GALLERY: Bengals hand 49ers 10th loss of season
Bengals, 49ers duke it out
The 49ers (4-9) and Bengals (10-3) clash in Santa Clara at Levi's Stadium with Jim Tomsula and his team looking for an upset victory on Dec. 20, 2015.
On 3rd-and-11 in the second quarter, Blaine Gabbert looked to hit an open Vance McDonald for a first down. He did just that, but McDonald couldn't do his part. The ball went right off the tight end's hands and into Bengals cornerback Adam "Pac Man" Jones for an interception.
On the board
In what was a struggle for both teams offensively in the first half, the Bengals scored first Sunday. With 2:44 left in the half, Bengals running back Jeremy Hill plunged his way in for a one-yard touchdown. The score gave Hill his 10th total on the year and the Bengals a 7-0 lead.
Hill heats up
Bengals running back Jeremy Hill crossed the pylons once again. After an 18-yard punt by Bradley Pinion, Hill scored on another one-yard run to cap off Cincinnati's drive. The Bengals took a 14-0 lead on the 49ers.
Another unfortunate pick
Blaine Gabbert went for Vance McDonald again and again the play ended with an interception on the stat sheet. The ball hit McDonald's hands and after he couldn't complete his juggling act, it wound up in the hands of Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Out of control
One play after McDonald's drop, the Bengals countered with one more touchdown. AJ McCarron completed a two-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Tyler Kroft. The touchdown was the first of Kroft's career and put the 49ers in a 21-0 hole heading into halftime.
The 49ers were down by three touchdowns at halftime, but the crowd still had reason to smile soon after. While this has been a down season, the dominant days of past are still remembered. At halftime, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig and others were honored as the franchise showcased the 1981 and '88 Super Bowl teams.
Coming out of the half, the Bengals increased their lead to 24-0, but then the 49ers shortened it with Bruce Miller's first career rushing touchdown. The offense continued to pick up steam, and Anquan Boldin made it a 10-point game with a 15-yard touchdown with 2:23 remaining in the game. Boldin finished with eight catches and one touchdown, all game-highs for the 49ers.
Jim Tomsula completed his first successful challenge, getting the 49ers the ball back in an overturned onside kick. But, soon the game would be sealed. With two minutes left to play, Gabbert intended a pass for Jerome Simpson, but was intercepted at the goal line by safety Shawn Williams, Gabbert's third interception of the game. The Bengals would go on to win 24-14.