And tied them! The thing with divisional games is that they’re just about always close. The teams are familiar with each other and have likely spent the majority of their off-season preparing for them. They know they players they’re going against, and know how the opponent will want to play them. This breeds close games.
But with teams who haven’t played in four plus years you can throw most of that out the window. The Patriots can see the 49ers are a physical team but until they see them face to face they won’t know exactly what they’re like.
Just like the 49ers know the Patriots offense can go peddle to the metal, but until they see it in person there’s an element of the unknown, especially when it comes to how the Patriots will specifically attack them which right now is anybody’s guess.