Instant Replay: 49ers fall to Pats, drop franchise tying ninth in a row

Instant Replay: 49ers fall to Pats, drop franchise tying ninth in a row


SANTA CLARA – On a day former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo was honored, the team rolled back the clock to his second year in charge of the franchise.

And that is not a good thing.

The 49ers hung around for a while Sunday but went down in defeat to the New England Patriots on a rainy day at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers’ 30-17 loss extended their losing streak to a franchise-tying nine games.

Chip Kelly’s team matches the nine-game losing streak of 1978, which was DeBartolo’s second season running the 49ers. The 49ers fired Pete McCulley after the first four games of the streak, replacing him with Fred O’Connor.

The next season, DeBartolo hired Bill Walsh as head coach.

On Sunday, the 49ers received a lesson from the organization that most closely resembles what DeBartolo accomplished in the 1980s and ‘90s with Walsh and quarterback Joe Montana.

Bill Belichick’s AFC East-leading Patriots improved to 8-2 on the season, while the 49ers drop to 1-9 after opening the season with a 28-0 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Tom Brady was not his usual sharp self, perhaps due to the weather conditions, but he managed to throw four touchdown passes to lead New England to the victory.

Brady, a 17th-year professional, made his first start against the 49ers in the Bay Area. Brady grew up a fan of the 49ers and was at the NFC Championship game in January 1982 that produced Dwight Clark’s catch that propelled the 49ers to their first Super Bowl appearance. Brady was 4 years old.

Brady completed 24 of 40 attempts for 280 yards with four TDs and no interceptions. His passer rating was 114.6.

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick got off to a good start, but struggled in the second half with nine consecutive incomplete passes. He finished with 16 completions on 30 attempts for 206 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 97.4.

Brady threw touchdown passes to cap the Patriots’ first two offensive possessions of the game. He tossed a 4-yard pass to fellow San Mateo native Julian Edelman. Brady’s second TD came on a 9-yard pass to running back James White for a 13-3 lead.

Kaepernick matched Brady pass for pass in the first half, as the 49ers kept it close. Kaepernick connected with tight end Vance McDonald on an 18-yard touchdown pass to make the score 13-10 at halftime. McDonald beat Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty for the score. McDonald took the team lead with his fourth touchdown reception.

In the first half, Brady completed 12 of 17 for 108 yards and a passer rating of 126.6. Kaepernick completed eight of nine attempts for 116 yards and a passer rating of 155.8.

The 49ers held the opposition scoreless in the third quarter for the second week in a row. Through the first eight games, the 49ers were outscored 58-13 in the third quarter.

But while the 49ers shut out Brady and the Patriots in the third quarter, it did not take Brady long in the fourth quarter to get into the end zone. Brady found receiver Danny Amendola alone in the end zone for a 5-yard scoring pass for a 20-10 lead with 14:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.

DeBartolo honored: Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo was awarded with the “ring of excellence” for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year. David Baker, the Hall of Fame president, was on hand to make the presentation during a driving rain at halftime.

“I was told all these years I brought rain, thunder and lightning to this franchise, and today proves it,” DeBartolo said.

The 49ers won five Super Bowls during DeBartolo’s leadership, which ended in 1997. Many of DeBartolo’s former players, including Hall of Famers Steve Young, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and Charles Haley, were on hand for the ceremony.

Smith’s streak ends: Wide receiver Torrey Smith missed the first game of his six-year NFL career due to a shoulder injury. Smith was declared as one of the 49ers’ seven inactive players for Sunday’s game. Smith appeared in each of his first 89 games since entering the league in 2011 with the Baltimore Ravens. Smith entered Sunday with the second-longest streak among wide receivers for consecutive games played. Eric Weems of the Atlanta Falcons has played in 129 straight games.

This ‘n’ that
--Cornerback Jimmie Ward exited the game in the fourth quarter and was taken into the locker room for evaluation of a possible concussion. Ward was injured on a play in which he tackled Edelman for a 7-yard gain.

--The 49ers let a major opportunity slip away in the first quarter. After driving to the New England 3-yard line on first and goal, Carlos Hyde was dropped for a 4-yard loss. On third down, Kaepernick was sacked for an 8-yard loss. The 49ers settled for Phil Dawson’s 33-yard field. He became the 10th player in NFL history to make 400 field goals.

--Former Patriots wide receiver Chris Harper made his first catch as a member of the 49ers. His 19-yard reception in the first quarter helped set up Dawson’s first field goal of the game. Harper finished with two catches for 35 yards.

--The 49ers were penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter for coaches on the sideline being too close to the field. Referee Jeff Triplette said the 49ers sideline had been warned earlier in the game.

--Rookie receiver Aaron Burbridge made his second start of the season. He was targeted once but did not catch a pass.

--Running back Carlos Hyde had his best game since Week 3 with 86 yards on 19 rushing attempts. Shaun Draughn added three catches for 43 yards, including a 13-yard score late in the fourth quarter.

On the other side, LeGarrette Blount rushed for 123 yards on 19 carries for the Patriots. Blount is the eighth opponent in the past nine games to rush for more than 100 yards against the 49ers.

--The 49ers were called for 10 penalties for 69 yards.

Ex-49er Daniel Kilgore describes 'crazy,' 'frustrating,' 'heart-breaking' week


Ex-49er Daniel Kilgore describes 'crazy,' 'frustrating,' 'heart-breaking' week

Daniel Kilgore’s mind was at ease on Feb. 14 after signing a three-year contract extension to remain with the 49ers – the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2011 draft.

But all that changed on the first day of the open negotiating period when he learned the 49ers reached an agreement with New York Giants free-agent Weston Richburg on a five-year contract. The same firm, Rep1, represents Kilgore and Richburg.

“Originally, I knew Weston was on the Niners’ board for left guard,” Kilgore said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “When I knew that he was going to sign with the 49ers, I was thinking, ‘Hey, we just got a new left guard.’ I hate it for Laken (Tomlinson).

“But, then, you kind of find out he was coming for center. That’s when I was thrown for a loop.”

Kilgore described the days that followed as “crazy,” “frustrating” and “heart-breaking.”

One day after the 49ers officially signed Richburg to a five-year, $47.5 million contract, Kilgore was traded to the Miami Dolphins. The 49ers got little in return for delivering Kilgore to what appears to be a good situation. The team’s swapped draft spots in the seventh round, with the 49ers now choosing at No. 223 overall, while the Dolphins pick at No. 227.

Kilgore lands in a situation to be a starter. He also received, in essence, a 13.3-percent raise for leaving California to go to Florida, where there is no state income tax. The 49ers structured Kilgore's contract so the first payout of a $2.3 million roster bonus was scheduled for after the start of the new league year – after the trade. The Dolphins pick up the entirety of the three-year, $11.75 million contract the 49ers negotiated with Kilgore.

Kilgore said he was never asked to compete for a job at guard with the 49ers. He said he did not request a trade, either. He was told, in essence, he was no longer in the 49ers’ plans.

General manager John Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area last week both Richburg and Kilgore are best at center. To ask either to submit to a change of position would set up one of them for failure.

Looking back, Kilgore said he wonders if he should have turned down the 49ers’ offer and gone into free agency. But that approach had its risks, too. All he wanted, he said, was to be compensated fairly and remain with the 49ers.

“I was really thrown for a shock,” said Kilgore, who won the Bobb McKittrick Award last season for his displays of courage, intensity and sacrifice. “You just wonder, ‘What If I did go free agency?’ (But) that wasn’t me. I knew where that team was going. I’m familiar with the area, familiar with the coaching staff, my best friends are on the team. So I knew this is where I wanted to be. I didn’t see myself going anywhere else.”

Now, he will be moving to South Florida, where he will attempt to establish what he felt he had with the 49ers.

“You want to be there and be a part of something on the rise," Kilgore said. "That was the frustrating thing, that you’re no longer going to be there. It’s frustrating and heart-breaking, but you move on. I’m going to South Florida, and that makes things a heck of a lot better.”

Kilgore said he had some hard conversations with Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan last week. Ultimately, he said he respects both men for the way they handled an awkward situation. Lynch said last week when the 49ers signed Kilgore to an extension, the club believed there was a likelihood Richburg would not still be available a month later as a free agent. Richburg was the only center the 49ers would have sought to replace Kilgore, Lynch said.

“I hope the fans out there know the truth about everything and know that Kyle and John did it in the best interest of me and the best interest for the team moving forward,” Kilgore said. “There’s no bad grudges or anything like that. We’re all still friends at the end of the day.”

Report: 49ers scheduled to meet with free-agent defensive back


Report: 49ers scheduled to meet with free-agent defensive back

Versatile free-agent defensive back Jaylen Watkins is reportedly scheduled to visit the 49ers on Wednesday.

Watkins’ meeting with the 49ers coincides with veteran cornerback Richard Sherman’s appearance at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara for a noon press conference. Sherman signed a three-year contract with the 49ers on March 10 – one day after the Seattle Seahawks released him.

The 49ers are in the market for backups in the defensive backfield. Watkins (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) started five games in five games in four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles while appearing in 36 games.

Watkins, 26, played three snaps on defense and 17 plays on special teams in the Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4. He entered the NFL in 2014 as a fourth-round draft pick from Florida.

The NFL Network reported Watkins’ meeting with the 49ers is the first of multiple visits he has scheduled.