The Patriots made a remarkable comeback from 31-3 down on Sunday night to tie the game with less than seven minutes to play.
It didn’t take long for the 49ers to answer back. LaMichael James had a huge kickoff return after the tying score and then Michael Crabtree took a short pass and turned it into a 38-yard touchdown on the first offensive play of the drive to put the 49ers up 38-31. They would wind up winning 41-34 as the Patriots offense failed to score on their next two drives and quarterback Tom Brady was left to lament the missed opportunity during a radio interview with WEEI on Monday.
“We kind of gave it to them at that point,” Brady said, via the Boston Herald. ”We didn’t do anything on offense, and we didn’t put up the kind of fight that I wish we would have been able to.”
The 49ers surely feel they took it from the Patriots at that point in the game. James and Crabtree made big individual plays and the defense came up with consecutive sacks to halt a Patriots offensive drive at midfield after retaking the lead on Crabtree’s catch.
The start of the game, where the Patriots dug themselves a massive hole, was a bigger issue than the end. Erasing a 28-point deficit was impressive, but the game ultimately got away from the Patriots while they were watching it get built in the first place.