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NFL | 49ers win behind Hill

The journeyman backup QB beat the Bengals in his first start in the NFL.

SAN FRANCISCO - The third quarterback was the charm for the San Francisco 49ers.

Shaun Hill passed for 197 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in his first NFL start, and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-13, last night for just their second win in 12 games.

Frank Gore rushed for a season-high 138 yards, and Darrell Jackson had a season-high eight catches for 86 yards in a surprisingly effective San Francisco offense led by Hill, a six-year veteran backup who threw his first NFL passes only last week after Trent Dilfer got a concussion.

With Alex Smith also sidelined, Hill was the only quarterback left in San Francisco - and he improbably sparked the 49ers' league-worst offense to the club's first home victory since opening week. Hill went 21 of 28, hitting Vernon Davis with a precise touchdown pass nine seconds before halftime.

Cincinnati's Carson Palmer passed for 252 yards.


Indianapolis will sit five starters today at Oakland, with injuries to defensive end Robert Mathis leaving the team without any of the first-string defensive linemen it had at the start of training camp.

The Colts decided yesterday that Mathis and safety Antoine Bethea would not play against the Raiders. The team had already listed receiver Marvin Harrison (bruised left knee), defensive tackle Raheem Brock (ribs) and right tackle Ryan Diem (knee) as out for today.


Miami owner Wayne Huizenga said he's "not actively looking to sell" the team despite frustration over a winless season, but he confirmed talking with potential buyers since April.

The Dolphins are 0-13 and in danger of the NFL's first 0-16 season.


Buffalo signed receiver Roscoe Parrish to a contract extension late Friday. The length of the extension was not immediately disclosed.


Minnesota starting safety Dwight Smith is expected to play tomorrow night against Chicago despite a misdemeanor citation this week for marijuana possession.