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Brady came up short in orchestrating a near-phenomenal comeback.
The Skinny: It's hard to figure out where to rank the Patriots after a crushing home loss that they sorely needed.
There's a lot of ways to slice this, after all—they did go down 31-3 at home in a nationally televised game in which they turned the ball over four times.
But they also came all the way back to tie the game at 31 before special teams blunders and Kyle Arrington's perennial incompetence doomed them.
New England probably won't get a bye in the playoffs, and that means that a wildcard win likely sends them to Mile High Stadium to face Denver (a scary prospect). But their defense has shown strides, dominating the 49ers in stretches and, in their previous game, the Texans for 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, their offense likely won't cough up the ball four times in a game again this year (a few of which were likely aided by the rain). After all, even with that four turnover game, the Pats still have the second-fewest giveaways in the league.
And if they can avoid a rash of turnovers like that, this offense is unbelievably tough to stop. After all, they put up eight more points on the 49ers than any other team did all season in spite of the turnovers and several huge penalties by special teams.
Cause for Concern: Once again, a dominant defensive line that could get pressure with just four rushers caused problems for the Pats. Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels didn't do a good job of immediately adjusting to the rush, often leaving Brady without a back in the backfield to pick up the blitz.
We'll see if some of the better pass-rushing teams can get to Brady in the playoffs.