The New England Patriots came into this Sunday night contest with the No. 1 offense in football. However, they faced the league's No. 1 defense in the San Francisco 49ers. Statistics even tend to favor the high power offenses in games like this, but tonight, it was not to be.
From the outset, the Patriots were out of sync and lost on the field. Fumbles and interceptions did them in. The Niners, on the other hand, had their game plan playing out like a movie script. A second half rally nearly turned the tables in favor of the home team.
So we can take a few things from this game that may come back into play in the post season.
1. Tom Brady is human. Yes, even the greatest quarterbacks struggle from time to time. Have a bad half and the deficit is just too big to overcome for the comeback king.
2. Although the Patriot defense has improved weekly since a poor start in the first half of the season, San Francisco and Colin Kaepernick proved to be too much for the youthful unit. New England has relied on big plays to stop offenses, but couldn't come up with enough to counter the attack.
3. Colin Kaepernick is the real deal and the answer to the quarterback controversy in San Francisco. He didn't have huge numbers aside from a 4 touchdown game, but he can throw some fastball!
4. Frank Gore isn't the only threat in the Niner backfield. LaMichael James is proving to be a capable complement and we have seen Kaepernick add that element from the quarterback position as well.
5. Sometimes the greatest comebacks in NFL history fall just a play short. It really hurt that the Patriot special teams and defense collapsed after miraculously tying the game in the second half. What a let down for Patriot nation, and boost for San Francisco.
Almost nobody expected this result, at least outside of the city built on a hill.