49ers Smother Jaguars

The 49ers used their bye week well.  They rested.  The reflected.  They traded for Chase Young.  Then, the 49ers got to work.  The Jacksonville Jaguars are a tough, talented football team on a five-game winning streak.  The Jaguars were also defending their home turf.  Both squads were coming off a bye week.  With the 49ers were coming off a three-game losing streak, the Jaguars appeared to have every advantage.

The 49ers defense played with amped up intensity today.  Two plays into the game Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave sacked Trevor Lawrence ending the Jaguars initial drive.  The defense never let up, accumulating five sacks and four turnovers over the course of the game.  Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga picked off Lawrence while Ambry Thomas and Nick Bosa recovered their two forced fumbles.  Thomas even had a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown; however the play was called back because members of the team came on to the field during Thomas’s run back.

The 49ers offense executed with the efficiency we were used to watching the first five games of the season.  Brock Purdy was quick and accurate with his throws.  The return of Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel paid huge dividends to the offensive production today.  Deebo allows Coach Shanahan to do so many different things with his formation.

On the third play of the game, Kyle Juszczyck lined up in the backfield and Christian McCaffrey in the slot.  Pre-snap Deebo goes in motion, then circles back to the backfield as if he is going to take a deep hand off shortly before the snap of the ball.  Purdy fakes the hand off takes a step back and throws the ball to McCaffrey who ran from left to right and catches the ball in the flat, turning up field for a first down.  On the next play, George Kittle aligns in a short split off the right tackle, has a free release, and catches the ball turning it up field for 29 yards.  Purdy finds Brandon Aiyuk for a touchdown the next play.  Only one minute ticked off the clock.  The efficient 49er offense is back.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, center, is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The game began to settle down after the 49ers next offensive possession ended with a field goal.  The defense remained stout ending several drives on a sack.  The most disappointing sequence of plays occurred in the second quarter when Nick Bosa and Chase Young met at the quarterback, sacking him and stripping him of the ball.  The 49ers had excellent field position and an opportunity to go up by three scores.  The Jaguar defense rose to the occasion and forced a punt.  Mitch Wishnowsky pinned the Jaguars down on their own one-yard line.  Again, this was a great opportunity for the 49ers defense to capitalize and either score or gain tremendous field position for their offense.  Instead, they allowed the Jaguars to drive 80 yards to score on a 37-yard field goal.  The only win that series was holding the Jaguars to the only points they scored that game.

Chase Young’s presence was felt in Duval County.  Coach Wilkes lined him up all over the defensive line, including the A gaps.  Though he was only credited with half a sack, Young’s presence allowed other players to include Bosa to record sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

This defense can now play man coverage whenever it once because it can get to the quarterback with just four defensive linemen.  The constant pressure, and the consistent coverage caused Lawrence to have a very bad day at the office.  Coach Wilkes was excellent in calling the defense in such a way as to take Lawrence’s first read away, making him work thru his progressions allowing for the defensive line to get home.

The Jaguar pressure got to Brock Purdy as well.  However, the combination of play calling, and Purdy’s own ability allowed him to keep plays and drives alive.  Though he was sacked twice, he did not commit a turnover.  He had to dirt the ball a couple of times and suffered an intentional grounding call as well.

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Jaguars played the Niners tough in the first half.  Purdy came out in the second half firing hitting Deebo for a nine-yard gain.  Then, on the second play of the half, Kittle beat Devin Lloyd off the line and gained a step.  Purdy was being pressured up the middle.  He pumped, reset and launched the ball down the field on target to Kittle who caught the ball in stride and walked into the endzone.

Brock Purdy connected with seven different receivers on 19 completions.  George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Kyle Juszczyk all caught touchdown passes while Deebo ran for his.  Purdy threw his longest touchdown pass in his career today as well.  Only Christian McCaffrey was held out of the endzone, ending his 17-game streak of scoring a touchdown.  In the end, it’s all about the win.

Today’s game was an excellent get back to right game.  The Niners defeated a worthy opponent convincingly.  Now they go home to greet Tampa Bay.



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