I always love taking a look at some quotes by New England Patriots players and the specific praise they give to the opponent. This week, the New England Patriots have been busy praising the San Francisco 49ers offense in addition to the Niners vaunted defense. Below are quotes from Vince Wilfork and Devin McCourty on the 49ers offense, courtesy of Mass Live.
Vince Wilfork said, ”I never seen an offense like this. They can do so many different things. It’s not an offense where you can say, ‘When the lineup like this they’re going to do this. Or this guy is only going to do this.’ Everyone that touches the ball is very dangerous. … This week is going to be very, very crucial for us to get back to the sidelines every series to go over things that they’re doing differently.”
The 49ers offense is an extremely versatile one, and Wilfork’s praise here is one that we can take a closer look at. With Colin Kaepernick at the helm, the Niners have a quarterback who can also make the intermediate throws with good accuracy (67.4% completion percentage) in addition to bringing the ability to throw the deep ball. Kaepernick doesn’t have the incredibly precise accuracy nor the almost flawless decision-making of Alex Smith, but he brings significantly more big play ability which is what would potentially hurt the Patriots more.
So by starting Kaepernick, the 49ers have become more versatile on offense. Their fierce run blocking on the interior of the offensive line is something Wilfork will have to be prepared for, because Mike Iupati and Jonathan Goodwin have done an amazing job paving the way for Frank Gore’s 1,000 yard rushing season (4.9 YPC). The 49ers can run it and pass it on you, and their offense is nearly as good as their incredible defense.
Meanwhile, Devin McCourty had this to say about the opponent’s O, ”We’ll have our work cut out for us this week. This team and this offense, they do a good job of taking care of the ball, so we’re really going to have to try to go out there and make our own plays in the passing game and running game.”
The 49ers will need to take care of the ball against a team that is the best in the league at creating turnovers and not making mistakes of their own. The Patriots will find it tougher to force a pick or strip the ball from Gore than they would have forcing turnovers in other weeks. McCourty helps shed light on the other reason that makes the San Francisco offense so dangerous, and it’s the fact that they can not only beat you in different ways, but they won’t beat themselves, so to speak, by making errors.
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