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The Niner Faithful will likely want to file this one in the "Thanks Trent Baalke" category.
Ben Volin of the Boston Globe took to evaluating the New England Patriots following their 30-17 road victory on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. While evaluating his newspaper's local team, he mentioned that Sunday's game was an anomaly and that it does not necessarily represent what the Patriots are going to be about going forward.
For one, he mentioned the weather. There was a rare California downpour during Sunday's game. "It really doesn't rain here in California, but it did and it affected both offenses in the third quarter," 49ers head coach Chip Kelly said Monday morning while on the Murph & Mac show on KNBR 680.
Second, he mentioned a big missing component to the Patriots offense. TE Rob Gronkowski did not play and he is a big factor for New England in the red zone.
Lastly was something that 49ers fans have sadly come to admit. The team that the Patriots were playing just isn't very good and Volin felt that it was very obvious. "The 49ers are terrible," Volin wrote. "This has to be one of the three worst rosters in the league, particularly with receiver Torrey Smith not playing. Colin Kaepernick badly missed on several throws in the second half, sailing them well beyond his receivers or skipping them at their feet. None of their offensive skill players requires extra attention or double teams. Same with their defense, which is filled with no-names and doesn't have a player with more than 3½ sacks this season.
"The 49ers couldn't stop tripping over themselves, literally lining up offsides on four occasions and rolling two snaps on the ground due to the rain. Chip Kelly flat-out admitted that his team didn't have the firepower to keep pace with the Patriots."
Some saw Kelly's comments as a criticism of the personnel department, which includes general manager Trent Baalke and his inability to provide a suitable roster to work with. What Kelly actually said was that the team was not built to throw 50 or 60 times a game. "We're built to run the football," Kelly said on Monday while addressing the comments from the day before. "Carlos [Hyde] is the main focus of what we're doing offensively. We have a running quarterback that complements him and then our play-action pass complements that and when we're running the ball successfully and play-action pass off of that, we're very good as an offensive football team. But, to think we're going to go into a game and throw the ball 60 times and win, then that's not a game plan for success for us."
Here are some 49ers related notes by Volin within his analysis of the game.
- The 49ers didn't attack Tom Brady. The first true blitz from the 49ers came on the final play of the first half, which resulted in the long catch-and-run by James White. Volin counted only four blitzes all day.
- The 49ers played zone defense most of the day and didn't allow the Patriots' receivers to get much separation. The offense only had more success once Brady started scrambling and improvising to give his receivers time to get open.
- DeForest Buckner caused problems as he had a sack against David Andrews and a quarterback hit against Joe Thuney.
- Chris Long was well blocked by Joshua Garnett and Joe Staley for much of the game.
- The 49ers used a lot of bunch formations, crossing routes, and legal picks to create separation because their skill players are so bad.