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49ers squander 28-point lead then rally for thrilling win

  • San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith (99) runs after intercepting a pass as New England Patriots tackle Sebastian Vollmer (76) and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (47) pursue in the third quarter of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Jim Harbaugh might have learned more about his San Francisco 49ers during 20 minutes of sleepwalking than at any other time in his two years as their coach.

His 49ers turned a nearly historic collapse into a stunning victory and a playoff berth. They withstood a 28-point comeback by the New England Patriots to win 41-34 on Sunday night in the rain.

"Our team has now hung in in a lot of big-time pressure games," Harbaugh said. "They've overcome adversity. They've shown they can do that."

Michael Crabtree took a short pass from Colin Kaepernick and sped around cornerback Kyle Arrington for a 38-yard touchdown with 6:25 to go, then David Akers made a 28-yard field goal to clinch it.

"We can win a shootout," Crabtree said. "Whatever it takes, that's our motto. ... We feel like we can do anything, sky's the limit."


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