Originally Posted by Double TE
Originally posted by Mankster:
I think the Patriots are in for a rude awakening!
The Cards beat 'em, the Hawks beat 'em. Is it really necessary to remind ourselves that our gang has a stronger defense AND more dynamic offense then either of those?
Why the panic?
Because they whipped the Texans? Let me tell you, the Texans have been skating on thin ice for over a month now and it just broke on them last night. No shock.
Cause they managed to win a shootout with the mighty Bills? Oooo.
Cause they squeaked out an OT win over the Jets? wow...
Cause they beat the Fins by a TD. Now I'm really scared.
We on the other hand have been trying new things, bringing top draft picks up to speed, and preparing for the home stretch.
Final score: Niners 31, Patsies 13
***SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS VS NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS PREGAME THREAD*** - Page 40 - 49erswebzone.com Forum
That reasoning is strange to me. The Pats are no good because they didn't beat the Bills or Dolphins by enough, but it's no problem that San Fran tied and then lost to the Rams (a team that we absolutely massacred) in the same timeframe?
Isn't it obvious to every football fan on the planet, at this point, that division games often end up being a tougher fight than they should be for the favorite? Fact of the matter is, the Pats are 5-0 in the division, and that's why they wrapped theirs up last week, while the Niners still haven't done the same. I'm also not ready to concede that the Seahawks, in Seattle, are worse than the 49ers. In any case, the Pats' defense is so far removed from where it was in October that it's barely even relevant. The Talib trade created exactly the sort of domino effect that we hoped for, and Dennard has basically given us what we hoped Dowling would be able to (a press corner who can play credibly in man coverage).
The 49ers are a very good team, and I think that this may be the Pats' toughest test of the season (this game worried me most, from a purely competitive standpoint, even before the Texans game, although the Texans game meant more from a playoff seeding perspective). But the Pats don't match up nearly as badly with the 49ers as a lot of people seem to think.
We all know that the Pats can stop a between-the-tackles running game without overcommitting to it (thanks to Wilfork and Spikes primarily, but plenty of other guys too). If the ends maintain gap discipline and don't give Kaepernick easy running lanes, then I like the secondary's chances matching up against the 49ers receivers. Vernon Davis will be a tough cover in theory, but he's been quiet for a month so, so I dunno what's up with him. Is he hurt? If not, then this might be the game where he snaps out of it, because defending TEs is still a weakness for the Pats' defense. On a side note, it sure seems like that's a weakness for most defenses around the league. There are few enough truly dynamic TEs out there that defenses probably just don't see them enough to be prepared.
In any case, Kaepernick throwing to his WRs doesn't really scare me. I wouldn't be surprised to see multiple picks; Belichick finally has enough talent in the secondary to get back to playing mind-games with young and/or dumb QBs like he used to. This all assumes that Talib and Dennard are good to go, of course. If not, who knows what the gameplan is. Worst case scenario is something like McCourty back to corner starting opposite Arrington, with Wilson or Chung starting alongside Gregory at safety. That would be really, really bad. And I even think that McCourty is pretty good at CB, albeit an entirely different type of corner than Talib and Dennard. It's losing him at safety that would really hurt.