Not too pretty, but effective for Cards
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Give Carson Palmer style points for punctuating Arizona's latest win, however silly it looked when he tumbled after spiking the ball.
Even if a few teammates feared he might be hurt.
"I'm taking a lot of heat for that, and I could care less. The teasing's not going to stop," he said. "More looks than comments, more just laughs and head shaking. But the comments will come as soon as we get on the plane."
Palmer ran for a go-ahead 8-yard touchdown with 2:28 left and tumbled after spiking the ball as the NFC West-leading Cardinals squeaked by the 49ers for their first road victory against San Francisco since September 2008.
Moments earlier, Palmer fell backward as he released the ball and completed a 34-yard pass to J.J. Nelson to put Arizona on the 1.
Chandler Catanzaro missed the extra point, giving Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers one more chance with 2:21 left. Anquan Boldin caught a pass on fourth and 20, it was but only for 18 yards.
"The last drive was kind of indicative of the way the day was, Carson stumbling and bumbling into the end zone. Horrible spike, missed extra point," said Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who had 10 catches to pass Randy Moss for 12th all time. "It wasn't pretty."
San Francisco outgained Arizona, the NFL's top-ranked offense, 368-337. Palmer improved to 22-4 over his past 26 starts.