49Ers beat Arizona 20-16 with late 80-yard drive

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GLENDALE -- The Arizona Cardinals gained more yards than San Francisco did and had more downs, but also had many more mistakes.

San Francisco used a time-consuming drive in the fourth quarter to pull out a 20-16 season-opening victory yesterday over the reigning NFC champions.

But Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt traces the loss to missed assignments, dropped passes, errant throws and penalties.

Shaun Hill and the rest of San Francisco's offense had an awful second half, except for one magnificent possession.

Hill directed a 15-play, 80-yard drive for the winning touchdown on a 3-yard pass to Frank Gore, and the 49ers spoiled the season debut of defending NFC champion Arizona with a 20-16 victory over the Cardinals yesterday.

Arizona rallied from 10 points down to go up 16-13 on Neil Rackers' 44-yard field goal with 14:52 to play, but the 49ers regained control with the drive that used up nearly half of the final quarter.

It was the Cardinals' first loss to an NFC West foe in two seasons.

Arizona's Steve Breaston inactive for opener

Arizona wide receiver Steve Breaston was inactive for the Cardinals' season opener against the San Francisco 49ers yesterday.

Breaston is the team's No. 3 wide receiver behind Pro Bowlers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan (AN'-kwahn) Boldin. Breaston caught 77 passes for 1,006 yards last season. He has been slowed by a bruised kneecap all preseason.

Jerheme Urban replaced him on the depth chart.

Arizona inactives also included wide receiver Early Doucet, out with fractured ribs.

San Francisco inactives included safeties Curtis Taylor and

Reggie Smith, along with wide receivers Brandon Jones and Jason Hill.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)