49ers clinch playoff berth, 41-34 over Patriots

49ers clinch playoff berth, 41-34 over Patriots
December 17, 2012, 12:17 am
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San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) spikes the ball over the goal post after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots in the third quarter of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers earned a playoff berth by withstanding a stunning comeback by New England from a 28-point deficit to beat the Patriots 41-34 on Sunday night in the rain.

Michael Crabtree took a short pass and sped around cornerback Kyle Arrington for a 38-yard touchdown with 6:25 to go, then David Akers made a 28-yard field goal to clinch it.

New England (10-4) trailed 31-3 at one point and lost for the first time at home in December in 21 games. They also had won 21 in a row in the second half of the schedule before San Francisco (10-3-1) somehow regrouped late in a game it seemingly had clinched long before.


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