San Francisco simply dominated in their Week 7 victory over the New England Patriots. It was another solid outing on all three phases of the game, as the 49ers defense held New England out of the end zone for the entirety of the contest and San Francisco's offense managed to score on all of their red zone drives. The 49ers improve their record to 4-3 on the season, as New England drops to 2-4 for the first time since 2000. Here are eight takeaways from the wire-to-wire victory.
1. Hot Start on Offense
Week 7 marked the second-straight week with an opening drive touchdown for the 49ers as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo managed to get several playmakers involved. Garoppolo was a perfect 4-for-4 for 59 yards with passes to George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Jeff Wilson Jr. notched four carries including a 3-yard touchdown after missing last week with an ankle injury.
San Francisco's touchdown was the first opening drive score allowed by the Patriots at home since Week 4 of 2016 against the Buffalo Bills.
The 49ers registered 301 total yards of offense and averaged 7.5 yards per play in the first half. San Francisco is just the third team to gain 300-plus yards in the first half against the Patriots in Bill Belichick's 20-year tenure in New England (Green Bay Packers - 347 and Kansas City Chiefs 443 in 2014)
2. 'El Jefe'
Speaking of Wilson Jr., the former undrafted free agent got the start on Sunday with Raheem Mostert being placed on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury. After missing Week 6 with a calf injury, the running back dominated on Sunday with several aggressive runs and forced multiple missed tackles against the Patriots defense. Wilson Jr. put up a standout performance, registering a whopping 77 yards in the second quarter alone.
On his third score of the game, Wilson Jr.'s ankle was rolled up in the end zone. The running back was carted off the field and did not return. Despite leaving the day early, he registered 17 carries for 112 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs for the third-year running back.
According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, the team fears a high-ankle sprain for the running back. San Francisco will further assess its severity when the 49ers return to the team facility on Monday.
Wilson Jr. became the first running back with three rushing touchdowns in a road game since Roger Craig against the Los Angeles Rams in 1988 (Week 7, 191 yards, three rushing touchdowns).
3. Newton's Brutal Outing
The Patriots struggled to get anything going in the first half, going 0-for-3 on third down and registering 59 net yards for an average of 3.7 yards per play. Newton finished the first half completing just 4-of-8 passes for 30 yards and three interceptions.
The former NFL MVP was benched in the fourth quarter for backup Jarrett Stidham. Newton finished the day completing 9-of-15 passes for 98 yards and three interceptions, the lowest output of his 10-year NFL career.
4. Limiting Newton's Legs
Through the first six games of the season, the 49ers allowed the most rushing yards to quarterbacks with 231 yards. On Sunday, San Francisco limited Newton to just five carries for 19 yards. Heading into Week 7, the quarterback registered 225 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
5. Garoppolo's Homecoming
Garoppolo was near-perfect in the first quarter. The quarterback completed 7-of-8 passes for 93 yards. His lone interception came on an overthrow on a pass intended for Kittle. Garoppolo's performance was better than the stats may tell, as the quarterback finished the night completing an impressive 80 percent of his passes (20-of-25) for 278 yards and two interceptions, the second, coming on a Hail Mary pass heading into the half.
6. All-Pro Fred
Fred Warner continues his campaign as one of the top middle linebackers in the NFL. On the Patriots first play of the second quarter, Newton threw a low pass intended for wide receiver Jakobi Meyers that was caught on the fingertips of the 49ers linebacker. Warner's interception set up the 49ers inside Patriots territory and led to a Kyle Juszczyk touchdown five plays later. He also led the team with seven tackles on the day.
"It was a very impressive catch," Kyle Shanahan said postgame. "Any time the ball is low like that, to get your fingers under it, not trap it, it's a hell of a deal. I thought we had a chance. Everyone ran off the field. Wasn't sure till I saw the scoreboard. Very impressive play."
7. Pick City
Speaking of picks, Emmanuel Moseley hauled in his first interception of the season on a deep pass also intended for Meyers late in the second quarter. The third-year corner returned the pick 51 yards ahead of half.
Newton's third interception of the day came on a pass that bounced off the hands of veteran wideout Julian Edelman and landed in the arms of backup nickel corner Jamar Taylor. Taylor's pick led to a Robbie Gould field goal in the fourth quarter to extend San Francisco's lead, 33-6.
Taylor hauled in his second interception of the game on a pass from Stidham intended for Edelman, again, later in the fourth quarter.
Newton has thrown seven interceptions to just two touchdowns over his five starts so far this season. San Francisco's takeaways now put the 49ers at 10 on the season.
"Defense just played impressive the whole day," Shanahan added. "I thought special teams and offense did, too. It was an extremely physical game I thought by our team with all three of our phases. It was fun to watch."
8. National (Fullback) Day
It was technically National Tight Ends Day, but San Francisco's fullback deserves a takeaway of his own. Juszczyk was crucial in several key blocks that allowed Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty open running lanes. Juszczyk registered 36 yards on five carries and a touchdown, including an outstretched 18-yard pickup on 2nd-and-7.
"He made some huge blocks, like he always does," Shanahan said. "Kyle, he is the best fullback in the game. I know not every team uses one, some use tight ends pretty similarly. Kyle has been huge for our team since he's been here. One of the best leaders we have on the team, one of the best players.
"Not only just his blocking, but that catch he made I want to say in the fourth or late third, I think the snap was a little off, Jimmy had to let it go. To make that diving catch was great. Also had a couple runs that really helped us, too."
- Dre Greenlaw registered a sack against Newton on a linebacker blitz. His sack notched his first of the season and second of his career.
- Kevin Givens and D.J. Jones also recorded sacks on the night. Givens sack marked the first of his young career.
- First-year wideout Brandon Aiyuk put up the biggest performance of his young career. The rookie hauled in six receptions for 115 yards and five first downs, including a 35-yard pass from Garoppolo.
- Deebo Samuel was perfect for the second-straight game, hauling in all five of his targets for 65 yards. Samuel left the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. The 49ers hope the severity of Samuel's hamstring won't force the wideout to miss too much time.
- The 49ers didn't have their first punt of the game until three minutes left in the contest.
- Johnathan Cyprien forced a fumble on kickoff coverage.
- Hasty registered 10 touches for 73 yards, his largest workload of the season.
- Richie James left the game with an ankle injury. Like Wilson Jr., the team will further evaluate the receiver on Monday.