49ers win despite letting big lead slip


San Francisco 49ers blew a 28-point lead before pulling out a 41-34 victory at New England in a match-up of National Football League division leaders, ending the Patriots’ seven-game winning streak to seal a play-off spot.

Defending Super Bowl champions New York Giants were shut out during the regular season for the first time in 16 years, losing 34-0 in Atlanta to fall into a three-way tie atop the National Football Conference’s East division after wins by the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

With the 49ers also guaranteeing themselves a post-season spot with Sunday night’s win, seven of the NFL’s 12 play-off participants have been decided, with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

The 49ers opened a 31-3 third-quarter lead in Foxborough, Massachusetts, behind three touchdown passes by Colin Kaepernick. The Patriots then scored four straight touchdowns to tie the game 31-31 with six minutes, 45 seconds left. San Francisco answered 12 seconds later, as Kaepernick threw his fourth touchdown pass. The teams traded field goals in the final two minutes before the 49ers recovered an onside kick attempt by the Patriots with 38 seconds left to seal the win.

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