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49ers vs. Patriots score: Niners strike early, Patriots respond in 3rd

The San Francisco 49ers opened up the second half by extending their lead with two touchdowns before New England responded to end the third quarter.

Jim Rogash

After a relatively slow first half, scoring picked up in the third quarter with the San Francisco 49ers extending their lead thanks to two New England Patriots turnovers.

Following a Colin Kaepernick interception on the 49ers first drive, the San Francisco defense forced a Stevan Ridley fumble. The 49ers capitalized with Frank Gore picking up a fumbled snap and running for a touchdown to move the lead to 24-3.

The 49ers forced a second turnover on the Patriots' next drive by picking off Tom Brady on a screen pass intended for Aaron Hernandez. Kaepernick then found Michael Crabtree on a 27-yard touchdown connection to widen the gap.

New England finally put together a strong drive on the ensuing possession with Danny Woodhead capping it off with a 6-yard touchdown run. After forcing a 49ers punt, the Patriots once again moved the ball into San Francisco territory and reached the red zone before the third quarter concluded.