The New England Patriots rallied back from a 31-3 deficit, but Colin Kaepernick kept his cool and threw four touchdowns in a 41-34 win.
The San Francisco 49ers appeared to have blown a 28-point lead, but a Michael Crabtree score gave them the lead for good as they won despite Tom Brady's furious comeback attempt thanks to four Colin Kaepernick touchdown throws.
The loss snapped a seven-game win streak for the Pats and kept the Niners on top of the NFC West.
Things looked pretty good for the San Francisco 49ers: they failed to capitalize on all their opportunities early, but still led 17-3 at the half, a lead they extended to 31-3 in a 17-second span after quick-change scores after being given good field position by Brady's second interception of the game and a Stevan Ridley fumble. The lead could have been more lopsided had the Niners not missed several opportunities, fumbling the ball twice in New England territory, once within the opposing ten yard line.
But Brady didn't consider his team down and out. New England scored four unanswered touchdowns in quick succession, eliminating the unprovoked mistakes that cost them earlier. With under seven minutes to go, the Pats had tied the game up at 31. The Niners answered back, however, with Crabtree streaking away from a tackler for his second touchdown of the night, a 38-yarder. That was the deciding factor, as a David Akers field goal extended the lead to ten.
Fantasy studs and duds
Tom Brady looked like he'd have an awful game, throwing two picks and finding himself with less than 100 yards midway through the third quarter. Then, he exploded, leading the team on four touchdown drives, throwing one touchdown and running for another. Brady's 65 passing attempts were a career high.
Danny Woodhead only had 61 yards running, but scored two TD's. Brandon Lloyd led all players with 190 yards receiving, although Michael Crabtree's 107 yards and two touchdowns was the better fantasy outing. Colin Kaepernick had 216 yards passing and four touchdowns, in addition to 29 yards running.
There weren't many bad performances from major performers on a night when 75 points were scored.
Alfonzo Dennard had to leave the game before halftime, leaving the already weak Pats secondary down a man.
Did they cover?
San Francisco were 3.5-point underdogs, so they covered.
12/23 1 p.m. ET: New England vs. Jacksonville
12/23 8:20 p.m. ET: San Francisco vs. Seattle
Super Bowl preview? Michael Bean of the SB Nation Studio and Dylan DiSimone of Niners Nation share their thoughts.