As good as the 49ers are on defense, just remember the Patriots’ first three offensive series Monday night against the Texans. The Patriots emasculated Houston, sliced them and diced them, put them through the Veg-O-Matic. Their defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, stood there in awe. It was a masterful production. Tom Brady was brilliant.
Can New England do that to the Niners?
The Niners have a better secondary than the Texas and match up well upfront and have better linebackers. The key is how they match up with Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez. Let Brandon Lloyd and Deion Branch have career games. They barely matter. How will the Niners handle Welker and Hernandez?
The Texans could not handle them man to man. Who will the 49ers put on Welker in the slot? Carlos Rogers? He’s had problems with good slot receivers. He couldn’t control Danny Amendola and Chris Givens. So what makes you think he can cover Welker?
How about Hernandez? I don’t think NaVorro Bowman or Patrick Willis can handle Hernandez. Maybe the 49ers go to the dime to try to be effective.
The 49ers can’t zone the Patriots. New England easily makes man and zone adjustments. Whatever defense Vic Fangio calls could be wrong every time. New England dictates to the defense what the route will be. New England does not let the defense dictate routes. I don’t know if the Niners have enough quality players in the secondary to win this game. They are lucky Rob Gronkowski is out.
Will the 49ers’ diamond and pistol formations fool Bill Belichick?
No. He’s seen them before. He’s seen everything before. There is nothing he hasn’t seen or studied. He’s going to have answers for the zone-read options, the pistol, the diamond and for Vernon Davis, if he lines up outside of Michael Crabtree on the line of scrimmage as a wideout.
The 49ers will play the Patriots much tougher than the Texans did, but the 49ers will come up about a touchdown short on Sunday night.
The Patriots will beat the 49ers 30-24.