FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick laid it on thick to the media Wednesday, stressing the San Francisco 49ers will not be pushovers in Week 11.
Belichick emphasized two points during his news conference: San Francisco played tough against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10, and 49ers coach Chip Kelly came to Gillette Stadium with his Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 and beat the Patriots.
The Patriots lost that game to the Kelly-led Eagles 35-28 off rare special teams miscues. The Eagles scored on a blocked punt and punt return. They also scored on a 99-yard pick-six.
“Last year’s game against the Eagles, Coach Kelly — I think everybody knows how much respect I have for him,” Belichick said. “Coach Kelly came down here with the Eagles and really, they handled us pretty good. We’re going to have to do a lot better job against their scheme and their attack on offense and special teams than we did in that game. …
“We didn’t do very well at all against the Eagles’ scheme last year, so we’re going to have to improve dramatically on that to be competitive.”
The Patriots out-gained the Eagles 427 yards to 248 in that game, though they let up 128 yards on the ground. Tom Brady went 29-of-56 passing for 312 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions in that game, while the Patriots’ running backs carried the ball 25 times for 103 yards with one touchdown.
“It’s a good game to watch. I’m sure that’s the one he started with out there,” Belichick said. “They caught us doing a lot of different things. I’m sure we’ll see some elements of those same schemes again. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t test us out, see if we can handle it. We didn’t handle it very well last year.
“The same thing in the kicking game. It’s the same, basically the same scheme on special teams that they ran in Philadelphia. I’m sure we’ll get tested in those areas, as well. I can’t imagine we wouldn’t.”
The loss to the Eagles was one of the strangest in recent Patriots history. They were expected to dominate the Eagles in that game and even got out to a hot start before allowing 35 unanswered points.
The Patriots are in a similar circumstance this week, expected to shellack the 1-8 49ers. Belichick mentioned the 49ers’ defense did a solid job handling Cardinals running back David Johnson in Week 10, however. Johnson had two touchdowns but was held to 101 total yards and averaged just 2.9 yards per carry.
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