Despite Loss, Patriots Furious Comeback Shows How Dangerous They Are

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 10: Stevan Ridley #22 of the New England Patriots celebrates his touchdown run with Tom Brady, Brandon Lloyd #85, and Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots in the second half against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on December 10, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The New England Patriots would eventually lose to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football in Week 15, but an impressive comeback late showed the rest of the league why the Patriots are the NFL's most dangerous team. 

At one point, the 49ers were up 31-3 on the road against the Patriots, but a furious comeback by Tom Brady and Co. made the game much closer than it should have been. 

The end result was a 41-34 San Francisco victory, but the comeback shows the Patriots can hang with anyone offensively no matter the score. It also blows any argument about not running up the score out of the water at the NFL level. 

What's scary for the rest of the NFL as the postseason looms is that Brady and the Patriots are capable of this type of outburst at any time. The team scores more points than any other in the NFL at 36 points per game, and also racks up more yardage per game than all other teams with 432 yards per game. 

Brady is the catalyst for these types of offensive explosions. He's thrown for over 4,200 yards to go along with his 30 touchdowns and (only) six interceptions. Brady is completing over 63 percent of his passes and has a 100 quarterback rating on the season thus far. 

The furious comeback against the 49ers was the ultimate example of Brady utilizing all of his weapons in a scoring flurry in a minimal amount of time possible. 

Two touchdown runs from Danny Woodhead, a touchdown run from Brady himself and a touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez encapsulated the bulk of the comeback. The comeback didn't even utilize two of Brady's favorite targets—tight end Rob Gronkowski (who's out with an injury) and wide receiver Wes Welker

What should strike fear into the hearts of every NFL team is this ridiculous outburst came against the NFL's best scoring defense. The 49ers surrender only 15.6 points per game. For San Francisco to give up 31 points in a half, 24 of those in one quarter, is a shocking turn of events. 

The Patriots have scored 30 or more points in 10 of their 14 games this year. With cupcake games the final two weeks against the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars, don't be surprised if that ridiculous total is upped to 12. 

Fortunately for the Patriots, none of the teams on the AFC side of things this postseason have defenses that can compare to the 49ers. The Pittsburgh Steelers are up there, but are currently on the outside of the picture. 

So what does all this mean? Simple. The Patriots are just hitting their offensive stride late in the season—and did so against the best defense in the NFL. 

New England is the most dangerous team in the land, and that was only reinforced by a stunning Sunday-night comeback.