These New England Patriots are supposed to be different, because unlike last year’s squad these Patriots can run and stop their opponents from running. That hasn’t proved to be the case over the first 30 minutes tonight, as the San Francisco 49ers have already accumulated 142 yards on the ground on 24 carries (as opposed to only 15 passing attempts for Colin Kaepernick), and the 49ers have held New England to 43 yards on 12 carries.
The 49ers dominated the first half, and for their efforts take a 17-3 lead into the locker room. But it could’ve been so much more, as Delanie Walker fumbled away a reception in the red zone and David Akers missed a 39-yard field goal. Carlos Rogers got away with a lot of contact after five yards on Wes Welker before grabbing an interception. Kaepernick missed a couple wide open shots downfield to Vernon Davis. Ted Ginn almost pulled a Kyle Williams on a bouncing punt, which would’ve been disastrous.
However, the 49ers have experienced some good luck so far. Kaepernick could’ve been intercepted at least once — the throw to Randy Moss in the end zone that would’ve given the former Patriot his second TD of the night. Kaepernick has also been “credited” with three fumbles and the 49ers lost none of them. The 49ers’ fake punt worked perfectly. And in a game billed as the NFL’s best defense vs. the NFL’s best offense, the defense has had the upper hand and the 49ers have kept the ball for over 17 minutes.
After almost sacking Tom Brady several times, Aldon Smith has been relatively quiet. But his presence has changed the Patriots’ offense and the coverage, for the most part, has been stout. Now the 49ers get the ball to start the second half, in hopes of keeping Brady on the sidelines for another 17 minutes or so. And after having to cancel our BASG meetup due to my wife and I contracting the stomach flu, I’ll try and hold down some ginger ale and write up something postgame … I’d say it’s a 50/50 shot we’ll see that happen, especially if Subway plays any more commercials featuring their vile-looking breakfast sandwiches.