The New England Patriots have an underwhelming 13-10 lead over the San Francisco 49ers at the half. A torrential downpour has affected the quality of play.
The Patriots offense was pretty much unstoppable to start the game as QB Tom Brady and WR Julian Edelman connected for 6 completions, 44 yards, and a touchdown. RB Dion Lewis has 4 touches for 35 yards and looks as shifty as ever. RB LeGarrette Blount has 61 yards, and had another big 35-yard touchdown run called back after a holding call on OT Nate Solder.
In fact, penalties were the only way the 49ers defense could stop the Patriots offense. Brady was hit with an intentional grounding call after Solder’s holding penalty, which knocked the offense back from a 2nd and 1 from the 35 yard line to a 3rd and 21 from the Patriots own 45 yard line and the team had to punt. The rain was pouring down prior to the half and the team couldn’t take a field goal attempt.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots still have no idea what they’re doing against a weak 49ers offense. LB Dont’a Hightower was benched for a pair of drives in favor of LB Elandon Roberts and LB Shea McClellin. LB Kyle Van Noy has been in the rotation, too.
The Patriots defense does have five sacks (ED Rob Ninkovich, Hightower, Van Noy, S Patrick Chung, CB Logan Ryan), and three forced fumbles (Hightower Ninkovich, S Duron Harmon), but they haven’t necessarily looked good as the coverage has been lacking.
49ers QB Colin Kaepernick is 8 of 9 for 116 yards and a touchdown, along with a 17-yard scramble. 49ers RB Carlos Hyde has 55 rushing yards on 11 carries. No one seems capable of covering a running back or tight end as 49ers tight ends and running backs have combined for 6 receptions, 90 yards, and a touchdown.
Brady needs to find a receiver other than Edelman in the second half. The Patriots should lean on the run since the 49ers haven’t been able to stop it in the rain. On defense, the Patriots need to find a way to cover the non-wide receivers.
The Patriots lead 13-10 and get the ball after the half.