Younger Patriots fans might not remember the days when the team was overmatched, the offense struggled, and the stands were empty.
But Sunday afternoon provided a reminder of those teams from the early '90s, with New England turning in an embarrassing and non-competitive performance against Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers, falling to 2-4 with a 33-6 loss -- their largest home defeat under Bill Belichick.
How ugly was it? Consider these stats:
- The Niners scored more points (23) and had more first downs (18) in the first half than the Patriots had offensive plays (16).
- The Patriots allowed 301 yards in the first half -- the most they've allowed in the first half at home under Bill Belichick.
- New England is now two games under .500 for the first time since October 2001, when Tom Brady lost the second start of his NFL career.
Cam Newton's final line was even uglier: 9-for-15, 98 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT. Newton, who was benched late in the third quarter, now has two passing touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season.
Jarrett Stidham came on in relief of Newton and threw an interception of his own, finishing the game by completing 6 of 10 passes for 64 yards.
The Patriots have now lost three straight games in the same season for the first time since 2002.
FINAL SCORE: 49ers 33, Patriots 6
Patriots Record: 2-4
San Francisco marches 75 yards in 9 plays, capped by a Jeff Wilson 3-yard score, the first opening-drive TD by a Patriots opponent at Gilllette Stadium since 2016 (33 games)
San Francisco's next drive ends very differently, thanks to Devin McCourty
On the Patriots' first play after the 49ers take a 10-3 lead, Cam Newton... would like this one back.
Kyle Juszczyk and the Niners don't take long to capitalize, punching it in five plays later.
No Raheem Mostert, no problem: Jeff Wilson's second TD of the half, a 16-yard scamper, gives him 92 yards in the half and gives the 49ers a 23-3 lead.
Desperation mode for Cam Newton: Not working. First half line: 4-for-8, 30 yards, 2 INT, 19.8 QB rating.
Things keep getting uglier for the Patriots in the second half, with Jeff Wilson scoring his third TD of the day (before getting carted off the field).
Julian Edelman was finally targeted for the first time in the third quarter. Guess how it went?
Sunday, Nov. 1: at Bills, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Monday, Nov. 9: at Jets, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday, Nov. 16: vs. Ravens, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)