49ers

Gore makes history, rushes for over 1,000 yards at 33 years old

Gore makes history, rushes for over 1,000 yards at 33 years old

BOX SCORE

INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jack Doyle with 9 seconds left Sunday to give the Indianapolis Colts a 24-20 victory over Jacksonville in their season finale.

Indy (8-8) went 75 yards in 84 seconds with no timeouts to avoid its first losing season since 2011, sending retiring linebacker Robert Mathis out with a win in his final NFL game.

Jacksonville (3-13) matched the second-worst record in franchise history after blocking a punt with 1:54 to go and breaking a 17-17 tie with 1:33 left.

Instead, Luck took the Colts right downfield for the score. He finished 24 of 40 with 321 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a game full of milestones.

Mathis extended his league record of strip-sacks to 41 in the fourth quarter, two days after announcing he would retire.

Frank Gore ran 16 times for 62 yards, becoming the fourth player in league history to top 1,000 yards at age 33 or older. He's also the oldest to achieve the milestone since John Riggins in 1984 at age 35, and he's the first Colts to run for 1,000 since Joseph Addai in 2007 - ending the second-longest active streak in the NFL.

Luck finished with than 4,000 yards passing for the third time in four years on a day Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian was inducted into the Colts' Ring of Honor at halftime.

That combination put this game, with no playoff implications, in a secondary role.

Jacksonville scored the first 17 points: a 47-yard field goal, a 14-yard touchdown pass from Blake Bortles to Ben Koyack and a 57-yard TD run by Corey Grant, who finished with 122 yards.

But the Colts finally got themselves righted late in the first half, cutting the halftime deficit to 17-3.

Indy opened the third quarter with Robert Turbin's 7-yard TD run and tied the score on a 15-yard TD pass from Luck to Dwayne Allen with 12 seconds to go.

THE WAITING GAME

T.Y. Hilton came into Sunday with the most yards receiving in the NFL and a chance to become the first Colts to win the receiving title since Reggie Wayne in 2007.

After padding his lead with six catches for 95 yards, he still wasn't sure if it would be enough to hold off his nearest competition, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Atlanta receiver Julio Jones. Both played in late afternoon.

UP NEXT

Both teams must now sort out their coaching situation.

Jacksonville has already fired Gus Bradley. After installing Doug Marrone as interim coach, the Jags broke a nine-game losing streak - the longest in franchise history - before this loss.

Indy's second straight playoff absence has put the futures of coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson in jeopardy despite going (48-31) and never having a losing season during their five-year tenures.

Soon, all three will know whether they've done enough to retain their jobs.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's two starts do not impact contract situation

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Shanahan: Garoppolo's two starts do not impact contract situation

Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for more yards than any quarterback in 49ers history in his first two starts.

But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo’s play has not changed how he views the contract situation that must be addressed before the start of the new league year in March.

The 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a late-October trade with the New England Patriots. He is under contract only through the end of this season. The 49ers will retain Garoppolo with the franchise tag if the sides are unable to reach agreement on a multi-year deal.

“For me personally, it doesn't impact anything,” Shanahan said. “I thought it was so neat about the situation that I didn't feel that, because of that (franchise) option, that we had to see something here or there, and we had to do all this stuff.

“It's been able for us to just try to do things the right way, put him in when we thought he was ready to, not put any pressure on him where he has to do all this to show something. Obviously, we're very encouraged with how these two games have been.”

The 49ers must designate Garoppolo as their franchise player at any point from Feb. 20 to March 6. Last year, the one-year cost for a franchise player at quarterback was $21.268 million.

In leading the 49ers to back-to-back road victories, Garoppolo threw for 293 yards against the Chicago Bears and 334 yards against the Houston Texans. Garoppolo is scheduled to make his first home start on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at Levi's Stadium.

“We'll see what happens here in the offseason when we get together and can assess everything,” Shanahan said. “I definitely don't think that’s something he's thinking about at this point, and it's definitely not something I'm thinking about, either.”

Shanahan said he does not anticipate the sides working out a contract extension during the final three weeks of the regular season.

Mariucci: Now, 49ers can build around Garoppolo

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Mariucci: Now, 49ers can build around Garoppolo

The 49ers’ rebuilding project gained its most important piece with the late-October trade that delivered quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from New England, former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci said.

Appearing on The 49ers Insider Podcast, Mariucci, now an analyst with the NFL Network, said the team is in a better position for next season than it would have been if a top rookie -- such as USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Wyoming's Josh Allen or Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield -- were to be drafted as the quarterback of the future.

“There’s clarity with at least one position in the building,” Mariucci said, “and that’s not to say C.J. Beathard doesn’t have a career in the National Football League. I believe he does. But, right now, it looks like Jimmy Garoppolo is the guy. And he’s a good guy. And he’s a worker. And he’s ready to do this.”

With back-to-back victories since Garoppolo took over the starting job from Beathard, the 49ers are currently in the No. 3 position in the draft. The 49ers can look to fill other positions now that quarterback is no longer a priority.

“With Jimmy Garoppolo, he’s so much further along than those young kids, having sat behind Tom Brady in New England and throwing the ball so much at Eastern Illinois,” Mariucci said. “He comes further along than any rookie ever will. And so that’s why it was such a good, solid move.”

Garoppolo has completed 66.7 percent of his pass attempts, averaged 9.0 yards per attempt with two touchdowns and two interceptions and a 92.7 passer rating since joining the 49ers.

“And the style of quarterback he is is a good fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense,” Mariucci said. “You can move him around with some play-action, keeps and movements. He can extend plays with his legs. He’s not the quite the same athlete as Russell Wilson, but he’s still very mobile. He can do most everything.

“I just like the whole thing. It makes a lot of sense. Now, they can build their team around him.”