SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo shook off a pair of red-zone interceptions and rallied the 49ers to a 36-26 win Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals, hitting Jeff Wilson Jr. on a 25-yard touchdown pass with only 31 seconds to spare.
The 49ers (9-1) fell behind 16-0 and blew a pair of second-half leads to the Cardinals (3-7-1).
Solidifying the victory, the 49ers defense recovered a pair of Cardinals fumbles in the final 25 seconds, and D.J. Reed scored on a fumble recovery to end the topsy-turvy affair.
Preceding Garoppolo’s fourth and final (and winning) touchdown pass, the 49ers were awarded a first down via a replay ruling rather than face fourth-and-1 and a potential tying field-goal attempt from Chase McLaughlin.
The 49ers complete a three-game homestand next Sunday when they host the Green Bay Packers, followed by a 10-day road trip to face the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints with a Florida layover between those games.
Here are the highs and lows from the 49ers’ bounce-back comeback after Monday’s overtime loss to Seattle:
QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO: He finished 34-of-45 for 424 yards, and he threw four touchdown passes, matching his career high from the 49ers’ 28-25 win at Arizona on Halloween. After halftime, Garoppolo was 26-of-30 for 305 yards, with three touchdowns and the two interceptions. When Garoppolo hit Kendrick Bourne for a go-ahead touchdown pass earlier in the fourth quarter, that made Garoppolo 16-of-17 after halftime, with the only incompletion being a what-are-you-thinking interception at the 5-yard line.
RB JEFF WILSON JR.: In his first touch since Oct. 27 against Carolina, Wilson won it on a 25-yard touchdown catch, his fifth touchdown of the season.
WR DEEBO SAMUEL: Samuel produced his second straight 100-yard game (eight receptions, 134 yards). He overcame a third-quarter shoulder from making a tremendously acrobatic, juggling catch in front of the 49ers’ sideline, while being interfered with by Patrick Peterson.
DT ARIK ARMSTEAD: His eighth sack of the season was a vital one. It came on third down after Kyler Murray escaped from Nick Bosa, and it forced a punt that gave the 49ers the ball with just over 2 minutes remaining.
FB KYLE JUSZCZYK: His unheralded receiving ability set up a trio of first-and-goal situations. That included catches over the middle for 14 and 19 yards on the first two touchdown drives. A 7-yard catch set up a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. It was his second game back from a month-long hiatus (knee sprain), Juszczyk also caught Jimmy Garoppolo’s first pass (4 yards).
WR KENDRICK BOURNE: His go-ahead touchdown catch, on a 2-yard pass over the middle, put the 49ers up 23-19 with 12:14 to go. Earlier, Bourne failed to catch a couple contested passes (drops, if you will) to rekindle memories of Monday night’s two drops.
TE ROSS DWELLEY: His first career touchdowns came in much-needed fashion, and with George Kittle (knee, ankle) out a second straight game. A 4-yard touchdown catch on third-and-goal got the 49ers their first points. Dwelley’s 5-yard touchdown catch and Chase McLaughlin’s ensuing point-after kick put the 49ers ahead 17-16 only 3:53 after halftime. Dwelley also had a touchdown catch negated by a holding penalty just before halftime.
WR RICHIE JAMES JR.: After seeing no offensive snaps Monday night, he took a backside screen pass 57 yards to the Cardinals’ 18-yard line, a near-perfect answer to a 16-0 deficit. That play finally swung the momentum the 49ers’ way.
— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) November 17, 2019
DT DeFOREST BUCKNER: He chased down the elusive Kyler Murray for a sack on the Cards’ first snap after halftime, then tipped a second-down pass for a near-interception. Buckner has five sacks on the season.
GOAL-LINE DEFENSE: Gifted first-and-goal at the 3 after a replay challenge cited Richard Sherman for pass interference, the Cardinals settled for a field goal. Jaquiski Tartt’s first-down pursuit of Murray yielded only a 1-yard gain, then a pass-interference call on the Cards’ Christian Kirk nullified a TD to a wide open Charles Clay. Buckner’s pursuit halted Murray at the 8, then an incompletion (with a Nick Bosa hit on Murray) set up the field goal.
WR EMMANUEL SANDERS: Playing through Monday’s rib injury, he had three catches for 33 yards (and a drop) before needing a breather in the third quarter.
K CHASE McLAUGHLIN: In his first attempt since 47-yard OT miss Monday night, makes 43-yard field goal for 16-10 deficit at halftime
DEFENSIVE INJURIES: Pass rusher Dee Ford exited with a right-hamstring strain after a second-quarter sack, and that puts his availiability in doubt for the upcoming games against Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers), Baltimore (Lamar Jackson) and New Orleans (Drew Brees). Also hurt were cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley (cramping; returned to game) and K’Waun Williams (stinger). Moseley made three solid tackles before getting hurt, and he also made a perfect pass-defense on a second-down throw in the second quarter.
SHERMAN PASS INTERFERENCE: Richard Sherman’s three pass-interference penalties are more than any he’s had in an entire season since 2016. On his first penalty Sunday, Sherman tugged on Christian Kirk’s back as a third-down bomb went off Kirk’s helmet, and a replay challenge awarded the Cardinals first-and-goal at the 3. Sherman drew a pass interference penalty at the 5 vs. Kirk on the next series, setting up a touchdown and 9-0 deficit. His third P.I. call yielded no damage other than field position.
PENALTIES: Sherman wasn’t exactly singled out. The 49ers got called for their most penalties of the season, including infractions that wiped out a Dwelley touchdown and a Sanders catch at the 2. The Cardinals also drew a slew of flags from referee Walt Anderson’s crew.
RUN GAME WOES: Bad sign for the league’s No.2-ranked rushing attack: 12 yards on nine carries in the first half. Leading rusher Matt Breida (ankle) did not play and there wasn’t much room for the others to roam.
FS JIMMIE WARD: Whether it was a bad angle or bad form but Ward couldn’t stop Kyler Murray on a 22-yard touchdown run with 6:30 remaining. His left-ankle injured early in the game, Ward couldn’t change directions in time in one-on-one space and allowed a 5-yard, second-quarter touchdown catch to Pharoh Cooper for a 16-0 deficit.
DROP ZONE, SEQUEL: After seven (or eight) passes got dropped Monday night, this epidemic continues to infiltrate the 49ers, and no drop could have loomed bigger than Marquise Goodwin at the Cardinals’ 29 with 58 seconds left. Earlier drops came from Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne (two contested passes), Raheem Mostert (fourth down) and Emmanuel Sanders.
LB ELIJAH LEE: He looked lost and Larry Fitzgerald looked wide open, resulting in Fitzgerald’s 5-yard touchdown catch and his 19th in 32 career games against the 49ers.
SHANAHAN CHALLENGE: Kyle Shanahan unconvincingly dropped a challenge flag hoping for a Kyler Murray fumble. No dice. Ground caused it. Challenge lost, timeout lost.
SEASON PASS DIGITAL OFFER
If you have not already, we strongly encourage you to sign up for a digital subscription, which gives you access to all content on the Mercury News and East Bay Times websites. With your support, we can continue bringing these stories — and much more — to your screens. Here’s where to sign up for the season pass: Mercury News, East Bay Times.