TEMPE, Ariz. (AP)—Dennis Erickson may not have much time left as San Francisco’s coach.
The 49ers blew a 25-point lead, but regrouped to win the game 31-28 on Todd Peterson’s 31-yard field goal with 8:38 left in overtime.
Afterward, Erickson shut down any talk about reports that his job was in jeopardy.
“I’m not going to answer any questions about rumors that are out there and meetings and all the different things,” Erickson said. “I’m not going to waste your time or mine talking about rumors.”
It was the exact same score as in the teams’ first meeting on Oct. 10, when visiting Arizona blew a 16-point lead with 5 minutes to go in regulation and lost in overtime on Peterson’s 32-yarder.
“It’s amazing,” Cardinals quarterback Josh McCown said. “It’s a funny league for that to happen. For the tables to be turned and us be the ones to come back, and not to seal the deal. It hurts. We needed this game.”
San Francisco is 2-0 against Arizona this season, and 0-11 against everyone else.
Were the 49ers out to win one for their embattled coach?
“We just wanted to win this one for the organization,” Dorsey said, “the coaches, the players, everybody. It was definitely a team effort. We needed this one.”
Dorsey threw for the first three touchdowns of his two-year NFL career, two of them to Cedrick Wilson. Hicks carried 34 times for 139 yards and a touchdown. His runs of 7 and 17 yards set up Peterson’s game-winning kick.
The biggest play of that drive, though, came on third-and-17 from the San Francisco 44, when Dorsey threw 19 yards to Wilson.
“Ken, boy, fires that thing in there,” Wilson said. “That’s the best play that we’ve made in a long time.”
Hicks, who went undrafted and was with the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe last season, played the fourth quarter and overtime with bruised ribs.
“I couldn’t see myself coming out because they needed me at a tough time,” he said.
McCown, back at quarterback for Arizona (4-9) after being benched for three games, directed three second-half touchdown drives, then Neil Rackers’ 22-yard field goal with 59 seconds to go sent the game into overtime.
McCown went 26-of-44 for a career-best 307 yards with one interception but no touchdowns.
Emmitt Smith, who missed one game with a sore big left toe, capped Arizona’s last TD drive with an 8-yard run, then McCown ran for the 2-point conversion to cut it to 28-25 with 2:40 to play.
Terry Jackson’s fumble was recovered by David Macklin for Arizona at the 49ers 20 with 2:16 left in regulation. On third-and-goal from the 4, tight end Freddie Jones was open, but Joselio Hanson knocked away McCown’s soft toss over the middle.
A muffed punt, a missed field goal and an interception helped the 49ers to a 21-0 first-half lead.
Arizona lost its fourth in a row.
Asked who was to blame for the team’s slow start, coach Dennis Green said, “I’m at fault. I’m the head coach, so I’m at fault.”
The 49ers initially settled for a field goal, but Darnell Dockett was called for a penalty for leaping on a teammate to try to block it, and Dorsey’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd made it 7-0.
Arizona drove inside the 49ers 20 on its next possession, but Rackers missed a 34-yard field goal. San Francisco took over and went 75 yards in 11 plays, Dorsey hitting Wilson just inside the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown.
Dorsey’s 27-yard pass to Wilson on third down gave San Francisco its biggest lead, 28-3, with 9:57 left in the third quarter.
“Some of the mistakes that we made, in my opinion, are elementary mistakes,” Smith said. “Sometimes you have to overcome coaching. Sometimes you just have to do that, and that’s called making a play and being a football player.
Arizona offensive tackle L.J. Shelton left the game with ligament damage in his left knee. An MRI was scheduled Monday. … Ex-Miami coach Dave Wannstedt was the TV analyst for the game. … Lee’s 53-yard punt in overtime gave the 49ers field position on their winning drive.