New England Patriots defeat San Francisco 49ers, 30-21

SAN FRANCISCO - No matter how famous the offensive coordinator, how innovative his game plan, or how dangerous his offense there is one little simple rule of football that will stop any attack - if you don't have it, you can't score.

Coming off the bye week, the Patriots didn't need the defensive genius of Bill Belichick to slow down San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz's imaginative offense because the Patriots offense turned out to be an ample defense....

SAN FRANCISCO - Heading into yesterday's game against the 49ers, there were several concerns the Patriots had to address during their two-week sabbatical following the debacle at home against the Miami Dolphins.

But the primary question over the past two weeks for the Patriots, their fans, and the perhaps quietly, Randy Moss, himself, was when will the team go back to the vertical game.

Things didn't look encouraging for all parties after the first two possessions ye...

SAN FRANCISCO - This one could be distilled into the simplest of explanations. When the Patriots had the ball, the 49ers didn't stop them. When the 49ers had the ball, the Patriots did stop them. Who said football was that hard to understand?

Sometimes too much is made of statistics, of yardage, of time of possession. But not yesterday at Candlestick Park, where the sun was bright, the jersey of Hall of Famer Steve Young was retired, and the Patriots proved they are a w...

SAN FRANCISCO - If you look strictly at the numbers - seven rushes for 32 yards and four receptions for 29 yards - then Kevin Faulk's day looks like nothing special. But that's what makes Faulk special - he finds a way to contribute in limited opportunities and usually comes up big.

That was the case yesterday in the Patriots' 30-21 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. Faulk, who had the first two rushing-touchdown game of his 10-year career, had th...