Empty feeling no surprise for the 49ers

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers waited until midway through the third quarter of their game against New England to put four wide receivers on the field at the same time. They even went with an empty backfield on the play.

Bad idea.

On the play, Patriots safety Rodney Harrison picked off J.T. O'Sullivan in 49ers territory. I noted during the week that empty backfields seem to be high-risk propositions based on the NFC West games I've watched this season. Also, the 49ers have been at their best with two tight ends on the field.

This play flaunted both of those premises. Can't say I was surprised by the result. The Patriots turned the opportunity into a touchdown, extending their lead to 24-14 with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter.