Brian Westbrook rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown in place of the injured Frank Gore and the San Francisco 49ers sent Arizona to its sixth consecutive loss, 27-6, on Monday night in a shower of boos from the Cardinals’ home crowd in Glendale, Ariz.
Westbrook, who had 9 yards in five carries heading into the game, carried 23 times in his 21st career 100-yard game, but first since Dec. 7, 2008, for Philadelphia against the Giants.
San Francisco (4-7), beaten at home by Tampa Bay last week, 21-0, improved to 3-1 since Troy Smith became starting quarterback and moved one game behind co-leaders St. Louis and Seattle in the anemic NFC West.
Houston’s Andre Johnson and Tennessee’s Cortland Finnegan each were fined $25,000 but avoided suspensions by the NFL, the day after slugging it out in the fourth quarter of the Texans’ 20-0 victory.
It was the second time they scuffled. Last season, Johnson was fined $7,500 for taking Finnegan to the ground by the facemask.
GOT HIS BACK
Bills receiver Stevie Johnson made a lot of news Sunday, first dropping a potential game-winning touchdown pass in overtime against Pittsburgh (the Steelers went on to win on their next possession), then about an hour after the game, posting a controversial statement on his Twitter account where he apparently blames God for the dropped pass.
“I praise you 24/7!!! And this how you do me!!!. You expect me to learn from this???How??? I’ll never forget this!! Ever!! Thx Tho.”
Teammates say they stand behind the receiver, who is having a breakout season. He leads the team with 59 catches, 796 yards and nine touchdowns.
“He knows we’ve got his back,” center Geoff Hangartner said. “There’s no need to say anything. Everybody’s made mistakes. He’s no different than the rest of us. He’ll be fine.”
The NFL rejected Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s appeals of his $75,000 fine for a hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and $20,000 fine for slamming helmet-first into Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ back. … Sunday’s doubleheader on Fox averaged its highest preliminary TV rating on the network in 14 years. The games drew a 15.2 overnight rating and 28 share, the best since Week 13 of the 1996 season. … Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who has played in 51 consecutive games, had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam on his sprained right ankle and his status is unknown. … The NFL is looking into a postgame verbal confrontation outside the locker room between Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib and an official who worked the game against Baltimore. … Oakland QB Bruce Gradkowski underwent an MRI on his right (throwing) shoulder. … Bills defensive end Dwan Edwards could miss the rest of the season with a left hamstring injury. … Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, who broke his left collarbone Oct. 25, made some soft tosses during warm-ups before practice.