The San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots engaged in one of the wildest games of the season that saw Colin Kaepernick get the best of Tom Brady in a 41-34 San Fran victory.
After the Patriots fell behind 31-3 in the third quarter, New England staged one of the biggest comebacks in recent memory by erasing a 28-point deficit to tie the game at 31.
Following Danny Woodhead’s game-tying score, San Francisco’s LaMichael James ripped off a 62-yard kick return, which was immediately followed by a 38-yard touchdown strike from Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree. Kaepernick’s fourth touchdown pass gave the Niners a 38-31 advantage.
One of the best Sunday Night Football games in recent memory could leave a lasting impact on the AFC playoff picture. The loss drops New England to 10-4 and the AFC’s number three seed.
Most notably, this lands them without a first round bye. They’ll probably need to win two games on the road (probably Denver and Houston) to reach New Orleans, which will be tricky.
San Francisco’s big win brings them a playoff berth and a step closer to a first round bye.
The 49ers face another formidable challenge next Sunday night when they face dirty Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks.