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Veteran Westbrook leads 49ers past Cards

Tue., Nov. 30, 2010

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Brian Westbrook’s big games weren’t all in his rearview mirror after all.

The 31-year-old running back rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown in place of the injured Frank Gore and the San Francisco 49ers sent punchless Arizona to its sixth straight loss, 27-6 Monday night in a shower of boos from the Cardinals home crowd.

Westbrook, who had 9 yards on five carries all season, ran 23 times in his 21st career 100-yard game, but first since Dec. 7, 2008.

San Francisco (4-7) improved to 3-1 since Troy Smith became the starting quarterback and pulled within a game of co-leaders St. Louis and Seattle in the anemic NFC West.

Arizona (3-8), two-time defending division champion, has not lost this many in a row since dropping eight straight in 2006.

The 49ers rushed for 261 yards, by far their season high and the most allowed by Arizona this season.

Westbrook, who led the league in rushing in 2007, was released a year ago after eight, often-spectacular seasons with Philadelphia, a move caused by a combination of his age and injury history as well as the $7.5 million due this season.

He signed with San Francisco on Aug. 16.

“I just kind of bided my time, tried to stay fresh, tried to stay focused,” Westbrook said, “and when I got my opportunity, make the most of it.”

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