Tom E. Curran offers his three keys to Sunday night's marquee game between the Patriots and 49ers. If the Patriots are going to knock off two of the NFL's best teams in back-to-back weeks they'll need to do the following:
1) Keep Colin Kaepernick in the pocket. Kaepernick is one of those quarterbacks who adds an extra threat because he can make the big play with his legs as well as his arm. The Patriots can't let him out of the pocket. If Kaepernick is allowed to scramble for first downs or big yardage, the 49ers will have a much easier time.
2) Watch out for anyone named 'Smith. Justin and Aldon Smith are two of the most dangerous players on the San Francisco roster and they both cause the same level of havoc. Curran believes these two players are as good as anybody the Houston Texans rolled out last week.
3) Last but certainly not least - make no mistake, the 49ers are better than the Texans. If the Patriots are going to win on Sunday night, they can't make any mistakes. Curran predicts this one's going to be a "rock fight" and predicts the Patriots won't score more than 25 points.
Final prediction: Patriots 24-21.