NFL: San Francisco 49ers make play-offs with win at last game at Candlestick Park

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH.   Last Updated: 24/12/13 7:39am

  • Share:
Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin celebrate a touchdown

Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin celebrate a touchdown

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

The San Francisco 49ers produced a fitting farewell to regular season football at their Candlestick Park home with a dramatic finish to their 34-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons that booked their place in the play-offs.

With just a three-point lead and with the Falcons down at their 10-yard line, the 49ers produced the thrilling finish the home fans desired as Navorro Bowman intercepted quarterback Matt Ryan and took it 89 yards for the clinching touchdown.

The 49ers moved on to 11-4 for the season and secured their play-off place with the win, and they could yet run out again at The Stick if they win at Arizona on the final Sunday while St Louis pull off an upset win in Seattle.

San Francisco could yet earn a first round bye and home field advantage with the same set of results plus a Carolina loss at Atlanta - but the most likely scenario is that their 42-year stay at Candlestick has ended.

It was a fitting end for a stadium that saw the team dominate when winning five Super Bowls - and it also provided a superb 50th birthday present for head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Happy Birthday

"That's been the best thing I've ever seen happen in a football game," Harbaugh said. "Best birthday present I've ever gotten, second only to being born. That was awesome."

The Falcons pounded out a 10-3 half time lead behind Steven Jackson's two-yard TD run, but the Niners responded with 31 second half points - their most since 1985 - with Anquan Boldin catching a ten-yard TD throw as he went over 1,000 yards receiving for the sixth time in his career.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick then ran in a score himself from four yards before Roddy White replied for Atlanta when catching a 39-yard TD pass from Ryan.

Frank Gore's one-yard score was cancelled out by Tony Gonzalez, and when Atlanta then recovered an on-side kick they had the game at their mercy before Bowman saved the day.

"There's a lot of history in this stadium," Bowman said. "For this to be the last game, we cannot leave it with an L. So I'm glad we got the W."

From next season San Francisco will play at their new $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium near their headquarters in Santa Clara, which will stage the Super Bowl in 2016.

  • Share:


NFL 2013 Week 16

Colts: Battling back from a mid-season wobble

NFL Power Rankings

Ahead of the final regular NFL weekend, Simon Veness says Arizona and Indianapolis are on the up.

Peyton Manning fired the Broncos to the AFC West title in their win over Houston as he made NFL history.

NFL Week 16

Take a look at all the best pictures from a pulsating penultimate weekend of NFL action.

No Car trouble: Arizona QB Palmer was supreme against the Seahawks

Raising Arizona

Arizona might not make the play-offs and that means the system may need a revamp, says Neil Reynolds.

Most Popular


Beckham earns Spurs

Beckham earns Spurs

Odell Beckham Jr can certainly catch - but can he score a penalty against Brad Friedel?

Wasted talent?

Wasted talent?

Reggie Bush has been cut from Detroit so View From America questions if he's wasted his talent.

Stars of the Combine

Stars of the Combine

The NFL Scouting Combine is over so View From America picks 10 potential stars to watch out for.