SF 49ers vs. Patriots: 5 matchups that will decide Week 7 outcome

The San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /
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Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4: Patriots’ Julian Edelman a challenge for SF 49ers secondary

Even though he’s questionable with a knee injury, Julian Edelman remains a top weapon for Cam Newton and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and one figures Edelman could create a lot of problems for San Francisco’s defense.

As he did last year, Edelman remains New England’s chief target through the air, and he’s currently leading the Patriots with 20 receptions and 302 receiving yards. Like Kyle Shanahan’s use of his wideouts, McDaniels doesn’t hesitate to line Edelman up all over the field.

It’s likely Edelman sees a lot of time in the slot, too, taking advantage of a matchup edging heavily in New England’s favor.

With SF 49ers nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams still out with a knee injury, reserve defensive back Jamar Taylor figures to be the primary defensive option to guard against Edelman in Week 7.

Taylor’s efforts this season in relief of Williams haven’t been great. Pro Football Focus has him tabbed with a putrid 34.4 pass-coverage grade on 60 coverage snaps this season, suggesting he’s going to be a major liability for coordinator Robert Saleh’s defense.

Unless there’s some extra help shifted to Taylor’s side, or he has one of those standout games, the cornerback is likely to have plenty of problems in Week 7.