David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


Recapping 49ers-Patriots; and reviewing my five keys to victory predictions

Oct 26, 2020 at 12:53 PM


There are no two ways about it, the San Francisco 49ers' performance against the New England Patriots was about as well-rounded a win as you'll see in the National Football League. The 49ers gave the Patriots their worst home defeat of the Bill Belichick era, and did so by absolutely dominating on both sides of the ball. The 49ers came out firing from the opening kickoff, scoring a touchdown on their opening drive, which happened to be the first opening drive touchdown surrendered by the Patriots in their last 32 home games.

The 49ers were able to generate nearly double the offensive yards the Patriots had, a testament to how locked in the 49ers were in all facets of the game. The offense averaged 7.4 yards per play, while the defense was able to hold the Patriots offense to a paltry 4.9 yards per play in comparison. The time of possession battle was dominated by the 49ers, as they held the ball for nearly 40 minutes, demonstrating their ability to run the ball and control the tempo of the game. All in all, this was a resounding victory that showed just how complete this 49er football team is.

Going into the game, I gave five keys for a 49er victory, so I'll go ahead and recap the predictions, and how they actually panned out in the game.

49ers have more than 25 rushing attempts
How it went: The 49ers ran the ball 37 times for 197 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The 49ers ran the ball with authority and opened up the play action pass game as a result, allowing the offense to function at its full potential. The fact that a 3rd-, possibly a 4th-, string running back in Jeff Wilson Jr. was able to step in and deliver the impressive performance (17 carries for 112 yards, 3 touchdowns) he did, displayed how much depth the team has at the running back position. The 49ers improved to 4-0 when they eclipse 25 rushing attempts, and remain 0-3 when they have fewer than 25.

Win the battle on third down
How it went: The 49ers were 5-9 (55%) on third down conversions on offense, while the defense held the Patriots to 1-6 (16%) on third down.

The 49ers were incredibly efficient on offense, as they only found themselves in 9 third downs all game, largely due to their effectiveness on first and second downs. When they did find themselves in third down, they converted at over a 50% clip, allowing them to string together drives. The defense held the Patriots offense to a 16% conversion rate on third down, allowing only one conversion in the entire game. Winning the third down battle is vitally important in any game, and the 49ers dominated third down on both sides of the ball.

Force Cam Newton to beat you with his arm
How it went: Newton finished the game 9/15 for 98 yards, with 3 interceptions and a passer rating of 39.7.

The 49ers executed this key to perfection. By slowing the Patriots rushing attack enough on early downs, they forced the Patriots to throw due to the down and distance they faced regularly on third downs. The 49er offense scoring early and with efficiency, as well as the 20-point deficit that the Patriots faced at halftime, clearly forced the Patriots to throw more than they would have liked to, while effectively limiting how they would be able to run the ball in the second half.

Put Jimmy Garoppolo in a position to succeed
How it went: Garoppolo finished the game 20/25 for 277 yards, with 2 interceptions and a passer rating of 79.5.

The numbers here can be a little misleading, as Garoppolo had an interception on a last second Hail Mary in the final seconds of the second quarter, and the lack of touchdown passes was largely due to the success the 49ers had running the ball in the red zone, which is not an indictment on Garoppolo. The ability to run the ball opened up the play action for Garoppolo and the 49er offense (where I have pointed out he is at his best throwing the football), and as a result the pass game was extremely efficient as Garoppolo completed 80% of the passes he threw. Throughout the game, Garoppolo stepped up and made and big throws, gaining 13 first downs through the air, and even adding a scramble for a first down with his legs. Kyle Shanahan has done a much better job tailoring a gameplan around Garoppolo's strengths over the last two weeks, and it's no coincidence the team has produced better performances as a result.

Do not giveaway first downs
How it went: The 49ers surrendered 2 first downs via penalty against the Patriots.

The 49ers improved to 4-0 on the year when their opponents have fewer than 3 first downs via 49er penalties. One of the two penalties that led to a Patriots first down was a very questionable roughing the passer call. Regardless, the team was much more disciplined on the defensive side of the ball than it was in its 3 losses this season. I spoke about how important it is to be disciplined when playing a Bill Belichick-coached team, and with the exception of a couple offensive holding penalties, the 49ers did a fantastic job showing restraint in this game.

Final Score Prediction 49ers 23 - Patriots 20
How it went: The 49ers trounced the Patriots by a final score of 33-6.

I had the 49ers winning this game, but I expected it to be a much tighter game than it ended up being. This was the most complete team performance that we have seen from this 49er squad since the NFC Championship Game last season, and the 49ers will look to carry the momentum of back to back wins into this week as they get set to travel to Seattle to take on the first place Seahawks.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers reportedly turned down 2nd-round pick from Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 26

Whenever Seth Wickersham reveals a tidbit from his new book, "It's Better to Be Feared," examining the New England Patriots dynasty, Tom Brady, and his departure from the team, it always seems specifically directed at 49ers fans. And no, I'm not exaggerating. Earlier today, more news from Wickersham's book was revealed via ESPN scout Matt Miller, where it was reported that the Patriots allegedly offered a second-round pick for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft, to which the 49ers said no because they desired a first-rounder in return. The Patriots remained in the first round, selecting Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick, while the 49ers took Trey Lance after trading up to the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL



Kyle Shanahan says no truth to report that Patriots offered 49ers a 2nd-round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo

By David Bonilla
15 hrs

Another interesting tidbit was revealed yesterday courtesy of the new book, "It's Better to Be Feared," by ESPN's Seth Wickersham. The reporter's colleague, Matt Miller, tweeted out that, per the book, the New England Patriots were very interested in reacquiring San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Wickersham reports, via Miller, that the Patriots were willing to surrender a second-round pick in exchange for Garoppolo. Now, the 49ers had long been set on drafting Garoppolo's successor, Trey Lance, and had repeatedly stated that Garoppolo remained in their plans for 2021. However, the team would not ignore any intriguing



Better Rivals: DeMeco Ryans and the 49ers defense is doing a phenomenal job

By Marc Adams
Oct 15

If defense still wins championships, fans of the San Francisco 49ers must have been teeming with anxiety over the thought of having to rely on the defense, as they have been able to, in recent years. It has stressed me out. But you can rest easy, San Francisco fans, the tide may be turning. Through the first four games of the season, the 49ers defense looked a little Jekyll and Hyde. There were moments in each of those games where the defense looked like the dominant unit we have grown accustomed to seeing. But there were also moments in which they looked lost (see Rodgers, Aaron). The game against Green Bay was the low point, letting the Packers kick a game-winning field goal, even though they had no timeouts and only 37 seconds left. If the first four



John Lynch: 49ers learning from draft hits and misses; Aaron Banks, Ambry Thomas will contribute

By David Bonilla
Oct 17

A lot is riding on the selection of Trey Lance. The future of the San Francisco 49ers — and likely head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch — depends on the rookie quarterback developing into an impact player. The NFL Draft has seemingly been a crapshoot for the Niners. For every Nick Bosa, there is a Solomon Thomas or Reuben Foster. There have been George Kittles and Fred Warners. However, selections like Dante Pettis severely impact evaluations of recent draft classes. The jury is still out on last year's first-rounders, Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk. The latter's lack of involvement this season has been baffling. The 49ers have hit


Featured

More by Jordan Elliott

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone