FOXBOROUGH — Despite coming back from a 31-3 deficit to tie the game, the Patriots couldn’t come up with two yards when they needed it most.
On a 4th-and-1 with 2:24 left in the game, Tom Brady couldn’t connect with a leaping Danny Woodhead to keep the team’s drive alive and any chance to win Sunday’s game.
The 49ers kicked an insurance field goal with 1:56 left, going on to win 41-34 and drop the Patriots to 10-4 on the season.
The Patriots had four turnovers in the game. Brady threw two interceptions — a rarity — and was sacked twice. He threw for 443 yards and a touchdown. He broke his record for pass attempts in a game with 65, completing 36.
Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 14 of 25 passes for 216 yards and four touchdowns, including a hitch to Michael Crabtree that he turned into a 38-yard score, putting the 49ers up 38-31 with a little more than six minutes remaining in the game.
David Akers added a 28-yard field goal with less than two minutes to hold off the Patriots.
Danny Woodhead had 12 carries for 61 yards and two touchdowns.
0:38 4th quarter: 49ers 41, Patriots 34 — Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 41-yard field goal as the Patriots raced down field to keep the game within reach. An onside attempt is up next.
1:56 4th quarter: 49ers 41, Patriots 31 — David Akers seals it with a 28-yard field goal against the Patriots, putting the game out of reach.
2:45 4th quarter: 49ers 38, Patriots 31 — Tom Brady couldn’t connect with Danny Woodhead on 4th-and-2 as the Patriots turned it over on downs.
If the 49ers even kick a field goal, they’ll put the game out of reach.
3:09 4th quarter: 49ers 38, Patriots 31 — On three straight runs, the Patriots held the 49ers to only seven yards, forcing the punt and what will surely be the pivotal game-tying drive.
Stay in your seats for this one.
4:59 4th quarter: 49ers 38, Patriots 31 — Tom Brady was sacked two times in a row, once by a helmet-less Ray McDonald and then again by Ricky Jean Francois who replaced Justin Smith on the 49ers’ defensive line. The Patriots were forced to punt.
6:25 4th quarter: 49ers 38, Patriots 31 — The 49ers’ LaMichael James returned the kickoff 62 yards and on the very next play Colin Kaepernick threw a quick hitch to Michael Crabtree who turned it up field and ran away for a 38-yard touchdown with the Patriots’ Kyle Arrington in pursuit.
The 49ers just wrested the lead right back. But the Patriots’ offense seems to be clicking right now. This game is far from over.
6:43 4th quarter: Patriots 31, 49ers 31 — After being down 31-3, the Patriots have roared back to tie the game. Tom Brady hit Brandon Lloyd on a 53-yard pass to get into 49ers territory and Danny Woodhead ran in a 1-yard touchdown to even up the score.
This will be considered an epic collapse by the 49ers.
9:56 4th quarter: 49ers 31, Patriots 24 — The Patriots defense held up again, helped in part by a self-destructing 49ers team. The 49ers were flagged for an illegal hands to the face by G Alex Boone, forcing the team into a desperate 3d-and-22 situation. They went four plays before punting.
The Patriots can now tie the game up.
12:13 4th quarter: 49ers 31, Patriots 24 — Helped by a pass interference call on the 49ers’ Tarrell Brown, Tom Brady threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez after driving 66 yards in 1:04.
Brady showed a little fire earlier, yelling at referee Ed Hochuli for allowing a 49ers timeout in the middle of his no-huddle offense.
It’s now a one-touchdown game.
13:27 4th quarter: 49ers 31, Patriots 17 — This could be the makings of a comeback. The Patriots held the 49ers to a three-and-out. Colin Kaepernick couldn’t connect with LaMichael James on a third down pass as San Francisco was forced to punt.
The 49ers’ Justin Smith has an elbow injury. His return is questionable.
14:58 4th quarter: 49ers 31, Patriots 17 — The Patriots spread out the 49ers on the goal line and called a QB sneak for Tom Brady who dove in for a 1-yard touchdown.
The Patriots surely needed it. They’re now down two touchdowns with a whole quarter of play left. The drive was 9 plays, 86 yards, in 3:41.
It was Brady’s fourth rushing touchdown of the season, a career high.
End of the 3d quarter: 49ers 31, Patriots 10 — A 41-yard pass by Tom Brady to Michael Hoomanawanui has the Patriots within the 49ers’ 5-yard line.
They’ll be attempting for a touchdown on fourth and goal at the 1.
Alfonzo Dennard is jogging on the sideline, trying to get ready to come back to the game. We’ll see if he can.
The 49ers’ Justin Smith just walked off to the locker room with an ailment.
3:39 3d quarter: 49ers 31, Patriots 10 — The Patriots defense woke up. They held the 49ers to only four plays. It helped that Colin Kaepernick sailed a pass to Michael Crabtree on third down. But the Patriots will take whatever they can get at this point.
5:59 3d quarter: 49ers 31, Patriots 10 — Danny Woodhead has taken over the rushing duties for the night. Woodhead touched the ball five times, including four rushes, before running in a 6-yard touchdown — the Patriots’ first touchdown of the game.
The Patriots ran a harried 13-play, 73-yard drive in 4:22.
10:26 3d quarter: 49ers 31, Patriots 3 — Tom Brady threw an improbable interception to Aldon Smith after attempting a screen pass to Aaron Hernandez. The ball popped right out of Hernandez’s hands after he was hit and right into the clutches of Smith, who returned it six yards.
On the very next play, Colin Kaepernick threw a 27-yard touchdown down the seam to Michael Crabtree.
10:44 3d quarter: 49ers 24, Patriots 3 — Another fumble by Stevan Ridley recovered by the 49ers’ Dashon Goldson. On the very next play, Frank Gore runs in a 3-yard touchdown on a botched play.
Goldson returned the fumble and raced 66 yards before being knocked out of bounds by Aaron Hernandez.
Donte Whitner forced the fumble.
11:37 3d quarter: 49ers 17, Patriots 3 — On a deep pass intended for Randy Moss, Devin McCourty stepped in and intercepted the pass from Colin Kaepernick to end the 49ers’ second-half opening drive.
15:00 3d quarter: 49ers 17, Patriots 3 — The third quarter is about to get underway. The 49ers are receiving to start the half.
End of the 2d quarter: 49ers 17, Patriots 3 — 49ers kicker David Akers chipped in a 20-yard field goal s the first half came to a close.
The 49ers went 64 yards on 15 plays to close out the half.
This is a stunner for the Patriots. They’re not used to such a poor offensive output in a half. This is the first time they’ve been held to 3 points in a first half this season.
Tom Brady is 10 of 19 for 76 yards and an interception, Shane Vereen fumbled on a screen pass, and the team has punted four times already.
Colin Kaepernick has led the 49ers on 8 of 15 passing for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns. He hit Randy Moss for a 24-yard TD and tight end Delanie Walker for a 34-yard score.
Niners running back Frank Gore has 15 carries for 73 yards.
6:04 2d quarter: 49ers 14, Patriots 3 — The Patriots went three-and-out with Tom Brady failing to connect on two passes to Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd dropped one and the other was too low.
On the punt, it looked like 49ers returner Ted Ginn Jr. had the ball hit his shin and was recovered by the Patriots. The officials spent a good amount of time discussing the play before ruling it was in fact not touched. The Patriots challenged the play and it was upheld.
6:59 2d quarter: 49ers 14, Patriots 3 — Colin Kaepernick hit a wide open Delanie Walker for a 34-yard touchdown.
The drive was spurred along in part by a questionable pass interference call on Patriots corner Aqib Talib that gifted the 49ers 35 yards. It went only three plays and covered 80 yards.
8:32 2d quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 3 — Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 32-yard field as the Patriots finally got on the board.
Tom Brady was sacked on third down at the 49ers’ 7-yard line, finishing a the Patriots’ most promising drive of the night so far. The Pats went 62 yards on 16 plays and converted on a fourth down to get into the 49ers’ red zone. But Ray McDonald managed to get loose in the Patriots’ backfield to take down Brady for a six-yard loss.
14:55 2d quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — On a fourth and 1, Colin Kaepernick’s quarterback sneak went for no gain as the Patriots took over on downs.
The 49ers’ Vernon Davis dropped a wide open touchdown in the end zone.
If the 49ers had elected to kick a field goal on fourth down, David Akers would’ve attempted a 43-yarder.
End of 1st quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — The quarter comes to a close and I’m sure the Patriots already want to put it behind them. They’ve punted the ball three times and turned it over twice. The 49ers are driving, looking to add to their lead.
1:00 1st quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — Shane Vereen fumbled a screen pass from Tom Brady. The fumble was forced by the 49ers’ NaVorro Bowman and recovered by Chris Culliver at the sideline.
This is wacky game in which the Patriots haven’t been able to get anything going. This 49ers defense is proving to be worth the hype.
2:14 1st quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — A fake punt by the 49ers caught the Patriots by surprise. Safety Dashon Goldson rushed for 31 yards on fourth down. The 49ers weren’t able to capitalize on it though. David Akers missed a 39-yard field goal in the drizzly weather at Gillette Stadium.
6:13 1st quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — The Patriots take the gift of a fumble and go three-and-out. Tough start for the Tom Brady led offense.
7:15 1st quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — Two plays into their new drive deep in the Patriots red zone, a Colin Kaepernick pass is fumbled by Delanie Walker after being forced by Steve Gregory. Aqib Talib recovers and the Patriots take over. What a frantic start to this game.
7:45 1st quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — Tom Brady was intercepted by Carlos Rodgers on a deep pass to Wes Welker. Rodgers returned it 53 yards.
8:02 1st quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — A fumble by Colin Kaepernick at the line of scrimmage on third down, helped the Patriots force a punt by the 49ers after three plays.
9:54 1st quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — Aldon Smith got a hit on Tom Brady and hurried him on another play as the 49ers forced the Patriots to punt after four plays.
Brady did connect with Brandon Lloyd on a 23-yard pass down the sideline.
10:55 1st quarter: 49ers 7, Patriots 0 — 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss after guiding his team down the field seamlessly. Kaepernick was 4 of 5 on the drive as the 49ers went 63 yards in six plays.
The 49ers did seem to get away with a fumble by LaMichael James. The play was not reviewed.
With the touchdown catch, Moss now has 15,219 yards in his career. That’s the third most all-time in the league.
13:35 1st quarter: Patriots 0, 49ers 0 — Stevan Ridley was hit in the backfield for a 2-yard loss on third down by 49ers LB Navorro Bowman as the Patriots punted.
14:23 1st quarter: Patriots 0, 49ers 0 — On the Patriots’ second play, Steven Ridley appeared to fumble after a gain of 2 yard. But upon further review, the ball had come loose after he had already hit the ground. It was a lucky review for the Patriots, because the 49ers would’ve taken over a little outside of the red zone.
14:53 1st quarter: Patriots 0, 49ers 0 — We’re underway here with Devin McCourty returning the opening kick 13 yards to the 15-yard line.
15:00 1st quarter: Patriots 0, 49ers 0 — The 49ers won the coin toss and have elected to defer to the second half.
A moment of silence was held for the victims of Newtown, Conn.
Pregame: We’re close to getting underway here at Gillette Stadium with the Patriots hosting the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football.
Because of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., President Barack Obama’s remarks from tonight’s vigil will be televised on NBC. The network will cut back to game coverage after his remarks.
It’s 34 degrees out and there’s a light rain. The elements will definitely be a factor. Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick is not wearing gloves or sleeves. We’ll see how that goes with a Patriots’ defense that has an NFL best +24 in takeaways.
Stay here for game updates throughout.