For whatever reason, the San Francisco 49ers just know how to put up points on the New England Patriots in Foxborough.
Only except this time, the 49ers did not allow the Patriots to comeback and tie the game like they did in 2012.
The 49ers obliterated the Patriots. It was a talent and coaching clinic put on by San Francisco. This is the type of win that will only add fuel to the fire of momentum that the 49ers are building as they head into Week 8 to face the Seattle Seahawks.
But before that came can get previewed, I have five takeaways to go over from the 49ers 33-6 Week 7 win against the Patriots.
49ers defensive identity lies with their pass coverage
Prior to the 49ers' matchup with the Patriots on Saturday, I wrote that the defensive identity of the 49ers aligned with their blanketing pass coverage. Against the Patriots, they simply smothered them across the board. Every player in their back-seven can cover at a high level and they have put that on display for two weeks in a row now.
Do not overlook the fact that they played sound coverage with BOTH of their starting safeties out. Tarvarius Moore and Marcell Harris fit their roles on the defense like a glove. There was no noticeable drop off. It just goes to show how great the defense can be when they have healthy cornerbacks. It is also a testament to the elite scheme of defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
Tarvarius Moore deserves more snaps going forward
For whatever reason, the 49ers just love to stunt the growth of their developing players. They are so quick to pull the plug on their young players and have zero patience until one of their starters gets injured. Take Tarvarius Moore for example. He had played one defensive snaps in the three games prior to Week 7. All of a sudden, he looks superb out there flying around to the ball instantly.
Moore deserves more snaps going forward regardless of Jimmie Ward's health. It is negligible to keep Moore on the sideline for practically the entirety of the game. As coaches, it is their responsibility to get their best players on the field as much as they can. The 49ers should not just use the injury excuse to get players like Moore on the field. And no, this is not a Robert Saleh call. I am 100 percent blaming Kyle Shanahan for holding Moore and other young players back. Let them get their reps in, Kyle!
49ers should fully explore pass-rushing options
Once again, the 49ers pass rush did enough to ruffle a couple of feathers, but overall it was not great. The responsibility of the pass rush should not have to fully fall on the shoulders of Arik Armstead and Kerry Hyder Jr. And calling blitzes is not the way to do it either, which is what Saleh has already increased.
The 49ers should fully explore pass-rushing options. Whether that is free agency, acquiring a player via trade or poaching a player off of another practice squad, this is a team that is desperate for a boost in their pass rushing department. This is now a weakness for the 49ers. A weakness that can significantly hurt them in Week 8 against Russell Wilson.
I know the 49ers are not in an ideal position to sign a player, especially trade for one, but they just have to do a deep and thorough search of their options, especially if they win against the Seahawks. This team does not want to have failures down the road because they could not shake up the opposing quarterback.
Jimmy Garoppolo's efficiency is great, but not uplifting
Jimmy Garoppolo, despite two interceptions (one was a Hail Mary), played a pretty solid game. He made three to five throws that were drive-sustaining clutch throws that put the 49ers in fantastic position to score. Of course, that was only possible because the run game was such a threat with Jeff Wilson Jr. lighting up the Patriots. Garoppolo is slowly but surely finding his rhythm again and helping steer the ship on offense.
However, Garoppolo's efficiency is great and all but it isn't uplifting. What Garoppolo is doing with the offense when he plays like that is slightly above average. He is slightly above a game manager when he plays like how he did against the Patriots. The fact that so many pundits have to say "so long as he doesn't turnover the ball" proves that he is almost uniformly viewed as a game manager. I would like to, or at least used to think he was more than that because he certainly was in 2019.
Garoppolo needs to start being more of a driving force for why the 49ers' offense is successful. The horizontal check downs, and behind-the-line-of-scrimmage throws are fine because this is their offense. Just get the ball into the "YAC Boyz" hands and let them work. Kind of hard to neglect playmakers who earn their money that way. But at some point, Garoppolo is going to have to start making more than those three-to-five clutch throws and make around 10 of them like how he did against Seattle in Week 17 last season.
49ers offensive line has their groove back
This may not be the ideal sequel to "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," but one thing is for sure: the 49ers offensive line certainly has their "groove back." This is the offensive line that resembled the punishing one that was on display week-in and week-out in 2019. It is crazy to see how well they performed against the Patriots because they rolled out third string center Hronniss Grasu, who they barely signed in training camp.
This group is clicking on all cylinders. Trent Williams isn't making mistakes, Mike McGlinchey is finally hungry again after twitter bullied him and Daniel Brunskill is performing as the right guard that everyone projected him to be. The 49ers offensive line is solid again and shows no signs of slowing down.