49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is the NFL’s current sack leader. (Photo: US Presswire)
NEPD Staff Writer: Matthew Jones
New England matches up against San Francisco tonight in the Patriots’ most challenging regular-season game remaining; winning would make New England a favorite to earn a first-round bye, while a loss may prevent New England from earning one of the top two spots in the AFC.
The 49ers are also contending for a first-round bye: they are currently seeded second in the NFC with a 9-3-1 record. Read on for ten keys to this pivotal contest.