There is a very good reason why both the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots find themselves this deep into the season with just one loss. It all has to do with their ability to defend at an elite level. More of that took place for both teams on Sunday as they each took yet another victory that took them both closer to home-field advantage in their respective conferences.
The 49ers were taking on the Green Bay Packers in what many saw as a test of their mettle. They answered the call emphatically, thumping the visiting NFC North team 37-8. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 253 yards and two touchdown passes and George Kittle had six grabs for 129 yards and a TD, but it was the aforementioned defense that ruled the day. They held Aaron Rodgers, a first-ballot hall of famer for many, to just 104 yards passing. The 49ers had gotten out to a 23-0 lead at the half, and that was that. They never looked back and are now 10-1. The Patriots also used their vaunted defense to ground the Dallas Cowboys earlier in the day on Sunday. The Cowboys, previously owners of the best offense in the league tag, couldn’t do anything as they succumbed to a 13-9 loss. Tom Brady had a TD pass, finally once again, and the Pats’ D kept Dallas from scoring a single TD. The Patriots are now 10-1, while the Cowboys fell to 6-5 on the season up in the frigid cold of New England. So cold and uncomfortable, in fact, for Dak Prescott that he donned two gloves under center. Alas, it was to no avail as the Patriots kept up their torrid pace.