49ers dominate in 30-10 victory over Jacksonville

The San Francisco 49ers improved to 5-5 for the season with a dominating 30-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Stadium on Sunday. The win sets up a showdown with the Minnesota Vikings next week as both teams fight to gain a position in the NFC playoffs.

Here are the answers to the five questions I asked on Saturday.

1. Will the 49ers stick with the run? YES

The 49ers offense is at its best when they commit to the running game, and they’ve done just that over the last two weeks. After having 44 rushing attempts on Monday night, San Francisco ran the ball 42 times against Jacksonville.
This commitment played a big role in the 49er’s offense holding on to the ball and dominating time of possession. San Francisco held the ball for 38:22 to only 21:38 for Jacksonville.

When the 49ers lost Raheem Mostert for the season in the opener at Detroit, they also lost the explosive element in their running game. They seem to have found that in Deebo Samuel. Against Jacksonville, Samuel gained 79 yards and had one touchdown on eight carries. Over the last two weeks Samuel has put up 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 13 attempts.

The running game was a bit of a grind outside the carries by Samuel. Jeff Wilson Jr and Trey Sermon combined for 82 yards on 29 carries, an average of only 2.8 yards per attempt.

Wilson and Sermon also chipped in with two receptions for 31 yards. Sermon’s 23 yard grab late in the first half set up a field goal from Robbie Gould as the first half came to a close.

2. Can the 49ers take advantage of Trevor Lawrence? YES

The 49ers defense did a good job against Lawrence on Sunday. His final stat line, 16-25, 158 yards might look OK, but prior to the final Jaguars offensive possession when the 49ers defense had its backup cornerbacks in the game Lawrence had completed only 12 of 20 attempts for 103 yards.

San Francisco’s pass rush made things difficult for Lawrence throughout, recording six hits and three sacks on the rookie quarterback.

Nick Bosa led the charge with a pair of sacks and three quarterback hits. Bosa now has a career high 10 sacks on the season.

Arden Key added a sack as well, his third for the season. Key has seen his snaps increase over the last four weeks and he has made the most of the opportunities, recording three sacks. To put that number into perspective, Key had a total of three sacks in his career prior to this year.

3. Will Jimmy Garoppolo keep it going? YES

Jimmy Garoppolo has regained the form that helped San Francisco to the NFC’s best record in 2019. Over the last four games Garoppolo has recorded a quarterback rating of 100 or better for the first time since doing it in weeks 10-13 of that Super Bowl season. Garoppolo finished 16-22 for 176 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 126.3, his highest of the season.

Garoppolo has been better when playing on the road instead of at Levi’s Stadium this season, and that continued against Jacksonville as the 49ers remained undefeated in Garoppolo’s three road starts.

In the first half, Garoppolo hit on 10 of his 14 attempts for 128 yards and a touchdown. Of his four incompletions, two came on passes that were thrown away. His ability to make throws on third down and in the red zone were big during the half, especially during a 20 play, 89-yard drive to open the game that took over 13 minutes off the clock. He was able to hit Brandon Aiyuk on a slant for 13 yards on 3rd and 12 to extend the opening drive of the game. On the next possession Garoppolo would find Aiyuk again, this time on 3rd and goal for a seven-yard touchdown.

4. Can the 49ers offense hold on to the football? YES

Prior to the game I wrote the San Francisco offense is pretty good when they hold onto the football.

This showed up again on Sunday as the 49ers were able to post their second game in a row without an offensive turnover. This is the first time San Francisco has been able to do this in back-to-back games this season.

In addition to the lack of turnovers, the 49ers have done an excellent job of holding on to passes the last two weeks.

It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the 49ers receivers doing a better job of holding onto the football has come as Brandon Aiyuk has seen an increase in his targets. After having only 16 targets in the first six games, Aiyuk has been targeted 26 times over the last four. Against Jacksonville, Aiyuk would make the catch on all seven of his targets and gain 85 yards with one touchdown.

5.Will the San Francisco offensive line protect Jimmy Garoppolo? YES

Jacksonville was only able to get to Garoppolo four times on Sunday, recording two sacks. The 49ers offensive line did a good job of neutralizing the Jaguars best pass rushers, Josh Allen and Dawuane Smoot. Neither were able to record a hit on Garoppolo.

The commitment to the run game has translated  to improved protection of the quarterback in the passing game. Over the last two games, the 49ers offensive line has allowed only five hits on Jimmy Garoppolo.


49ers 24 Jaguars 16

This article has 45 Comments

  1. Opening drive was the longest in the NFL since 11-27-1997, Tennessee Oilers @ 13:27. I thought the decision by Shanny to take the field goal showed the maturity you want to see in a head coach.

    1. Agreed. I thought the same thing regarding the field goal. Trust your defense. Defense has improved significantly since that player’s only meeting; underscores that you have to have leaders in the locker room.

  2. Watching this game was like a rerun of UCLA demolishing USC on Saturday. In both games a superior team took apart a weak opponent. The Niners demonstrated that both the offense and the defense can be first rate, when playing at a high level of focus on the basics. Fun to watch both the Bruins and the Niners performances; now both teams need to keep it up.

  3. Monday night game vs the Rams then flying cross country to play the Jags, winning both games with a combined score of 61-20 is a pretty good bounce back from the Cardinals debacle. Dedication to the run is the major difference maker in my opinion. Notwithstanding the 2 misses in the end zone, Jimmy G has been very good the past 2 weeks. Very happy for him. Really looking forward to the Vikings game.

        1. Yup, that throw lacked touch, in contrast to the leading lollipop later in the game to Sermon coming out of the backfield.

  4. 5-5

    1. Run the ball , play action and quick passes seems to be a winning recipe.
    2. We had zero turnovers in back to back games with a plus 4 turnover differential.
    3. Deebo outrushed the entire Jags team.
    4. Next 2 are home against the 5-5 Vikings and @Seahawks . If we win both we are 7-5 and looking good for a wildcard spot.

    1. This team is talented. They just have to play with focus, discipline, and communication which they lacked in their losses. If they play up to their potential they can get into the play-offs and make some noise. None of the NFC teams look invulnerable and injuries continue to add up testing their roster depth. January is a lot about the running game and defense.

  5. Jack, a little off-topic question.
    I thought the players must all wear the same uniform on the team. No individual choices.
    I noticed that some players had white socks, some red, some white with red top and so on.
    I was waiting for a penalty.
    Did i miss something or is there a rule change?

  6. I had no idea #BTS was not an #American group – wtf – #China is really taking over🙃

    Nice win – not sure why the starters were playing in the 4th qtr or why we are using Deebo too much as RB

    Yes it’s fun seeing Deebo as RB1 but not necessary we have 3 RB’s on the roster

    Big game against cuz next week. – I just have the feeling Kshan will over think the game plan – fingers crossed

  7. There was some debate a few blog posts ago about the value the 49ers might receive in a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo in the offseason. If Jimmy G stays on his current pace he will have a better season than Matthew Stafford had before being traded to the Rams. Jimmy G has a higher Comp%, higher Yds/Att, better TD/Int ratio, higher QBR, and on pace for more 40+ yard plays.

    So in exchange for Matthew Stafford the Rams gave up a starting QB, 2021 3rd Round Pick, 2022 1st Round Pick, 2023 1st Round Pick. I think Stafford is probably a better QB than Jimmy G but I don’t think it’s that much difference. Shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for the 49ers to get a starting RG and a 1st round pick for Jimmy G in the offseason if he continues to play at this level.

    1. It’s less in Jimmy’s hands than the entire teams hands. Each win his value goes up a notch. Make the playoffs, win a game or three or four and his value skyrockets.

      If that’s the case what happens next season? Does Trey sit and Jimmy start next year as well? We know all about Kyle’s doghouse for players, especially 2nd year ones, who don’t perform to his expectations and standards.

      1. It’s less in Jimmy’s hands than the entire teams hands.

        I think you could say that about every QB in the league. Jimmy deserves some credit for the throws he has made the past 2 games. The throw to Deebo on 4th & 6 against the Rams was beautiful. He had several great anticipation throws against the Jags. Your guess is as good as mine about next year. Kyle surprises me a lot with some of his decisions so I think any scenario is on the table. If Jimmy G plays really well I think it’s going to be hard not to trade him in the offseason just from an economics standpoint and from a value standpoint. I definitely could see the 49ers holding onto Jimmy for another year but my guess is that’s less than a 50/50 chance. Perhaps if the staff thinks Trey Lance isn’t ready then the 49ers could keep Jimmy and then trade him during the season before the trade deadline next year but that is a massively risky move. If I were going to lay some money on it then I would guess Jimmy is traded this offseason and Trey Lance is the starter next season.

      2. How is it a doghouse? If a player isn’t making a good effort, then someone who is will get his snaps. It’s on the player, not Shanahan.

        1. If a player isn’t making a good effort, then someone who is will get his snaps. It’s on the player, not Shanahan.

          Bingo! Kyle’s mythical doghouse ranks #1 in my list of ShanaMyths.

        2. if Aleen Iverson or B Favre were Kshan players they would never have turn to HOF’ers……

          Kshan has an extensive history with his players – from the Redskins QB to Falcons QB to 49er QB – it can’t always be the player

          1. Man, you are so right. I mean Matt Ryan’s career has sky rocketed since Kyle left Atlanta and just look at how Dante Pettis has blossomed into a dynamic #1 WR in the NFL.

            Oh wait…

            1. And then there is the previous administration setting too high a standard for the current group to ever match. Oh wait ,,,

          2. Yup, Kyle should just let all his players do their own thing in the hope that one or more turn out be Brett Favre or….. Allen Iverson?

          3. Kshan has an extensive history with his players – from the Redskins QB to Falcons QB to 49er QB – it can’t always be the player

            Your point makes no sense. The Redskins QB had one of the best rookie years for a QB ever, the Falcons QB had his best seasons and won an MVP, and the 49er QB has taken them to a SB. Shanahan has had a lot of success with almost every QB he’s ever called plays for including Matt Schaub in Houston.

            1. I should have be clearer – I didn’t mean in terms of their production – I mean’t personalities clashing –

              I can bet none of those QB’s including JimmyG in the future would give much credit to Kshan influence on their careers even though Kshan made them better on the field. – They will likely point to how much tough it was to get along.

              All you have to do is google Shanahan and his QB’s – you will see lots of contents on both Mike and Kyle on how they treated their QB’s – it wasn’t always pretty

              1. I think you are making it more of a story than it really is, but who really cares anyway? On field performance says Shanahan has made them better and that is really all that matters.

        3. How is it a doghouse?

          For lack of a better term, a player not getting the PT due to not impressing the coaches that he deserves it.

          We are saying the same thing.

    2. Jimmy has been playing well, but it seems to me that a lot of those 40+ yard plays are courtesy of the receivers and YAC.

      1. Jimmy Garoppolo has 6.6 Air Yards per completion. Matthew Stafford has 6.7 Air Yards per completion. YAC helps every QB.

        1. Great! Now Jimmy is making progress on the all-important air yards competition!

          Keep in mind that when the Niners win, it’s about players on offense being crutches for Jimmy. If Niners lose, it’s all Jimmy’s fault…

          1. Wasn’t that the knock on Stafford with the Lions? Though somehow it wasn’t the QBs fault, was it? His team wasn’t ultimately successful because he didn’t have the complementary play-makers around him.

            So what was Watson’s excuse?

            Geez, what QB can do it alone?

      2. Jimmy is playing well the last couple of games but then again he is not being asked to do a lot in this offense. We know what happens when we don’t run the ball well and rely on him. That’s just JG. And there’s nothing wrong with that either.

        1. Exactly, we know how the defense put the Niners in a position to win the game at Levis against the Packers and how Jimmy G screwed it up….

      3. There seem to be a lot of preseason claims that aren’t aging well. The Twitterverse claimed that you need a QB who can run, make plays outside the pocket, off schedule, etc.etc. Last I looked, Jimmy is playing pretty well doing his thing inside the numbers while the #1 rookie QB in NE is playing the exact same style and the Patriots are 7-4 and might be the best team in the AFC right now. Just goes to show that no matter how much the physical traits at the QB position change, the number one job of a QB is to get the ball to his playmakers from the pocket. The other stuff is gravy.

          1. Last I checked QB’s who can run, make plays outside the pocket, off schedule, etc.etc are leading their divisions – you could make a case for 2 QB’s out of the 8 but then you have to put an * on the 2.

            The Two = Brady and Jones are pretty much connected in everything football. (J McDaniel’s)

            True Brady though does not run much but he passes the ball outside the numbers something JimmyG is allergic to.

            I have seen enough to know JimmyG sucks when throwing outside the numbers – I finally agree JimmyG’s game is based on everybody playing well – he will never make something out of nothing.

            Again every freaking 49er fan or observer knows a mobile QB will take this offense to a new level – all those bootlegs, RPO, Run-Fakes – the attention defenses pay on Kittle-Deebo-Aiyuk would easily create lanes for a running QB – the formations we run will suit a QB who can add a different dimension-the fact that we are a running team – the personnel is a running personnel – it is common sense to see how successfully a mobile QB will be – it’s a no brainer…

            @Jack Hammer slow your roll – if Mac Jones was on the Jags-Bears-Niners he would look way worse than he is now – calm down we are not dumb – we can all see what NE is doing on offense and defense.

            FYI – NE has never been down 1 TD’s in a game this season – last 3 games their opponents scored a combined 13 points – please don’t insult us with a comment like that. (maybe 1 game they were down by 7 but not anyone of the games they have won)

            You really want us to believe you thought Mac Jones should be rated above T Law. ..C’mon Mehn – stop commenting like a fan – at least act like you know better or do some research.

              1. Your defense is a lazy write up that excluded the one thing we judge QB’s with STATISTICS

                I like M. Jones but nothing special with him and definitely not for the 49ers.

                YDS 2,540 12th
                TD 14 Tied-15th
                INT 8 Tied-19th
                QBR 50.2 19th
                Averaging 7.3 yrds per play

                What is Top Rated about that?

                Again the question is right now after 10 games will you draft Mac Jones over T. Lawrence or should M. Jones be rated the number 1 QB in the last draft ?

                Answer = HELL NO

                Jack Hammer words are not Jesus words – Just because you write up your dull fantasy opinions with No Facts does not mean it makes sense or it is even comically true.

                What jumps out most about Jones is his ability to see the coverage, and deliver the ball with terrific anticipation. Time and time again there are examples of Jones hitting his back foot, seeing the coverage and beginning to throw the ball while the receiver has yet to make the break on his route.

                Another part of Jones’ game that stands out is his willingness to step up into the pocket.

                What the hell is that? lol – every dummy knows you can’t do anything like you described without a solid Oline and only if you are throwing short passes.

                Do you describe Patrick Mahomes that way? and he considered the BEST.

                Jones was much more willing to push the ball down the field and, unlike Tagovailoa, was able to beat the rush and coverage by getting the ball out on time

                SMH 😶 – In 10 games he has 4 passes over 30 yards, 2 passes over 40 and 1 pass over 50 yards – that production does not merit the write up unless only if you are in Jack Hammer fantasy.

        1. Oneniner most of the top rated QB’s are pocket passers first who average about 3-4 runs per game. There are two QB’s who are better runners than passers – Jackson and Hurts – and have over 100 attempts. After those two it drops dramatically. The takeover of the running QB has been predicted many times and yet it’s still about throwing the ball accurately from the pocket that determines the best and most successful. Nothing wrong with the QB getting a couple of first downs or escaping a sack using his legs, but that like I pointed out earlier is gravy. The QB’s that win consistently are the ones who can make plays from the pocket first and foremost.

  8. EPA per play, NFL QB ranks…

    1. Matthew Stafford: 0.258
    2. Jimmy Garoppolo: 0.256
    3. Aaron Rodgers: 0.243
    4. Kyler Murray: 0.241
    5. Tom Brady: 0.236

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