) and threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald.
Chester Taylor led Arizona in rushing with one 34-yard carry, while Beanie Wells played with a knee injury and carried eight times for 33 yards.
Akers had a 46-yard field goal try blocked on the 49ers' first drive, then missed a 49-yarder wide right after they got the ball back on an interception.
He was finally good from 22 yards, then kicked a 43-yarder to make it 6-0 after Arizona fumbled the kickoff. His 30-yarder in the second quarter was blocked, but a 29-yard try sailed through for a 9-0 lead at halftime.
The 49ers finally found a rhythm early in the third quarter with a 13-play, 84-yard drive that ended in Smith's eight-yard touchdown pass to Williams near the goal line on the left side.
Skelton was intercepted on the next two Arizona possessions. San Francisco converted the first pick into points when Smith dropped an 18-yard touchdown pass into Davis' hands in the right side of the end zone to make it 23-0.
It was Davis' 34th touchdown catch, passing Brent Jones for the all-time 49ers record among tight ends.
The 49ers' only loss this season came in overtime against Dallas on September 18. They have won five in a row and seven of their last nine versus the Cardinals...Kolb sat again with a toe injury.
11/21 01:41:26 ET
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