FOXBOROUGH — This might be considered a freak game when it’s all said and done. After coming off one of the team’s best all-around performances against the Houston Texans, the Patriots appeared inept on offense for at least one half, followed by a stunning comeback to tie the game, and ending with disappointment. The Patriots lost Sunday night, 41-34, to the San Francisco 49ers, in large part because of a terrible first half and even uglier third quarter.
For Tom Brady, who had a career-high 65 pass attempts, it was a matter of mental toughness.
“I had a feeling we’d be able to come back,” Brady said. “We hung in there. We battled back from a 28-point deficit. [But] we made too many mistakes when we needed to make the plays.
“It’s a tough loss, but we’ve got to try and get some things corrected.”
Brady threw two interceptions in the game, one of which bounced off the hands of Aaron Hernandez into the clutches of 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith. Running back Shane Vereen fumbled on a screen pass and Stevan Ridley also fumbled. The 49ers were able to take two of the turnovers and turn them into quick touchdowns.
“We just spotted them 28 points,” Brady said. “We fought hard but you can’t play poorly against a a good team and expect to win.
“We made some mistakes early in the game and they capitalized. We couldn’t stay on the field on third down. [We] turned the ball over. I don’t know what our time of possession was, but I’m sure it wasn’t good. The first half was a terrible first half. We got down – fortunately we were in it after the first half, but we didn’t play well to start the second half. And then we went on a little run, but you can’t play 30 minutes against a good team.”
Brady finished with 443 yards passing, a touchdown, and a rushing touchdown. He completed 36 passes and had a 68.9 quarterback rating.