GLENDALE, Ariz. — Phil Dawson kicked a 40-yard field goal as the game ended to lift San Francisco to a 23-20 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, giving the 49ers the NFC's No. 5 playoff seed.
Dawson had matched his career best with a 56-yarder to put San Francisco (12-4) up 20-17 with 1:45 to go. Jay Feely's 43-yard field goal then tied it for Arizona with 34 seconds left.
LaMichael James' 45-yard kickoff return and two quick completions by Collin Kaepernick set up Dawson's game winner.
Arizona (10-6) rallied from a 17-0 first-quarter deficit to tie it on Carson Palmer's 34-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts with 3:20 remaining.
Anquan Boldin caught nine passes for 149 yards and a TD in his first game back since Arizona traded him to Baltimore after the 2009 season.