SANTA CLARA — The San Francisco 49ers officially lost to the Arizona Cardinals at 8:33 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday night, and the final score was 33-21. But the game was all but over after the opening kickoff of the second half, when each team had just 7 points.
Here’s what happened during that play: The 49ers’ kick returner, Chris Davis, fielded the kickoff on a bounce at his 3-yard line and ran up field 11 yards, where he met Cardinals’ special teamer Ifeanyi Momah. Davis tried to juke past Momah, who stuck out his right arm, poked the ball out of Davis’ grasp and recovered the fumble at the 49ers’ 14-yard line. A few plays later, the Cardinals scored a touchdown on a 4-yard run by tailback David Johnson.
In a sense, Davis handed the game to the Cardinals right then and there when he put the ball on the ground. But the Niners seemed to be trying to give away the game from the start.
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