San Francisco and New England will be feeling much different about last week’s results when they square off at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The 49ers are coming off possibly their best game of the season, as they picked up a 24-16 win in primetime against the Rams. New England lost outright as a 7-point favorite against Denver.
San Francisco coming off impressive winSan Francisco has been up-and-down this season, but it will be hoping to build on a Sunday Night Football win against Los Angeles. The 49ers were coming off consecutive losses to Philadelphia and Miami, with the latter of the two coming in blowout fashion. They bounced back from that 43-17 loss with a 24-16 win against the Rams to get back to .500 on the season. One of the main storylines coming into this week’s game is quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He is returning to New England for a matchup against his former team. Many people will consider this a revenge game, as he appeared to be in line to take over once Tom Brady’s tenure was over.
The 49ers have made the following roster moves.— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) October 20, 2020
Garoppolo has had some struggles and injury issues this season, but he is coming off his best game of the year. He threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns, while not throwing an interception or getting sacked. Garoppolo has completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 735 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Running backs Raheem Mostert and Jerick McKinnon have split reps. Both players are averaging more than five yards per carry, but Mostert is on the injured list. Defensive end Nick Bosa is out for the season with a torn ACL. Tight end George Kittle is having another fantastic season, averaging 12.7 yards per catch on 30 receptions. He has hauled in two touchdowns. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne has added 17 catches for 271 yards and a score.
Patriots looking for smoother performanceNew England did not look good last week following a COVID-19-induced bye week in Week 5. The Patriots came out flat against Denver and could not get the ball in the end zone. They allowed the Broncos to kick six field goals in an 18-12 loss, falling below .500 on the season. Cam Newton returned from his positive test but had negative results, throwing for just 157 yards. He was sacked four times and threw two interceptions in what was a game that he will want to forget as quickly as possible. Newton was able to find some success on the ground, rushing 10 times for 76 yards and a touchdown.
"They have an explosive group of players and they put pressure on you across the board."— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 20, 2020
Shifting focus to the 49ers: https://t.co/vS9rhfoiuM
The Patriots need some other players to step up on offense if they want to get above their current No. 13 ranking in yards per game. Newton is currently the team’s leading rusher with 225 yards. Running back Sony Michel has added 173 yards and one touchdown, averaging 6.7 yards per touch. Veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman has hauled in a team-high 20 passes for 302 yards, averaging 15.1 yards per catch. Damiere Byrd has added 17 catches for 217 yards, while N’Keal Harry has added 18 receptions for 166 yards. New England’s defense is currently No. 9 in the NFL, allowing 339 yards per game.
Stats & Trends
San Francisco is:
- 1-4 ATS in its last five games vs. New England
New England is:
- 7-2 ATS in its last nine games vs. a team from the NFC
- 5-2 ATS in its last seven games vs. an NFC West team
I love New England in a bounce back spot in this game. Betting against Bill Belichick after a loss has been a losing proposition throughout his tenure and I do not expect that to change here. There was some expected rust last week after the layoff, but things should flow much better on Sunday. I am not going to suddenly forget what San Francisco looked like for multiple weeks just because it had one good game. Garoppolo is probably going to be limited by New England’s defense here, because the coaching staff is so familiar with him. The 49ers have only covered once in their last five games against the Patriots.