Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NFL
  • NCAA FB
  • Tennis

New England at San Francisco

Patriots win in San Francisco for first time in franchise history

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SAN FRANCISCO -- Randy Moss streaked downfield with more urgency than he ever showed during two years playing on the other side of the Bay, grabbing Matt Cassel's stellar throw and speeding away for a dynamic score before the first quarter was even half over.

The New England Patriots didn't forget how to win just because their regular-season winning streak is over. From Moss' dynamic 66-yard TD catch to Kevin Faulk's gutsy fourth-down score on a direct snap, the Patriots were back in their usual October form, even in an unusual place.

Faulk rushed for two scores, Cassel had 259 yards passing and the Patriots won in San Francisco for the first time in franchise history, beating the 49ers 30-21 Sunday.

Moss, who sleepwalked through two seasons with the Raiders before regaining his stride with the Pats, had five catches for 111 yards, including that sublime catch-and-run behind Nate Clements and Walt Harris, the 49ers' top defensive backs. Though he had made just two plays longer than 10 yards since Bay Area native Tom Brady's season-ending knee injury, Moss was a key component of a vintage offensive effort by the ever-resourceful Patriots (3-1).

"Being able to connect on that deep ball, I think it was good," Moss said. "That's something that we've been missing in our repertoire the past couple of weeks."

The Patriots' repertoire was packed with big plays when they returned from their bye week. Faulk, just one part of New England's multiplayer rushing attack, got his second TD on a fourth-and-2 direct snap in the third quarter, echoing the Dolphins' unstoppable series of snaps to Ronnie Brown two weeks ago.

With an extra week off after that 38-13 debacle, coach Bill Belichick revived the direct-snap play he's used many times before -- and he even threw in a handful of unusual defenses to remain unbeaten in the Pats' past six games following byes.

"It's a play that we've been working on for I don't know how many weeks, months, but we needed it today, and we hit it," Belichick said of the direct snap.

This comprehensive effort could help erase the bad taste of the defending AFC champions' stunning blowout loss to Miami last month, which ended their 21-game regular-season winning streak. Although the first quarter was filled with impressive throws and big interceptions by both teams, New England then turned down the drama with a ball-control offense that largely kept San Francisco (2-3) off the field in the middle two quarters.

New England kept the ball for more than 32 minutes in the first three quarters, while Mike Martz's Niners offense couldn't get a first down during a 36-minute stretch spanning the middle periods.

"New England did everything they were supposed to do," 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes said. "It was obvious we didn't do enough on third down to get off the field. When you don't do that, you don't give your offense a chance to get on the field."

New England hadn't traveled to Candlestick Park since 1995 and had never won in San Francisco in four previous tries. The Patriots, who haven't lost in October since 2005, will practice at San Jose State this week to get ready for their next game at San Diego.

Isaac Bruce caught two TD passes from J.T. O'Sullivan, while Frank Gore rushed for 54 yards and caught an early scoring pass in San Francisco's second straight loss. After a strong start, the 49ers managed just 23 yards in the middle two quarters, and O'Sullivan misfired regularly in a 14-of-29 effort for 130 yards with three interceptions.

"For a long time he was frustrating us, because he's just a jittery quarterback," Pats linebacker Adalius Thomas said. "He kind of reminds you of Brett Favre. You don't know where he's going. We chased him all day, so I know he's tired, because we're tired."

Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals, including a 49-yarder with 4:42 to play after San Francisco finally mounted a strong 80-yard scoring drive to pull within six points on Bruce's second TD catch.

"I think we lost a game that we should have won today, (and) I think everybody feels like that," defensive lineman Justin Smith said. "We have to get back and learn from it. It's not the end of the world. We're 2-3. We need to come out and get a win next week (against Philadelphia)."

The game was supposed to be Brady's first appearance in the stadium where he grew up cheering the 49ers, but his replacement had his own homecoming. Cassel, whose wife and family came up from his native San Fernando Valley, was a solid 22-of-32 despite taking five sacks.

Notes

  • Moss had his 57th 100-yard receiving game, the third-most in NFL history. He's within two of Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison, who hasn't had a 100-yard game this season. New England has won in every NFL city except Washington.
  • Pats RB LaMont Jordan hobbled off the field in the second quarter with a leg injury. He watched the second half in street clothes.
  • Niners LB Patrick Willis had 18 tackles.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Kevin Faulk leaves a number of would-be 49er tacklers in the dust, racking up two touchdowns.
 
Kevin Faulk leaves a number of would-be 49er tacklers in the dust, racking up two touchdowns. (AP)
 

 

Latest Video

September 17, 2014
Raiders at Patriots Preview (3:18)
1 September 16, 2014
Devin McCourty on the Doug Gottlieb Show
(8:00)
2 September 14, 2014
Patriots at Vikings booth recap
(1:56)
3 September 14, 2014
TOPS: London Fletcher on the Patriots
(0:40)
Sun. Oct. 5Final
7107630
1400721
NE - Pass: M. Cassel (22-32, 259), Rec: R. Moss (5-111)
SF - Pass: J. O'Sullivan (14-29, 130), Rush: F. Gore (12-54)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDFrank Gore, 16 Yd pass from J.T. O'Sullivan (Joe Nedney kick is good), 8:57. Drive: 4 plays, 30 yards in 1:35.
TDRandy Moss, 66 Yd pass from Matt Cassel (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good), 7:35. Drive: 3 plays, 68 yards in 1:22.
TDIsaac Bruce, 6 Yd pass from J.T. O'Sullivan (Joe Nedney kick is good), 5:25. Drive: 4 plays, 64 yards in 2:10.
2ND QUARTER
FGStephen Gostkowski 35 Yd, 5:22. Drive: 13 plays, 40 yards in 6:16.
TDKevin Faulk, 2 Yd run (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good), 0:06. Drive: 12 plays, 80 yards in 2:58.
3RD QUARTER
TDKevin Faulk, 2 Yd run (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good), 5:25. Drive: 6 plays, 24 yards in 2:34.
4TH QUARTER
FGStephen Gostkowski 40 Yd, 14:53.
TDIsaac Bruce, 5 Yd pass from J.T. O'Sullivan (Joe Nedney kick is good), 10:22. Drive: 11 plays, 80 yards in 4:31.
FGStephen Gostkowski 49 Yd, 4:42. Drive: 10 plays, 41 yards in 5:40.
Players of the Game

I. Bruce
Rec 3
Yds 49
Avg 16.3
TD 2

R. Moss
Rec 5
Yds 111
Avg 22.2
TD 1
 
New England
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
M. Cassel22/3225912
RushingATTYDSTDLG
S. Morris1663014
K. Faulk732210
L. Maroney102605
L. Jordan51609
M. Cassel4506
R. Moss1202
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
R. Moss5111166
W. Welker873020
J. Gaffney335013
K. Faulk429010
B. Watson21107
San Francisco
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. O'Sullivan14/2913033
RushingATTYDSTDLG
F. Gore1254016
J. O'Sullivan62308
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
I. Bruce349238
B. Johnson327014
F. Gore424116
J. Morgan213017
A. Battle1909
D. Walker1808
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
MIN 30 Final
NO 27
PIT 26 Final
JAC 21
CIN 22 Final
DAL 31
BUF 17 Final
ARI 41
TB 13 Final
DEN 16
WAS 23 Final
PHI 17
SEA 6 Final
NYG 44
SD 10 Final
MIA 17
IND 31 Final
HOU 27
ATL 27 Final
GB 24
CHI 34 Final
DET 7
KC 0 Final
CAR 34
TEN 13 Final
BAL 10