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49ers Vs. Patriots Preview: History, Numbers and Connections Behind the Game

Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers face their biggest challenge of the season by traveling across the country to go up against the AFC East leading New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.

Both teams are coming off of wins last week, but the Patriots have won seven straight games and scored 40 or more points in four of the wins. Last week, the 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-13 at home, but they only recorded 227 total yards of offense. Going up against the Patriots prolific offense, Colin Kaepernick and the offense will need at least a hundred more yards on Sunday if they want to keep up scoring with New England.

As is the case each week, the 49ers rushing attack led the way in the win against Miami. The offense rushed for 155 yards and had three touchdowns. The Patriots defense ranks eighth against the run in the NFL, giving up 100 yards per game.

Here is a look at the tale of the tape between the 49ers and Patriots:

The History

Matchups: 11

Series Record: 49ers lead series 7-4

49ers Home Record vs. Patriots: 49ers lead series 4-1

49ers Away Record vs. Patriots: Series tied 3-3

First Meeting: October 31, 1971, 49ers won 27-10 at San Francisco

Last Meeting: October 5, 2008, Patriots won 30-21 at San Francisco

Current Streak: 49ers have lost games three in a row to the Patriots.

Longest 49ers Win Streak: 6 (November 30, 1980 – September 17, 1995)

Longest Patriots Win Streak: 3 (December 20, 1998 – Present)

Most 49ers Points: 37 (October 22, 1989): 37-20 at Stanford, CA

Most Patriots Points: 30 (October 5, 20808): 30-21 at San Francisco

49ers Shutouts: None

Patriots Shutouts: None

The two teams first played against one another in the 1971 season. San Francisco leads the all-time series 7-4 and this will be the first primetime game between the two teams. Since 1995, the 49ers and Patriots have played four times, with New England winning three of the games.

The Numbers

  • 50: Frank Gore has 50-career rushing TDs, ranking t-1st in franchise history with Hall of Fame RB Joe Perry and RB Roger Craig.
  • 10: The 49ers have won ten out of 14 games on the road with Jim Harbaugh as head coach.
  • 1: Number of times Northern California native Tom Brady has a faced the 49ers. San Francisco is the only team he has not played at least twice in his career. That all changes Sunday.
  • 115.9: The 49ers have a QB rating of 115.9 on passing plays of 21-yards or more this season, ranking 2nd in the NFL.
  • 56.5: San Francisco has gained 4 or more yards on 56.5 pct. (209 of 370) of first down plays, ranking 1st in the NFL.
  • 9: In just his second season, LB Aldon Smith has recorded at least 2.0 sacks in 9 games, the most in the NFL during that span.
  • 48: The 49ers have scored 48 points on their first possession of the second half, ranking 2nd best in the NFL.
  • 36.3: Average points per game for the Patriots offense this season, ranking 1st in the NFL.
  • 25: San Francisco’s defense has allowed just 25 drives to reach the red zone this season.
  • 132: The 49ers have outscored opponents this season by 132 points (316-184), which is 2nd best in the league. The Patriots are tops in the NFL in scoring differential, outscoring opponents by 198 points.
  • 14.2: Niners defense is 1st in the NFL in points allowed per game, giving up an average of 14.2 points a game.
  • 425.7: Total offense yards New England averages each game, ranking 1st in the NFL.
  • 29: The Patriots passing defense gives up 275.5 yards per game, ranking 29th in the NFL.
  • 24:  New England has a +24 turnover differential which is best in the NFL.
  • 95: Number of receptions by Patriots WR Wes Welker.
  • 82:  In 2008, P Andy Lee made a career-long 82-yard punt against the Patriots. The game was played in San Francisco.
  • 22: In the last meeting between San Francisco and New England, LB Patrick Willis recorded a franchise-record 22 tackles and had one sack.

The Connections

  • 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh played quarterback for the Chicago Bears in 1993 when Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears was the Bears receivers coach.
  • Harbaugh and Patriots special teams coach Scott O’Brien were with the same team twice; in 1998 Harbaugh played QB for the Baltimore Ravens while O’Brien held the same position. In 2001, Harbaugh played quarterback for the Carolina Panthers while O’Brien was in charge of the Panthers special teams.
  • 49ers assistant head coach/special teams coach Brad Seely was the special teams coach for the New England Patriots on head coach Bill Belichick’s staff from 1999-2008.
  • 49ers’ secondary coach Ed Donatell held the same position for the Denver Broncos while Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was the Broncos head coach from 2009-2010.
  • WR Randy Moss played for the Patriots from 2007-2010, where he set the NFL record for TD receptions in 2007 with 23.
  • QB Tom Brady is from San Mateo, CA, and attended Junipero Serra High School.
  • Patriots G Logan Mankins is from Catheys Vally, CA, where he earned All-League honors at Mariposa High School.
  • New England WR Donte’ Stallworth is from Sacramento, CA and attended Grant Union High School.
  • RB Frank Gore and Patriots DT Vince Wilfork were teammates at the University of Miami from 2001-2003.
  • 49ers C Jonathan Goodwin played at Michigan with Tom Brady in 1999.
  • 49ers DT Ray McDonald was a Florida Gator along with Patriots DE Jermaine Cunningham and LB Brandon Spikes in 2006.
  • Patriots CB Devin McCourty went to Rutgers with 49ers T Anthony Davis from 2007-2009.
  • 49ers WR A.J. Jenkins and Patriots DB Tavon Wilson played together at Illinois from 2008-2011.
  • From 2007-2008, 49ers DT Rickey Jean Francois and Patriots RB Stevan Ridley went to LSU.
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