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Third-quarter notes: Niners 31, Patriots 10

12.16.12 at 11:07 pm ET

FOXBORO — Three quarters are done here, and the Patriots are getting stomped by the Niners. Here are a few quick notes:

‘€¢The Niners did get into Patriots’ territory on their first drive of the third quarter, but a pick by Devin McCourty on a play that looked an awful lot like the one where he got a pick on Houston’s Matt Schaub the week before — a badly thrown deep ball down the middle of the field for the end zone. This time, it was a ball from Kaepernick that was intended for Moss, but McCourty appeared to bait Kaepernick into the turnover, giving New England the ball on its own 20-yard line.

‘€¢The interception was the unquestioned highlight of the quarter for the Patriots: San Francisco got the ball back soon after that when Stevan Ridley put the ball on the ground on the fourth play of the drive, and Dashon Goldson ran the ball back to the New England 6-yard line. One play later, the Niners made it 24-3 on a busted play where Kaepernick fumbled the ball, but it was scooped up by Frank Gore at the San Francisco 9-yard line, and he scooted into the end zone for a touchdown with 10:44 left in the quarter.

‘€¢On the next series, Tom Brady was picked on a ball that bounced away from Aaron Hernandez and into the hands of Aldon Smith. The Niners then took a shot right downfield, as Kaepernick hit Michael Crabtree on a 27-yarder to make it 31-3 with 10:21 left in the third quarter.

‘€¢The Patriots got on the board for the first time in the second half when Danny Woodhead — the best offensive player to this point on the evening for New England — went in from six yards out to make it 31-10 with 5:59 left in the third quarter. New England added to that on its next possession with an uptempo sequence that included a 41-yard pass play to Michael Hoomanawanui that got the Patriots to the doorstep as the quarter came to a close.



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