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.

Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away

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AP

Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away

Keith Fahnhorst, who played 14 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and started on two Super Bowl-winning teams, died on Tuesday. He was 66.

Fahnhorst was among a large group of players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl championship team that gathered at Levi’s Stadium in October in a celebration of Dwight Clark. Fahnhorst and Clark were teammates for the 49ers’ Super Bowl-titlle teams of 1981 and 1984. Clark passed away on June 6 from ALS.

Fahnhorst, who was in a wheelchair during his trip to the Bay Area last season, battled many physical ailments since his career ended in 1987. He was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and underwent a kidney transplant in 2002. Fahnhorst was also later diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

A second-round draft pick of the 49ers in 1974 from the University of Minnesota, Fahnhorst was a mainstay at right tackle as the organization struggled in the mid-to-late 1970s, then found success in the 1980s under coach Bill Walsh.

“Everybody knew they could count on Keith,” Walsh said in the 2005 book, “San Francisco 49ers: Where Have Gone?”

Fahnhorst appeared in 193 regular-season games, ranking behind only Len Rohde among offensive linemen in 49ers history. He started 170 games, including all 10 postseason games in which he appeared. He was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team and was selected as a first-team All-Pro after the 1984 season. He was a two-time winner of the Bobb McKittrick Award for best representing the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime 49ers offensive line coach.

Keith Fahnhorst and his younger brother, Jim, were 49ers teammates for the final four years of Keith’s career. Jim Fahnhorst, a linebacker, played for the 49ers from 1984 to 1990. Neither Keith nor Jim Fahnhorst played for any NFL team other than the 49ers.

Jimmy Garoppolo focuses on 49ers' red-zone efficiency

Jimmy Garoppolo focuses on 49ers' red-zone efficiency

SANTA CLARA – In Jimmy Garoppolo’s first three starts last season, the 49ers’ won games in spite of a lousy red-zone offense.

The 49ers were 0-for-5 in converting possessions inside the Chicago Bears’ 20-yards line into touchdowns. They were 2-for-4 against the Houston Texans, and just 1-of-4 against the Tennessee Titans.

That would explain why Garoppolo singled out the team’s red-zone offense as an area he would like to see the team continue to improve.

“I think a big part for us, as a whole, offensively is just finishing in the end zone,” Garoppolo said Wednesday on the final day of the team’s offseason program.

“Last year we got stopped short a couple of times, more than we’d like to. And I think we’ve done a good job in OTAs and minicamp of finishing in the end zone, for the most part. Finishing drives and stuff like that.”

The 49ers finished the season strong in the red zone, converting 11 of their red-zone trips into eight touchdowns in games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams.

In 24 red-zone trips in the five games Garoppolo started, the 49ers scored 11 touchdowns and settled for 12 field goals. He also threw one interception. Garoppolo said the 49ers have enough weapons in the passing game to account for the added difficulty of scoring on those possessions.

“Those are point plays,” Garoppolo said. “They’re either seven-point plays or three-point plays. You know what I mean? Those are the ones that really matter.

The competition between offense and defense has led to some spirited matchups in practices. Garoppolo has routinely looked to tight ends George Kittle and team favorite Garrett Celek to get the touchdown celebrations going.

“It’s hard to complete touchdowns, especially in the red zone like that,” Garoppolo said. “Windows are tighter. Not as much room. So especially when Celek gets one, it gets everyone going.”