Stats snapshot: Tracking a few trends

A few statistical takeaways from the Patriots' 41-34 loss to to the Niners on Sunday night:

* Patriots uncharacteristically bad on third down: The Patriots converted 2-of-15 third downs (13.3 percent), were held to minus-1 total yards on their first seven attempts (zero conversions) and eventually picked up their first conversion with 10:06 remaining in the third quarter. The Patriots entered Week 15 as the league’s best third-down team (52.5 conversion rate) and the only team with a conversion percentage higher than 45.0.

* Niners shut down everything but empty set: Tom Brady was the lone Patriots player in the backfield on 26 plays Sunday, with 19 coming in the second half, and all of the plays featuring a running back split out wide. Brady was 15-of-24 from those formations Sunday (sacked once and rushed once) and 21-of-41 with at least one other player in the backfield.

* Brady better in the second half: Tom Brady was 1-of-5 with an interception passing more than 10 yards downfield in the first half Sunday. Brady found more success in the second half, completing 7-of-13 attempts of those distances, averaging 14.8 yards per attempt.

* Kaepernick goes deep: Colin Kaepernick attempted a career-high six passes more than 20 yards downfield Sunday, completing three of them, all for touchdowns. His third completion and last attempt came on the touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree to go up 31-3.