Dec 20, 2014 9:13 PM
Frank Gore gives 49ers lead with 52-yard TD run
The Associated Press
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Frank Gore broke four tackles on a 52-yard touchdown run six days after a concussion, and the San Francisco 49ers led San Diego 7-0 after the first quarter Saturday night with the Chargers still holding slim playoff hopes.
Fullback Bruce Miller fumbled the ball near the goal line on the Niners' next possession to cost them a chance to build the lead. It was the first lost fumble of his career.
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers had his team driving late in the quarter before throwing an interception picked off by Perrish Cox.
In closing seconds of the quarter, 21-yard TD pass from Colin Kaepernick to Anquan Boldin was negated on left tackle Joe Staley's holding penalty. After the catch, Boldin immediately swung a left arm around cornerback Shareece Wright's neck before pushing the defender in the face with his right hand and butting helmets. Boldin's unsportsmanlike penalty was nullified on the holding flag.
The Chargers (8-6), who have won the last three against the 49ers, need to win out and get some help. They began the week tied with Kansas City and Buffalo, one game out of final wild-card berth.
Rivers sat out Wednesday's practice with neck and back injuries, and he was without running back Ryan Mathews and wide receiver Keenan Allen.
Kaepernick completed 5 of 6 passes and ran for 33 yards as the Niners outgained San Diego 182-40.
for the 49ers, who have lost three straight under fourth-year coach Jim Harbaugh for the first time and dealt with the constant swirl of speculation about his future like a report alma mater Michigan has made him a six-year offer.
Gore was active less than a week after sustaining a concussion at Seattle, where the 49ers were eliminated from playoff contention with a 17-7 loss. He didn't practice Wednesday in a short week and was limited in Thursday and Friday sessions and listed as questionable.
The 31-year-old Gore, in a contract year, came in needing 196 yards rushing over final two games for fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season and eighth in his 10 NFL seasons.
He was at 98 yards after the opening quarter. The scoring run was his longest since a 64-yarder on Nov. 1, 2009 at Indianapolis. It also was the longest TD run allowed by San Diego since 2010.
San Francisco safety Eric Reid sustained a head injury.
Right tackle Anthony Davis returned for San Francisco and started, playing for the first time since Nov. 9 after missing four games with a concussion.
Cox's fifth interception moved him into a tie for third place in the NFC.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL