The Patriots were down in the third 31-3 and things were looking bleak for New England then Tom Brady lead one of the most impressive comebacks I have ever seen, tying the game with 6mins and change to go in the fourth.
The Patriots shouldn’t feel awful about this loss cause after the game it makes you think four times out of five New England would probably beat the 49ners. The first half it felt like New England was still riding high from their blow out win against the Texans and wasn’t mentally checked into the game Sunday Night. They struggled to protect Brady, they struggled to catch passes, they struggled with holding onto the ball, and they struggled at everything on defense. The turn overs were the main reason New England fell behind like they did and if not for those we could have had a different ball game. Tom Brady threw an interception and then another one but Hernandez pretty much had it taken away from him on a bad play call from the get – go. Ridley didn’t have a good game as he continues to struggle with ball security, he seems to fumble at the worst times in the biggest games and tonight was no different. On one of his best runs of the game safety Whitner forced a fumble of Ridley’s that the 49ners recovered and almost returned to the house. The 49ners did end up scoring on that drive quickly, and the next series Hernandez couldn’t handle the pass and the hit, and the 49ners ended up with the pick, and the 9ners got a touchdown quickly, and just like that it was 31-3 with over 10mins in the third. The Patriots obviously struggled to not fumble the football, and even Vereen added a fumble of his own, which left the Patriots giving the ball off to Woodhead who had a good game running. Hernandez wasn’t sure handed, Welker struggled to get open but Brandon Lloyd had a great game proving the Patriots should throw it to him more often.
Tom Brady went wild and sliced through the 49ners defense that was growing tired from dealing with New England’s fast pace offense. New England would score with a Woodhead rushing touchdown and then next drive Brady scores a rushing touchdown from one yards out on fourth down to trim the lead to 31-17. Brady would quickly get the ball back and hit Hernandez for a five yard touchdown pass and the score is now 31-24. The Patriots defense makes a huge stand giving the ball back to their offense. Brady quick snapped it to Woodhead for the second rushing touchdown for the back of the game. Watching Tom Brady doing what he did, coming back from 28 points down when it would have been easy to call it a day was incredible. The weapons he has going against one of the best defenses in the NFL is almost unheard of and Brady was the reason New England tied the game up with 6mins left in the fourth. Brady has pretty much established himself as the best QB in the NFL right now hands down. I don’t think another QB in the NFL could have did what Tom Brady did.
You would think that would make the defense want to finish this off for their QB. Nope. If I was Tom Brady I wouldn’t want to walk out onto that field with that defense with the exception of Vince Wilfork and Rob Ninkovich for quiet some time. A bad special team’s defense let LaMichael James take the kickoff to the Patriots 38 yard line. Now its up to the defense to do what they could not do in both Super Bowl’s versus the Giants, make one more stop. Just one stop that was all that was needed from the defense. The first offensive play on that drive from the 49ners was a quick hitch to Crabtree who embarrassingly broke Kyle Arrington’s feeble attempt of a tackle and scored a touchdown. On the first play the Patriots defense gave up the touchdown that sealed the team’s fate in this game. The Patriots defense couldn’t get the stops in the two Super Bowl losses and in a huge game this season with a first round bye at steak the Patriots defense could not make the stop.
The most worrisome thing about the game was the defense giving up a lot of big yardage plays. The 49ners did surprise New England by using their passing game to set up the running game which helped the 9ners running attack. The 49ners tested the Patriots covering ability and the Patriots failed that test. It looked like the defense was back at the beginning of the season giving up long plays. Kaepernick went deep against the Patriots defense and they more times then not did not stop him. That defense was picked apart. The Patriots defense in the first half did keep New England in the game by getting turnovers which they’ve been the best at, but even that wasn’t enough to make up for their lack of ability to cover deep.
The Patriots won’t always be slow to start, they won’t always turn it over so much, they won’t always give up a big play on special teams just like the 49ners won’t always fumble snaps, and surprise the defense by passing a lot and going deep. This game could have been different in so many ways and I think New England is the better team, but the game played out the way it was, and New England lost 41-34. The Patriots look like they have Tom Brady and not much else around him to win a championship. This team right now can’t go through the playoffs and make it to the Super Bowl with this defense because at some point the defense will need to make a play to win the big game and tonight when it was all on their side after what Brady had done they still couldn’t make one more stop.
One good thing about this game is if these two teams face off in the Super Bowl then at least the Patriots won’t deal with a surprise aerial attack. Maybe the Patriots have learned something from this game but I’m not sure. If anything maybe they learnt they need to include Lloyd in the game plan more and use him deep more often because he has shown up and showed out in big games. Ridley is not to be trusted with the football and really needs to learn how to protect the football. Woodhead should get more carries in big games, he has proven to be sure handed and a slippery back. The offensive line against great defenses has struggled to protect Brady, that badly needs to be figured out. Brady is the best player on New England’s team and if New England wins a Super Bowl this year, it will be because of Brady because right now he is all they got. This game is hard to swallow because it was a wild game that New England had in their hand, if only the disappointed defense could have finally made that one last stop.