Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images
Defensively, this was reminiscent of the majority of 2019. The 49ers dominated the line of scrimmage, and their speed in the back seven was too much for New England to handle.
For the second week in a row, the San Francisco 49ers marched down the field on their opening drive to score a touchdown. This time, it took San Francisco nine plays to go 75 yards to score to make it 7-0. We saw the usual motions, play-action, and window dressing from Kyle Shanahan.
I was curious to see how Robert Saleh would attack the Patriots offense. The defense came out with a “mush rush” against Cam Newton, where they’re not really looking to rush the passer, but more stay in their rushing lanes to prevent Newton from scrambling. That works when the opposing team’s receivers struggle to separate. It worked on the first drive for the Niners.
The offense was on the move again, but a holding call against George Kittle put the 49ers behind the sticks, and Jimmy Garoppolo airmailed his throw to Kittle for an interception. The defense was flagged for a weak roughing the passer call that put the Patriots into scoring position on the ensuing drive. Tarvarius Moore made his second big hit of the game, which jarred the ball loose from New England’s receiver to force a field goal. Nick Folk’s 40-yard kick made it 7-3.
Another holding penalty stalled the next San Francisco drive, which made it 10-3. Shanahan did a great job of getting Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk involved.
Cam Newton gave Fred Warner a gift, and the 49ers took over in New England’s territory. The offense had to turn that into a touchdown, and they did after Kyle Juszczyk scored on a trap run to make it 16-3, Niners, as Gould missed his PAT due to a defender getting a hand on the ball.
Newton was off for the majority of the first half, and it cost his team. Jeff Wilson and the offense drove once more to make it 23-3. Before the Patriots’ last drive of the first half, they had 14 plays for 39 yards compared to San Francisco’s 38 plays for 301 yards. It was bully ball at its finest. Because the defense hadn’t done enough, Emmanuel Moseley caught an
punt interception from Cam before the end of the half.
The 49ers had 301 yards on 7.5 yards per play during the first half. New England had 59 yards on 3.7 yards per play. The Patriots also did not convert any of their three third-down attempts during the first half.
New England drove the ball on their opening possession of the second half, but a timely blitz from Dre Greenlaw resulted in a sack. The Patriots had to settle for three points, which made it 23-6. A long pass to Brandon Aiyuk was capped off by Wilson’s third touchdown of the day. Unfortunately, he rolled his ankle on the play, and it did not look good. The score was 30-6, but the 49ers couldn’t escape the game without an injury.
New England drove again, but Cam’s poor pass was tipped in the air, and Jamar Taylor joined the interception fun. Deebo Samuel left the game with what looked like an apparent knee injury. The score was 30-6, and it was third down. We don’t know what the injury is yet, but Shanahan will be kicking himself when he looks back at this one. There was no reason for Deebo to have the ball in that situation. Samuel was ruled out with a hamstring injury. That was somewhat good news as we can rule out the dreaded high-ankle sprain or any knee injury.
Taylor had his second interception of the game during the fourth quarter to prevent a garbage time score from the Pats. That was fitting for the way the game went.
Though he was hurt, Wilson Jr. went over 100 yards. JaMycal Hasty had 56 yards on nine carries. Aiyuk went over 100 yards on the day. A strong offensive start was more than enough to put a struggling Patriots offense away. The Niners didn’t punt until there were three minutes left in the game. This was a great statement victory to prove that the win against the Rams was no fluke.
33-6, good guys.