Special teams (Rating: 1 out of 5)
On the fake punt — which appeared to be an adjustment, not a call from the sideline — Brandon Bolden got pinched inside, and Marquis Cole lost containment. On the big kickoff return late, there was nothing wrong with the boot by Stephen Gostkowski (4.28 second and 2 yards deep). On the coverage, it appeared that either Niko Koutouvides vacated his lane, or Chung failed to execute a switch with him because of a good block by the 49ers. Zoltan Mesko (4.07 average hangtime) was outpunted by Andy Lee (4.42).
PLAY OF THE GAME
Situation: With the score tied, 31-31, with 6:33 to play, the 49ers had first-and-10 at the New England 38-yard line following a 62-yard kickoff return.
What happened: After scoring 28 consecutive points to tie the score, Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia made the curious decision to call an all-out blitz on first down, perhaps hoping to halt the momentum the 49ers gained on the kickoff. The 49ers easily picked up the blitz, and Colin Kaepernick (7) deftly released the ball in 1.64 seconds to receiver Michael Crabtree (15). At nearly 6 feet 2 inches and 220 pounds with long arms, Crabtree is a mismatch in the open field against the 5-9, 192-pound Kyle Arrington (24). Players become elite because of their ability to win one-on-one matchups. Crabtree is elite, and he won a battle he should when Arrington failed to make the tackle and Crabtree raced 32 yards after the catch for the game-winning score. You want Arrington to make the play in that situation, but few players can against a talent like Crabtree.
ON HIS GAME
Danny Woodhead, running back
He had a combined 17 touches for 84 tough yards and two touchdowns as he jump-started the Patriots’ offense when it didn’t have anything. Also had two key blitz pickups.
OFF HIS GAME
Shane Vereen, running back
Played two snaps and fumbled his only touch.