The New England Patriots started the second half with two turnovers, which led to two easy 49ers touchdowns and a 31-3 deficit.
But since then, the Patriots have had two long touchdown drives, and now trail 31-17 early in the fourth quarter. And as unlikely as a comeback would be, they still have a pulse. And after facing a 28 point deficit a few minutes ago, that's about the best you could ask for.
We're 30 minutes into the game, and the Patriots are facing their largest deficit of the season. But here's a question: What's been worse, the Patriots' offensive execution or the refereeing?
The Patriots have been simply awful on offense. They haven't developed any time of rhythm, haven't protected Tom Brady, have dropped passes, and receivers haven't been able to get open. The team has two turnovers, and have yet to convert a single third down. No, I'm not kidding. The New England Patriots have yet to convert a single third down.
Defensively, things have also been rough. The Patriots are letting receivers run open down the field and have struggled to keep containment on the edge against Colin Kaepernick.
Of course, I couldn't discuss the first half without mentioning some of the awful calls that have gone against the Patriots - the 49ers of which have clearly been on the benefit on multiple occasions, but the Patriots as well. Ed Hochuli has no control of the game, and he has truly disrupted any type of rhythm that the Patriots would have been able to establish. However, the Patriots have been outright outplayed by the 49ers, so putting the blame on the referees isn't the correct thing to do. But, I think it's safe to say that the refs haven't been a help to New England.
There's still 30 minutes of football to play, so it's hard to count the Patriots out. But facing a 14 point deficit at the half, things don't look good at this point.
The New England Patriots have had a sloppy start to their Sunday night match-up against the 49ers. They have two turnovers, five unsuccessful offensive possessions, and just haven't gotten anything going on offense.
They were able to create a turnover on defense on a second and goal, but other than that, have looked vulnerable on that side of the football as well. Headed into the second quarter, the 49ers have the ball and are threatening after recovering a Shane Vereen fumble in Patriots territory.
The 49ers' lone score of the day was a Randy Moss touchdown catch from Colin Kaepernick, on a play in which he beat rookie Alfonzo Denanrd down the left sideline.
So far, it's been quite an uncharacteristic performance for the Patriots, and they're lucky to be down just 7-0. There's plenty of time to go in this one, but if the Patriots don't get something going soon, they could be facing a significant deficit.