NEW ORLEANS -- Frank Gore hit a hole and rumbled 33 yards to set up the 49ers with first-and-goal from the Baltimore 7-yard-line, trailing by five points with 2:39 remaining. It would be his final touch of the season.
Needing seven yards for a go-ahead touchdown, the 49ers handed off on first down to LaMichael James, who gained two yards, then ran three consecutive passing plays, on which quarterback Colin Kaepernick targeted receiver Michael Crabtree. Gore was on the field for the final three plays, but said he wasn't second-guessing the play selection.
"That's why we've got coaches," Gore said. "Every player wants the ball at that time. But our coaches made the decision and we tried our best to make it happen."
Gore carried 19 times for 110 yards, with the 33-yarder his longest of the game. He was not targeted on any passing plays. Asked why Gore didn't touch the ball on the 49ers' final four snaps, head coach Jim Harbaugh said: "We had other plays called."
"You can't second-guess," Gore said. "Our coach did a great job calling plays all game. Those were the plays he called, and it just didn't happen.
"Crab is ... a big receiver, one of the top guys in this league. Anybody one-on-one, I'll take a chance with him too."
-- Matt Kawahara