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49ers: Big blocks paved way for 18-play drive

  • 49ers tight end Vernon Davis had a big day Sunday, with eight catches for 180 yards -- and he made some key blocks in San Francisco's victory over Arizona. (Associated Press)

SANTA CLARA — Wide receiver Anquan Boldin came in motion from the right side, sidled up next to left tackle Joe Staley and joined the 49ers' blocking brigade at Sunday's most critical juncture.

Fullback Bruce Miller followed a path carved by Boldin and Staley to gain three yards on fourth-and-1, extending an 18-play touchdown drive that sealed the 49ers' 32-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

“I felt him kind of leap across, so I was pretty excited about that,” Boldin said Monday of Miller's carry, his first of the season.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

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Coach Jim Harbaugh proudly reflected on that drive, too, and he gave special recognition to 6-yard touchdown run. With Hunter coming behind Anthony Davis, Vernon Davis helped create an opening with a block on linebacker Karlos Dansby.

“The blocks by Vernon Davis and Anthony Davis were textbook, something to really be admired and highlighted,” Harbaugh said.

The 49ers had been unable to produce touchdowns on three earlier trips into the red zone, and Hunter's scoring run snapped that skid. San Francisco has scored touchdowns on 10 of 20 red-zone possessions.

Also encouraging on that drive were three conversions on third-down attempts. The 49ers were just 1 of 8 on third-down efficiency before the 18-play drive, which was kept alive with third-down catches by Boldin and Kyle Williams, as well as a third-and-1 run by Gore two snaps before Hunter's touchdown. The 18 plays were the most of any drive in the NFL this season.

“It was big for us,” Boldin added. “Our defense had been on the field for quite some time, and we felt they needed a break.”

We were able to put the game away.”

JAMES MAY GET CALLED ON

LaMichael James could be summoned off the bench to spark the 49ers' punt-return efforts, a role that's strictly belonged to Kyle Williams through six games.

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