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Patriots-49ers Battle Features Two Of The Best Coaching Minds In Football

San Francisco and New England are in search of consistency

Wikimedia Commons

Quick-Hitters

  • Despite dropping two-straight, the New England Patriots (+225) are just behind the Buffalo Bills to win the NFC East, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • The San Francisco 49ers got back on track last week, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 24-16. San Francisco (+1000) now has the worst chance to win in the NFC West, per DraftKings Sportsbook. The 49ers are underdogs (+154) to make the playoffs, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Patriots Lacking Identity

The New England Patriots haven't held a losing record by the month of October or later since the 2002 season. With their 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos, the Patriots currently sit at 2-3 behind the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins in the AFC East. The loss to Denver has left Bill Belichick and the New England roster with the glaring questions. The first of which being: what happened to the Cam Newton led offense that was just one yard shy of beating the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football?

The discombobulated offensive line may be the answer. With the absence of David Andrews due to injury and Shaquille Mason due to COVID, the Patriots had to rotate their offensive line completely. The lack of chemistry led to a poor rush attack in which they usually pride themselves on, including more pressure for Newton. Furthermore, the team was riddled with COVID complications for the past couple of weeks, even affecting star players such as Stephon Gilmore and Newton. Despite all of this, New England (+225) are just behind the Buffalo Bills to win the NFC East, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

Defensively, the Patriots have looked great, besides the 35 points given up to the likely MVP, Russell Wilson. They nearly shut down the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs until the game was out of reach late. Additionally, Denver was granted the ball in New England territory a majority of possessions, all resulting in field goals (six). If the defense continues to play their game then they should be capable of stifling an injury-ridden San Francisco 49ers offense.

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49ers Have Inconsistencies, Too

The 49ers have been a great case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as they were demolished by the Dolphins 43-17 and then came out and beat the Los Angeles Rams 24-16 in a game that was never in doubt. The 49ers aren't the same team that was leading 20-10 late in the Super Bowl just this past February. They're riddled with injuries, most notably being the loss of defensive star Nick Bosa.

However, San Francisco has tried to make do with what they have. Three different quarterbacks have appeared in 49ers games this season, much like the Patriots, either due to injury or poor performance. Additionally, Raheem Mostert’s lingering injury has slowed down the running game immensely, which they relied on heavily last season. San Francisco will have to utilize their playmakers at receiver, such as Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and especially George Kittle.

If the 49ers can get their playmakers involved, they’ll be able to put points on the board. This season, the offense is averaging just 24.7 points per game, which is mostly inflated due to playing the New York Giants and New York Jets. If Kyle Shanahan can put together a sound game plan like he did against the Rams, the 49ers could win this game.

San Francisco (+1000) has the worst chance to win in the NFC West, per DraftKings Sportsbook. The 49ers are underdogs (+154) to make the playoffs, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

Game Line

Lines have opened with the Patriots as 2-point favorites over the 49ers at home in Foxboro with the point total set at 43.5. We can definitely expect this game to be low-scoring, given the solid defenses on both sides, but stagnant offenses. If the 49ers can get a handful of big plays from their offense, they may be able to win this game outright. However, the Patriots are best at limiting that big play and are hungry for a win after a 2-3 start to the season. This game is almost a pick'em between coach Belichick and coach Shanahan.

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