Week 11 Preview: San Francisco 49ers vs. New England Patriots

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The San Francisco 49ers (1-8) are clearly on the outside looking in. A team that hasn’t won since week 1, the verdict is out how they will fare as they take on 1st ballot Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady and Super Bowl favorite New England Patriots (7-2). 


To be honest, I don’t see this game being a trap game nor upset, which is why I’m taking the Patriots to win outright on the road. The 49ers defensive line received a huge boost along the team’s defensive line with the return of NT Glenn Dorsey to the starting lineup but that won’t be enough, as the pass-rush yields a different story. 

Brady loves to work the sticks and with weapons like TE Martellus Bennett and WR Julian Edelman at his disposal, I can’t help but think those two receivers will have their way. Bennett poses a huge mismatch in the passing game simply due to his big physique down the seams. No 49ers linebacker can stay stride for stride with him, while no safety can bring him down with a simply arm-tackle. It will need to be a collective effort. 

Edelman on the other hand will likely win his battles off the line of scrimmage. A diminutive yet shifty player with the lateral quickness to boot, Edelman continues to be Brady’s security blanket on third-downs. Look for both players to reach the end zone against a suspect secondary that yields more big plays than not– especially their safeties. 

While the Patriots passing game is on par to move the chains vertically, it will be the 49ers defensive front 7 to stop and contain RB LeGarrette Blount. A bruising runner between the tackles, Blount may surpass the century mark for the fourth time this year, as he faces an erratic run defense that has a knack for giving up big 40-plus yard runs. 

Simply put, this game won’t be a cake walk for the 49ers defense and DC Jim O’Neil will have his work cut out for him despite TE Rob Gronkowski being officially ruled out for today’s game. 

As for the 49ers offense, I can’t seem them getting off to a hot start in the run-game due to Patriots DT Malcom Brown’s presence. A player I was heavily high on coming out of the 2015 NFL Draft, Brown continues to be the rock along the Patriots defensive line. He can two-gap, leverage, and stack-and-shed with the best of them, so I can expect nothing less than a big day from him. RG Joshua Garnett and LG Zane Beadles will need to bring it. No plays off today. 

This in turn, leads to the 49ers offense being one-dimensional–which is where 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick will need to prove his worth as a pocket-passer. Can he do it? Time will tell.

In what will be Brady’s homecoming, I believe he will have a big game leading to a victory, as the Patriots pull away in the third-quarter–winning 31-20. 

Vegas Odds

Sakamoto: 36-21 (Over/Under) 

2016: 3-6

With the total points set at 51.5, I would slightly take the under as Patriots 31-20. 

Sakamoto: 34-23 (ATS)

2016: 5-4

With the 49ers being -11.5 point underdogs, I’m rolling with the 49ers to cover the spread.

Fantasy Football (61/167)

2016: 16 of 27

RB LeGarrette Blount

WR Julian Edelman

TE Martellus Bennett 

As you know we select three players each game who we think will score touchdowns (quarterbacks omitted). Here are this week’s picks:

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Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.

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