By Danny Cox

The New England Patriots want to rebound from the loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Now, they’re going up against a much weaker team in the San Francisco 49ers, who are really just trying to find out who they are and which players deserve to be on the field.

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The 49ers are viewed as the underdogs in this match-up, and that’s despite the fact that the Niners will be playing in front of their home crowd.

San Francisco 49ers Second Record: 1-8

The 49ers opened the season with a 28-0 victory over the newly-moved Los Angeles Rams. It was an incredibly impressive victory, but it was the last impactful thing they have done this season. Since that point, the 49ers have lost eight games in a row and all but two of them came by double digits. They’ve gone through a starting quarterback change and not much improvement has been seen.

49ers On Offense

While the 49ers offense is looking like a different unit after Blaine Gabbert was replaced by Colin Kaepernick, they still aren’t playing any better. Kaepernick’s interceptions (two) are down from Gabbert’s (six), but he’s been sacked 11 times, which brings the 49ers’ total to 21 for the season.

Offensively, the Niners have the ability to spread the ball around, but they just don’t have that one go-to receiver who is always a threat. Jeremy Kerley leads the team with 40 receptions for 424 yards and three touchdowns. Still, after him, San Francisco really doesn’t have a lot to present with Quinton Patton, Vance McDonald and Garrett Celek. Torrey Smith simply isn’t having the kind of season that he was expected to have upon coming over from the Baltimore Ravens.

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49ers On Defense

The bad news for the 49ers is that they give up a lot of points. Worse still, they are facing one of the better offenses in the NFL in Week 11. During their eight-game losing streak, San Francisco has given up more than 40 points to three teams while a total of six teams have scored more than 30.

San Francisco has the second-worst defense in the NFL, ahead of only the winless Cleveland Browns, and are allowing a league-worst 31.4 points-per-game. The 49ers are giving up an average of more than 180 yards-per-game on the ground, and that shows that their line is full of holes.

49ers Players To Watch: RB Carlos Hyde and LB Gerald Hodges

When given the chance, running back Carlos Hyde can really cause some damage to opposing defenses, and if healthy, the Patriots will have a problem with him. Not only is he fast and strong when running through the line, but he can get open coming out of the backfield and really help the passing game as well. Colin Kaepernick just needs the time to find him.

Fourth-year linebacker Gerald Hodges has truly been a bright spot for the 49ers after having a slow start to his career. He already has season highs in both sacks (two) and interceptions (two) through just nine games, and he’s becoming a true threat on defense.

Outlook

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It’s really difficult to think that the San Francisco 49ers have the firepower to hang with the New England Patriots on offense, or the strength to stop them on defense. Aside from a few impressive happenings here and there, the Niners simply aren’t at a point where they can show the world that they can take down the Pats. Unless something incredibly strange happens, Tom Brady and the rest of the team should get back to their winning ways in Week 11.