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(Sunday, December 15th)
Final Score: San Francisco 33, Tampa Bay 14
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco 49ers moved closer to a playoff berth with a convincing 33-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday from Raymond James Stadium.
With a win against Atlanta next week, San Francisco (10-4) will punch its ticket to the postseason. The Niners had a chance to clinch on Sunday, but Arizona's overtime win against Tennessee prevented any celebration.
Colin Kaepernick threw for 203 yards with two touchdowns on 19-of-29 passing and also rushed for 39 yards on seven attempts. Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree each hauled in a touchdown on five receptions. Davis finished with 79 yards, while Crabtree recorded 45.
Frank Gore rushed for 86 yards on 22 carries for San Fran, which won its fourth consecutive game.
Mike Glennon was 18-of-34 for 179 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Tampa Bay (4-10). Timothy Wright and Vincent Jackson both caught touchdown passes in the setback.
"They (Tampa Bay) have a great defense," said Kaepernick. "They cause a lot of problems for offenses and they do a lot of things well."
Following a three-and-out from Tampa, Gore shot through the middle for a 13- yard gain on the Niners' first play from scrimmage.
Later in the march, Kaepernick scampered out of the pocket down the far sideline on 3rd-and-8 for a 17-yard gain that put the 49ers in the red zone.
Kaepernick was faced with another third down three plays later when he rolled to his right, pump faked several times, and completed a 5-yard pass to Bruce Miller as he fell out of bounds for a first down at the Tampa Bay 4.
Gore was stuffed for no gain on 1st-and-goal, but Kaepernick kept the next play alive by rolling to his right before finding Crabtree for a 4-yard score.
The next score came via a 47-yard field goal from Phil Dawson that put the visitors up 10-0 midway through the second quarter.
On 3rd-and-15, Kaepernick hit Anquan Boldin on a short crossing pattern. The wide receiver broke Darrelle Revis' tackle and hustled down the near sideline for a gain of 25 to the Tampa Bay 21-yard line.
San Francisco stalled and settled for the field goal.
Later in the quarter, coming out of the two-minute warning timeout, Kaepernick completed a deep 52-yard pass to Davis for a touchdown.
Tampa Bay finally made its way across mid-field for the first time in the game during the last drive of the half. Glennon orchestrated a seven-play, 80-yard sequence that culminated with an 11-yard touchdown grab by Jackson.
Midway through the third following a Buccaneers punt, San Fran started with good field position at the Tampa Bay 44 and Dawson converted his 22nd consecutive field goal when he drilled a 43-yarder to make it 20-7.
"Tough loss," said Bucs head coach Greg Schiano. "It was a hard fought game (and) unfortunate the way it ended. We had opportunities, without a doubt, to stop them and we didn't do it."
The Bucs spent just over four minutes on a 10-play, 92-yard scoring march that bled into the fourth quarter. Wright caught a 24-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter to end the lengthy possession and close the gap to 20-14.
The defending NFC Champions answered with a textbook 17-play drive that chewed up 10-plus minutes, but ended with only a 21-yard Dawson field goal.
Like he did most of the day, Kaepernick made a couple of huge third-down conversions during the sequence, connecting with Crabtree for 14 yards on 3rd- and-12 and later running for 10 yards on 3rd-and-6 to set up the field goal.
Eric Page fumbled when he attempted to hand the ball off on the ensuing kickoff and Kendall Hunter returned the fumble two yards for a touchdown.
Dawson added to his franchise record with his 24th consecutive field goal after he added a 35-yarder late in the contest.
Wright finished with seven receptions for 82 yards and Jackson hauled in five passes for 58 yards ... Bucs running back Bobby Rainey had just 27 yards on 11 carries ... San Francisco held onto the ball for 39:50 ... The Niners also outgained the Bucs 376-183 in total yards.
12/15 20:01:39 ET