49ers defense gears up for the tall task of trying to stop Patriots' Tom Brady in biggest test

San Francisco cornerback Tarell Brown turned off the Monday Night Football game as soon as Tom Brady and the Patriots jumped out to big lead.

Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois tuned out then, too. Same with defensive tackle Ray McDonald, who was hungry and ready for some dinner.

The 49ers defenders still saw plenty of Brady in that brief time they spent watching his team's 42-14 win over Houston to know exactly what they're up against Sunday night in New England.

Safety Donte Whitner can't wait.

San Francisco (9-3-1) already has wins against teams with big-time playmaking quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.

Still, no question that slowing down Brady on the prime-time stage is the biggest test yet for defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's group. The Patriots have won 20 straight home games in December.


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