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49ers-Patriots Preview: Can San Francisco Continue Momentum Against New England Team Looking To Rebound?

Added 10-23-20 03:29:01pm EST - “The 49ers are coming off a solid win, while the Patriots are coming off an ugly loss. Both teams need a win to keep pace in tough divisions.” - Stlouis.cbslocal.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Stlouis.cbslocal.com: “49ers-Patriots Preview: Can San Francisco Continue Momentum Against New England Team Looking To Rebound?”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

(CBS San Francisco) — The New England Patriots were supposed to play the Denver Broncos in Week 5. But COVID forced a bye week and pushed the game to Week 6. For much of the matchup this past Sunday, the Patriots played like they were still on a bye. What little offense they could generate wasn’t enough, and the Broncos held on for an 18-12 win.

The San Francisco 49ers bounced back from an ugly loss to the Miami Dolphins to take care of business in a tough NFC West matchup. Still banged up, the 49ers jumped out to an early lead, which proved to be enough against a Los Angeles Rams team that couldn’t find any continuity.

In Week 7, the 2-3 Patriots will host the 3-3 49ers in Foxborough, in a matchup of possible early-season contenders both working through early-season struggles. It’s too early to call this a must-win game for either team. Bill Belichick will have the Pats back on track with a little practice; COVID concerns limited them to one actual practice over the previous two weeks. The 49ers will improve with health; Jimmy Garoppolo’s ankle alone looked noticeably better this past week. But neither team can afford to drop too much further back in their respectively tough divisions.

The Patriots looked rusty against the Broncos, in what Cam Newton called a “sloppy display of football.” Newton was 17-25 passing for a meager 157 yards and two interceptions. He did find the end zone rushing. But outside of Newton’s 76 yards on the ground, the running game was basically nonexistent, with running backs totaling just 41 yards on the ground. Much of the blame can be placed on a patchwork offensive line dealing with injuries and COVID absences. The lack of practice didn’t help. Neither did poor execution, with the Pats managing just as many points as interceptions in the first three quarters.

“If your quarterback, in Cam Newton, is removed from the team for that period of time and then is kind of thrust back in, it’s like, alright, now let’s put together a game plan,” said Evan Washburn, NFL On CBS sideline reporter. “There’s only so much you can do on Zoom, that you can do virtually. He’s (Newton) a really talented player. That, I’m sure, made up for a lot that less talented quarterback wouldn’t be able to, but he still struggled. That to me was the takeaway.”

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