The NFC West leading 49ers meet up with the AFC East champion Patriots in a game that has playoff implications for both teams.
The 49ers are trying to hold off the Seahawks, while the Patriots are playing for home-field advantage in the AFC.
San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick will face another tough test this week in New England. It will be his fifth straight start since taking over for Alex Smith, and he is 3-1 so far. The only loss came against the Rams, which is a team that seems to have the number of the 49ers this season.
The 49ers remain 1.5 games ahead of the Seahawks, thanks to the tie, in the NFC West, and can clinch the division with a win and Seattle loss. Even if they do lose, they can still clinch with a win against Seattle next week in Seattle.
San Francisco has not struggled to score point since Kaepernick took over, but they will need to get in a shootout with New England in this game. This is the same New England team who put up 42 on the Texans last week, along with 45 on the Rams back in Week 8. The 49ers have scored a combined 37 points against the Rams in two games this season, neither being a win.
New England Patriots
The Patriots have already clinched the mediocre AFC East with ease. There was a point when every team in that division was 3-3, but the Patriots have won all seven games since that point. The Jets are 3-4, and the Dolphins and Bills are both 2-5.
Dominant is the one word to describe the Patriots during their current seven-game winning streak. They are coming off of the destruction of the Texans on Monday, and have scored at least 23 points in all seven wins. They have also scored at least 37 points in five of these wins, which is a mark never reached by some teams in an entire season.
They are currently the second seed in the AFC playoff picture, but could end up being anywhere from first to fourth. A win over the 49ers and a Texans loss to Colts, which is very likely, would put the Patriots in the first overall position in the AFC.
The 49ers are one of the top teams in the NFC and NFL, but the Patriots are playing the best football of any team in the league right now.
They will take advantage of the young Colin Kaepernick in this one, and cruise to a relatively easy victory.
Patriots 34 – 49ers 24