[4:25 PM] Patriots @ 49ers

Who will WIN this matchup?

New England Patriots (7-2)

@ San Francisco 49ers (1-8)


The line for this game is New England by 11.5 points.

Tom Brady will be making a homecoming of sorts when he leads the New England Patriots into a road game against the skidding San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Brady, who grew up in the Bay Area and rooted for the 49ers, will be trying to bounce back from his first loss since returning from a season-opening four-game suspension.

Even if Gronkowski is able to play, which appears increasingly unlikely, Brady still has the luxury of throwing to backup tight end Martellus Bennett, who made seven catches for 102 yards against Seattle. New England also will feature a heavy dose of LeGarrette Blount, who rushed for 69 yards and three touchdowns while having over 20 carries for the fifth time this season. The Patriots yield 18.1 points per game despite ranking in the bottom-third in sacks, forced fumbles and interceptions.

San Francisco showed some moxie in ending a string of four straight blowouts by erasing an early 14-point deficit and clawing back from 10 down in the second half against Arizona. Carlos Hyde, who rushed for six touchdowns in the first five games, returned to the lineup after missing two contests with a shoulder injury but was limited to 14 yards on 13 carries. Colin Kaepernick has rushed for as least 55 yards in three of his four outings since replacing Blaine Gabbert as the starter, but he could be without deep threat Torrey Smith (shoulder), who was limited in practice Thursday. The 49ers rank last in the NFL in total yards (429.7) and rushing yards (180.4) allowed.

Kaepernick passed for four touchdowns in a 41-34 win at New England in 2012 – his fourth career start.

Brady leads the league in completion percentage (72.9) and passer rating (125.5).

49ers K Phil Dawson needs one field goal to become the 10th player in NFL history to reach 400.


StreakSmarts Pick: New England Patriots

Confidence: 7/10

StreakSmarter Pick