Juszczyk scores as 49ers try to play spoiler against Cardinals

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The San Francisco 49ers’ attempt to play the role of postseason spoiler against the Arizona Cardinals gained steam late in the third quarter Saturday as quarterback C.J. Beathard found fullback Kyle Juszczyk for a 9-yard touchdown.

That touchdown staked the Niners to a 14-6 lead with 5:13 left in the third quarter. Juszczyk’s score was his fifth of the season, a career-high for the team’s indispensable fullback, who has also lined up at tight end and even quarterback for a snap in Saturday game.

Arizona needs a victory to remain in prime position to land an NFC wild-card spot. A win and a Chicago Bears loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday would clinch a postseason berth for the Cardinals.

But if the 49ers can hang on to defeat the Cardinals, the Bears would suddenly be in the driver’s seat for that final spot. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Bears would have a better than 50% chance to make the playoffs for the first time since they were 5-2 after Week 7 should the Cardinals lose to San Francisco. Arizona’s chances would drop to 45% with a defeat.

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