Patriots Vs. 49ers Live: Cam Newton Benched As Niners Rout Pats 33-6

Full Pats-Niners coverage from Foxboro


October 25, 2020

FINAL — 49ers 33-6: The Patriots suffered one of their most lopsided losses of the Bill Belichick era Sunday at Gillette Stadium, losing to the San Francisco 49ers 33-6.

Quarterback Cam Newton went just 9-of-15 for 98 yards with three interceptions and was benched in the fourth quarter. His replacement fared no better, with Jarrett Stidham throwing an ugly pick of his own. 

New England?s defense surrendered 467 yards and four touchdowns, allowing the Niners to gash them both on the ground (196 yards; 5.3 per carry) and through the air (271 yards; 10.4 per play). 

The loss dropped the Patriots to 2-4 on the season. They’ve now lost three games in a row for the first time since 2002 and sit multiple games below .500 for the first time since 2001.

Since 1990, just 9.5 percent of teams that started 2-4 made the playoffs (19 of 201).

The Patriots will visit the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills next Sunday.

Fourth quarter, 9:23, 49ers 33-6: On Jarrett Stidham’s first drive, he:

1. Tripped over center David Andrews for a 3-yard loss, then…

2. Threw an interception that was several feet behind his intended receiver (Julian Edelman).

It was San Francisco’s fourth interception of the game. Quarterback play is a huge issue for this Patriots team.

Fourth quarter, 13:20, 49ers 33-6: Jarrett Stidham now is in at quarterback for the Patriots.

Cam Newton’s final line: 9-for-15, 98 yards, three interceptions.

Third quarter, 4:40, 49ers 30-6: Julian Edelman’s first target of the game was well behind the veteran wideout, resulting in Cam Newton’s third interception.

Stidham time? Probably Stidham time.

The Patriots also lost left tackle Joe Thuney to an ankle injury. He’s questionable to return.

Third quarter, 7:32, 49ers 30-6: The Patriots’ defense remains incapable of stopping the 49ers.

San Francisco drove 79 yards in six plays to score their fourth touchdown of the game — a 7-yard pitch to Jeff Wilson Jr.

Wilson, who’s scored three of his team’s TDs, was injured on the play.

One play earlier, Jimmy Garoppolo connected with Brandon Aiyuk on a 35-yard deep ball. They capitalized on a coverage breakdown by Jonathan Jones and Jason McCourty, both of whom gravitated toward Kendrick Bourne after he and Aiyuk switched.

Third quarter, 10:48, 49ers 23-6: The Patriots stuck with Cam Newton to start the second half and showed some life offensively.

Going no-huddle, they picked up 7, 12, 21 and 12 yards on their first four plays before a sack slowed their momentum. The 21-yarder went to Jakobi Meyers, his second 20-plus-yard completion of the game.

N’Keal Harry, whom Meyers is replacing, was ruled out at halftime with a head injury.

The drive ended in a 41-yard Nick Folk field goal.

Halftime, 49ers 23-3: Cam Newton closed out the first half with another interception.

On this one, he overshot Jakobi Meyers on a deep ball.

Newton finished the half 4-of-8 for 30 yards with two picks and a 19.8 passer rating.

It might be time to see what Jarrett Stidham can do.

This also has been a miserable day for New England’s defense. The 49ers have 18 first downs to the Patriots’ four and 301 yards to the Patriots’ 59.

Second quarter, 0:57, 49ers 23-3: Touchdown, Niners.

Disaster of a first half for the Patriots.

Second quarter, 4:42, 49ers 16-3: A baffling interception by Cam Newton set up the 49ers’ second touchdown of the evening.

Newton tried to hit Jakobi Meyers — who’s in the game in place of the injured N’Keal Harry — but seemingly did not see linebacker Fred Warner, who had the wideout blanketed.

Warner intercepted the low throw, and Kyle Juszczyk scored on the ensuing Niners possession. (Robbie Gould missed the extra point.)

Newton was no better on the Patriots’ next drive, a three-and-out. He bounced a pass to an open Damiere Byrd on third down. This is the third consecutive subpar showing for the Patriots quarterback, who’s now 3-for-6 for 11 yards with an interception and a passer rating of 16.7.

Kick returner Gunner Olszewski and fullback Jakob Johnson also fumbled on New England’s latest possession, but both recovered.

Second quarter, 9:00, 49ers 10-3: The Patriots allowed another chunk play on a pop pass to Brandon Aiyuk (20 yards) but held the Niners to a field goal.

Practice squad call-up Tashawn Bower drew a hold on left tackle Trent Williams on second-and-10, and Terrence Brooks’ blitz off the edge two plays later send the field-goal unit out.

N’Keal Harry is questionable to return with a head injury.

Second quarter, 14:50, 49ers 7-3: N’Keal Harry was slow getting up and went straight sideline medical tent after absorbing a big hit from safety Tarvarius Moore on third-and-5.

Harry was running a crossing route short of the sticks when he was smoked by Moore, who dislodged the ball before Harry could gain possession.

Nick Folk kicked a 40-yard field goal to put the Patriots on the board, and Harry headed toward the locker room after a brief stay in the tent. If he can’t return, Jakobi Meyers and/or Gunner Olszewski could see increased playing time on offense.

First quarter, 2:04, 49ers 7-0: Key sequence just now by the Patriots’ defense:

Jonathan Jones made an excellent play to shed fullback Kyle Juszczyk and tackle Brandon Aiyuk for a short gain, Derek Rivers drew a hold against George Kittle to set up a third-and-12, and Jimmy Garoppolo sailed a pass over Kittle’s head for an easy interception by Devin McCourty.

Let’s see what the Patriots’ offense can do with it. They picked up one first down on their opening possession before punting.

First quarter, 9:56, 49ers 7-0: The 49ers faced little resistance on their opening possession, driving 75 yards in nine plays to open the scoring.

Jimmy Garoppolo went 4-for-4 for 59 yards and scrambled for a first down on third-and-3. None of his passes traveled more than 6 yards downfield, and two of his longest completions (14 and 23 yards) came on behind-the-line swing passes to Deebo Samuel.

Garoppolo also hit tight end George Kittle for 15 yards on a slant after rookie linebacker Anfernee Jennings bit on a fake swing to Samuel. The Niners’ skill players have a decided speed advantage over the Patriots’ linebackers.

On third down, the Patriots used top cornerback Stephon Gilmore to shadow Kittle. They also bracketed him on one play in the red zone.

Jeff Wilson Jr. capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.

First quarter, 15:00, 0-0: The Patriots won the opening coin toss and deferred. Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers will play offense first here on a chilly afternoon in Foxboro.

3:55 p.m.: Based on pregame warmups, it looks like Mike Onwenu will slot in at right tackle in place of the injured Jermaine Eluemunor. Onwenu and Eluemunor rotated at that spot early in the season, so that’s no surprise.

Thirty minutes to kickoff.

2:55 p.m.: Here are today’s Patriots inactives:

Devin Asiasi is the most notable name on that list. He sits down as a healthy scratch while fellow rookie tight end Dalton Keene makes his NFL debut.

Kyle Dugger, who was questionable with an ankle injury, is a significant loss for New England’s defense. The rookie safety has been one of the Patriots’ top matchup options against tight ends this season, and they’ll face the NFL’s best today in George Kittle.

Joejuan Williams could see his playing time increase with Dugger out. He also has been used as a tight end stopper this season but played only on special teams last week against Denver.

One player not on the inactive list: starting right guard Shaq Mason. He’s active after missing the last two games, giving New England its healthiest O-line in weeks.

2:40 p.m.: Tight end Dalton Keene might finally make his NFL debut today.

The third-round rookie currently is warming up with a large group of Patriots players, indicating he’ll likely be active.

Keene, a versatile player who played H-back at Virginia Tech, missed the first two games with a neck injury, then sat out each of the last four as a healthy scratch. He’d be an intriguing addition to a tight end group that, as we mentioned, has offered little in the passing game this season.

1:45 p.m.: Some numbers to know ahead of this afternoon’s contest:

— San Francisco’s injury-depleted defense, one of the best in the NFL in 2019, ranks 22nd in both pass defense DVOA and sack rate this season. They ranked second and third, respectively, in those categories last season.

— Jimmy Garoppolo ranks last in the NFL in average air yards per completion, 31st in average depth of target and first in yards after catch per completion. He’s also 0-for-8 on deep passes this season.

— Patriots tight ends have just six catches this season, the fewest in the NFL. Rookie Devin Asiasi has played in every game but has yet to be targeted.

— A loss today would drop the Patriots to 2-4 on the season. Since 1990, just 9.5 percent of teams that started 2-4 made the playoffs (19 of 201).

12:35 p.m.: Patriots running back J.J. Taylor and cornerback Myles Bryant are running through an on-field sprint workout with assistant strength coach Deron Mayo. Expect both undrafted rookies to be inactive today.

In case you missed it Saturday, the Patriots activated Andrews off IR and elevated defensive tackle Nick Thurman and outside linebacker Tashawn Bower from the practice squad. This will be Bower’s Patriots debut.

The Patriots did not activate D-tackle Beau Allen or linebacker Josh Uche, who returned to practice from IR this week.

The full inactive lists will be announced at 2:55 p.m.

10 a.m. ET: Good morning from Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots are preparing to take on Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers this afternoon.

New England badly needs a win after dropping consecutive games to the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos to fall to 2-3 on the season. It’s the first time the Patriots have been below .500 in October or later since 2002.

The defending NFC champion Niners enter at 3-3. Their roster has been ravaged by injuries this season, with the likes of Nick Bosa, Richard Sherman, Dee Ford, Raheem Mostert, Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Kwon Alexander all unavailable for today’s game.

The Patriots, who enjoyed a full week of practice for the first time since late September, will get starting center David Andrews back from injured reserve today. Wide receiver Julian Edelman, guard Shaq Mason, safety Kyle Dugger, defensive tackle Adam Butler and outside linebacker Derek Rivers are listed as questionable for New England.

Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET. Follow along throughout the day for full pre- and in-game coverage.

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