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Patriots' problems come at bad time

A week after looking like world-beaters, Tom Brady & Co. can't overcome mistakes

Updated: December 28, 2012, 2:36 PM ET
By Jackie MacMullan | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- As the New England Patriots systematically scratched their way back from the unthinkable -- a 28-point fourth-quarter deficit at home against the San Francisco 49ers and their young quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who was in the midst of his fifth career NFL start -- the mathematical football wizards came up with a stat that did not fall into the "small sample" category.

There were 242 teams in league history that had trailed in the fourth quarter by 21 points ...

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