Streaking 49ers Cut This One a Little Close

From Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers had been winning easily for a month. On Sunday, they remembered how to win a close game.

Terry Kirby ran for two touchdowns and set up another with an 82-yard reception Sunday as San Francisco extended its winning streak to six, defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 35-28.

The 49ers (6-1) actually trailed--albeit briefly--for the first time since Week 2, having won their previous four games by an average margin of 21.5 points.


“It was the kind of game you knew you’d get sooner or later,” said Steve Young, who passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns. “We got tested and retested and our offense was able to come up with big plays.”

The Falcons (1-6), coming off their first victory of the season, kept coming back against the 49ers, playing much better than they did in a 34-7 loss at San Francisco on Sept. 21.

The final play of the third quarter epitomized the season for the Falcons.

With San Francisco ahead, 28-21, and facing a third-and-12 at its own 17, Young escaped a heavy rush by dumping a pass to Kirby in the flat. He got loose down the sideline and ran all the way to the Atlanta 1 before Devin Bush tripped him up.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, William Floyd scored on a one-yard run to give the 49ers a 14-point advantage.

Atlanta backup quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver threw a four-yard scoring pass to Terance Mathis with 1:16 remaining and the Falcons recovered an onside kick at their 39. But Kevin Greene sacked Tolliver on a fourth-and-6 to seal the victory.