Frank Gore then recovered Kaepernick’s fumble and ran 9 yards for a touchdown. Two plays later, Aldon Smith intercepted Brady’s pass and Kaepernick struck on the next play with his 27-yard pass to Crabtree for a 31-3 lead with 10:21 remaining in the third quarter.
Still plenty of time for Brady.
‘‘I had a feeling we'd be able to come back,’’ he said.
But when the Patriots tied it, a poor job by the kickoff team proved costly.
‘‘I did as much as I could to help the team win,’’ James said.
It was just enough.
NOTES: The 49ers allowed 520 yards after entering the game second in the NFL in fewest yards allowed, 275.5 per game. ... Welker had five catches, giving him 100 and making him the first player in NFL history with that many in five seasons. ... Gore led all rushers with 83 yards on 21 carries. ... Brady was 36 for a career-high 65 for 443 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
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