One of this week's more intriguing matchups features the San Francisco 49'ers traveling to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots at 4:25 pm on Sunday, live on CBS. The defending NFC champs are led, on offense, by Jimmy Garoppolo. Recall that Jimmy G used to play for Belichick.
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If these teams had met at this time last season, it would have been a really big deal. Indeed, both were a perfect 7-0 through seven weeks in 2019. Injuries and "covid related issues" have taken a toll this season though. Off back-to-back losses, the Pats are 2-3. At 3-3, the 49'ers aren't much better. Still, those sub-par records make this game of critical importance. Neither team can afford to fall further behind in their respective divisions.
The Pats are small favorites for the game. The O/U line has come down from its opener, most shops are currently at 43.5.
I backed the 49'ers in their win last week, vs. LA. They played an inspired game and knocked off a strong Rams team. They looked good on both sides of the ball. Still, one can't forget that their previous game resulted in a 43-17 loss against Miami.
The Pats weren't able to practice properly due to Covid-related issues and that was likely one of the factors that led to their loss against Denver. Their previous game had resulted in a loss to KC. Off b2b October losses and looking up at both Miami and Buffalo, they're in unfamiliar territory.
This one has all the makings of a defensive battle. The 49'ers got back to basics last week, running the ball with regularity. The defense, though still banged up, was stingy. They'll try and employ the same formula here, as will New England. The Patriots have only scored 22 points their last two games combined. Yet, the defense has remained stout. Needless to say, Belichick will have a gameplan in place to slow down his former QB. Frequent running plays and short passes will keep the clock moving.
Before the lines were released, I had set this number at 41. Therefore, I'd say the "under" is well worth a look. Try and find a 44, if possible.
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