Oops: Kliff Kingsbury calls timeout, negates Cardinals 4th-and-goal stop
The San Francisco 49ers were threatening to break the game open at the end of the first half Thursday against the Arizona Cardinals.
Arizona was in desperate need of a momentum shift after giving up back-to-back touchdowns while managing only two first downs in its last four drives of the half, and the chance would come on 4th-and-goal.
With four seconds left, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan let the clock run down to ensure his 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line was the last play of the half.
The 49ers called a run to the right, and Cardinals outside linebacker Haason Reddick made the biggest play of the game, stuffing Tevin Coleman.
State Farm Stadium erupted for the huge play, only for the whistles blowing to reveal that Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury had called a timeout.
On the next play, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw a one-yard touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders.
“I wanted to get a Kodak timeout, one of those looks at it and wanted them to hopefully burn their best play,” Kingsbury said. “They ran a play and it worked for us initially, but then obviously looking back on it would’ve rather gotten that stop. It just didn’t work out for us this time.
“We came out and played really well in the second half. Once again, our guys understand decisions will be made that we think are best in that moment to win the game. That one didn’t work out for us and that’s on me, but our guys continue to fight.”
The drive capped off an impressive response from San Francisco, which trailed 7-0 and punted on two straight drives to start the game before scoring three straight touchdowns. Garoppolo threw all three for 172 yards, completing 17 of his 21 passing attempts in the first half.
He’d go on to finish with 341 yards and four touchdowns.
The 49ers got the ground game going as well, rushing for 78 yards on 13 carries in the first half.
That touchdown by Sanders wound up having massive implications, as a late, 88-yard touchdown throw by Kyler Murray to Andy Isabella and ensuing two-point conversion put the Cardinals within three, but they’d hold at that deficit and fall 28-25.