San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) gets the blocking in first half action against the New England Patriots on Sun Oct 25, 2020 in Foxboro. 49ers running back Jeffrey Wilson carried for three touchdowns in the contest. (AP News photo)
By Joe Hawkes
FOXBORO, MA — The San Francisco 49ers should enjoy the plane ride back to Santa Clara, after earning a 33-6 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday evening at a fan-less Gillette Stadium.
The 49ers (4-3) keeps pace in a stacked NFC West as they will now enter a pivotal Week 8 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco may have to travel to Seattle without two key players in wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and running back Jeff Wilson (ankle), both leaving Sunday’s win with injuries and didn’t return to the game.
For the second straight game, the 49ers scored a TD on their opening possession. Last week, San Francisco marched down the field on the Los Angeles Rams and scored a TD to quickly claim a 7-0 lead.
This week, the 49ers set the tone of the game by finishing off a nine-play 75-yard drive with the first of Wilson’s three TDs in the game. In the first half, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense racked up 301 yards of production and claimed a 23-3 lead at halftime.
Wilson was the workhorse for the 49ers, who were thin at running back with both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman out with injuries. San Francisco listed Wilson as questionable for the game after sitting out the previous two games with a calf injury. In a surprising move, Wilson got his third career start and didn’t disappoint as he posted a career-high in rushing yards.
All in the first half.
Wilson, whose previous career-best was 90 yards against the Denver Broncos late in the 2018 season, rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries in 30 minutes of action. He finished with 17 carries for 112 yards and a career-best three touchdowns before exiting the game with an ankle injury in the middle of the third quarter.
Wilson was taken to the 49ers locker room on a cart. He was injured on a 7-yard scoring run that gave the 49ers a commanding 30-6 lead.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo played good, but not great in his return to Foxboro. The former Patriot backup signal caller completed 20 of 25 pass attempts for 277 yards (with two interceptions in the first half).
Garoppolo made plays early, converting a third-and-3 after breaking a tackle in the backfield to pick up four yards. He also connected on sharp passes to Samuel for 23- and 14-yard gains to keep drives alive. Garoppolo had completions to six different receivers, but it was rookie wideout Brandon Aiyuk who benefited the most.
Aiyuk finished with a career-high six receptions for 115 yards.
San Francisco did a tremendous job in controlling the clock in the game, dominating the time of possession over the Patriots (38:23-21:37) while picking up 26 first downs to just 17 for New England, and racking up 467 yards of total offense.
The 49ers ran 63 offensive plays, compared to just 49 by the Patriots, who looked anemic for the entirety of the game.
Garoppolo got the better result in his head-to-head matchup with Cam Newton, who had a rough performance completing just nine of 15 pass attempts for 98 yards an three interceptions. Newton was benched in the second half and replaced by backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
San Francisco’s defense put the clamps on Newton and the Patriots’ offense.
The 49ers limited New England to just 241 yards and 1 for 6 on third downs. New England’s scoring consisted of two Nick Folk field goals from 40 and 41 yards.
49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner, who is making a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year, has been a lifesaver for San Francisco this season. Warner was all over the field, leading the team with seven tackles and one of the four interceptions by the defense. Warner’s second quarter interception was his second on the season.
Cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley (one) and Jamar Taylor (two) had the other interceptions for the 49ers.
With the Niners holding a 20-point lead at halftime, the Patriots had just 59 yards of total offense.
Meanwhile, the Patriots (2-4) have lost three games in a row for the first time since 2002. The 27-point loss at home was the worse under head coach Bill Belichick.