It wasn't pretty, but the San Francisco 49ers escaped Week 15 with a big win over the New England Patriots.
The San Francisco 49ers escaped their Week 15 matchup with the New England Patriots with a 41-34 victory. It was a crazy, up-and-down game, but at the end of the day, they kept up with one of the best offenses in the league, and who can complain about that?
San Francisco had a 31-3 lead in the third quarter, but had multiple 3-and-outs (and many bad calls), and the Patriots simply marched down on the 49ers' defense to score multiple times. The defense wilted, Tarell Brown had a bad pass interference penalty, and the 49ers were only up by one score. The Patriots scored 21 unanswered points.
Scratch that, they scored 28 unanswered and tied the game. They were playing with the 49ers' defense in the fourth quarter. San Francisco took back over with 6:43 on the clock, and LaMichael James gave them a big return, taking it into Patriots territory. On first down, Colin Kaepernick hit Michael Crabtree behind the first down marker, and Crabtree made his man miss to take it in for a touchdown to go back up 38-31.
So, the Patriots came back out and Wes Welker decided to exist a little bit, caught a few passes, and the Patriots were at midfield. AND THEN ALDON SMITH GETS ... wait, damnit Ray McDonald stop that. McDonald gets a sack, and then Ricky Jean Francois gets one, and the Patriots punt with one minute to go.
Then the 49ers punt, because why not? And the Patriots come back out. They get to a fourth down deep, deep, deep in their own territory and they go for it. It doesn't work. Then madness happens, 49ers have a field goal, and Patriots kick one of their own and go for the onside kick to try and get in position to score a touchdown.
Delanie Walker catches the onside kick. What?
What I've got for you below amounts to random thoughts while watching the game. Most of them are coherent, all of them are entirely reactionary, and none of them are edited. So enjoy that.
- OH MY GOD THEY CHOSE TO DEFER? BUT TOM BRADY!
- Who would have thought we'd get some yakkety sax on the second play of the day?
- That was definitely not a fumble, though. It was pretty close, but still definitive, if that makes any sense. The one on the first possession of the game, that is.
- Delanie Walker really has regressed so much the past two seasons. He's still going to make a big play here and there, but he is not dependable at all.
- Walker did not fumble there on 2nd and goal. Ed Hochuli got the call wrong (and it only took them about 10 seconds to make said call).
- Dashon Goldson ran that ball like he was born to do it, what a badass.
- Vernon Davis neglected to lay out for that pass. He should have, because it was thrown so well. So very well.
- What is wrong with the Jonathan Goodwin-Colin Kaepernick connection?
- ALDON SMITH WITH THE S-- ... oh it was Ray McDonald. That's cool too.
- I did not think - for any fraction of a second - that Walker would catch that open touchdown. He only makes catches when he's covered well.
- Colin Kaepernick very obviously forced that interception in the third quarter. That was a bad, bad decision. People will tell you that Alex Smith wouldn't make that throw - they're probably right, but they should just shutup and stop being annoying.
- That fumble that led to Frank Gore's touchdown was absolutely hilarious. The lamest, most awesome touchdown ever.
- New England coming back with a couple touchdowns really sucks.
- Horrible missed pass interference call on that LaMichael James pass that led to a 3-and-out.
- How come drama queen Brady spiking the football in a tantrum didn't result in an unsportsmanlike penalty?
- They were absolutely playing with the 49ers defense in the fourth quarter, running silly little plays.