Preview: 49ers vs Patriots
It’s been two weeks since the San Francisco 49ers officially went with quarterback Colin Kaepernick as their full-time starter over Alex Smith. Since then, the team is 1-1 and Kaepernick has received mixed reviews. Despite more pure talent than Smith and a bigger arm, the offense hasn’t been as explosive as it initially was when he took over several weeks ago, and the hype has begun to die down. However, that’s what facing solid defenses in the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins will do to you. In week 15, however, the 49ers could have a shot at really opening up the offense against a beatable New England Patriots pass defense.
That’s what the notion was before the Patriots crushed the Texans 42-14 in week 14, however. While New England has undoubtedly had trouble against talented passing attacks at times, it stepped up it’s game last week, and will surely bring San Francisco a challenge come week 15, where the two will clash in arguably the most anticipated Sunday Night Football matchup of the year.
Needless to say, when you pit Tom Brady vs. an elite 49ers defense and add Kaepernick to the mix, this game is going to carry a hefty price tag. It surely does, as fans will have to pay $317 on average for 49ers @ Patriots tickets this week, with a low price of a whopping $120. That $317 price tag is also 23% below the average price for 49ers tickets on the road. On top of that, it happens to be the second most expensive home game for the Pats (behind just a December 30th matchup with the Dolphins), while it is also the second most expensive road game for the 49ers (behind only a December 23rd battle with the Seahawks).
After seeing what the Patriots did to the Texans’ lauded defense a week ago, this game will largely be about the 49ers responding with evidence that they’re still an elite unit on that side of the ball, and that they can stop arguably the most potent offense in the league. Colin Kaepernick will certainly be feeling the pressure to keep up the pace in this one, but if he and the San Fran defense can live up to the hype, they could exit week 15 as the top team in the entire league.