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Michael Crabtree breaking through in 2012 with a career-year

With San Francisco's big Sunday night win over the New England Patriots, we discuss the impact of 49ers WR Michael Crabtree.

In a thrilling win over the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, Michael Crabtree helped lead the San Francisco 49ers receiving corps. Crabtree finished with 7 receptions for 107 yards and two receiving touchdowns, including a game-winner.

In his fourth year in the league, it seems as if Crabtree has finally broken through. After years of mediocrity within an offense that did not properly utilize his talents, No. 15 has shown his ability to really hurt defenses. In Week 15, the 49ers and Patriots traded haymakers, where a total of 75 points were scored -- and surprisingly enough, the Niners accounted for the majority of those points.

Crabtree continued to be a chain-mover, especially on third down and go-to target for rising star, Colin Kaepernick. The two have displayed a great chemistry already that could really evolve into something special. His ability to help sustain drives and deliver with scores has made him a valuable asset in this offense.

Not to mention his blue-collar effort as a blocker.

In Sunday's heavyweight bout, it was Crabtree that landed the final blow that determined the winner. After a 62-yard kickoff return by LaMichael James with the game tied at 31, Crabtree caught a pass on a short pattern, put a move on the defender and took it the distance.

Crabtree's 38-yard score -- his second TD of the day -- would seal the deal for the Niners. With two games left in the regular season, Crabtree could see his first 1,000-yard season, and has already hit a career-best 7 receiving touchdowns in a single season.

It seems that in this offensive system, with Kaepernick behind center, that Crabtree has finally found his groove. The offense has been less about the tight ends and more about the receivers and backs. Crabtree has seemingly prospered with the mid-season QB change.

Crabtree and Kaepernick could become the next explosive QB-WR tandem to grace this organization for the next decade.

Follow @DeSimone80