Don’t let the headline fool you: I want the 49ers to win on Sunday. I want Colin Kaepernick to put the Kaepernick vs. Smith debate to bed forever with a dazzling performance against the best team in the AFC. However, this is December and this is when the New England Patriots shine. Tom Brady’s execution against the Houston Texans was sublime and Bill Belichick simply knows how to take away a team’s greatest strengths and exploit its greatest weaknesses.
The 49ers are a top-three team in the NFC, which is the stronger of the two conferences, but New England showed on Monday Night Football that it is awfully tough at home and can get yards in big chunks—regardless of how good a defense it faces. The 49ers have a very good defense and the game will be close, probably within a touchdown, but in the end the Chowds will be saying, “Wicked good win, wicked good win.”
Can the 49ers win this possible Super Bowl XVII preview? Absolutely. However, the issues that they have as a team and that they have struggled with over the last four or five weeks can really be exploited by the Patriots. If 49er fans are honest with themselves, the seven- or eight-point spread for this game is probably about right.
So, without further ado, let’s look at all the anxieties 49er fans should have about the Week 15 showdown with the Patriots.