Surging teams collide when 49ers meet Jaguars

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) smiles after a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Houston. San Francisco won 26-16. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers will face perhaps their biggest test of the season Sunday when they play the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars have won seven of their past eight games. They are the first-place team in the AFC South and the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoff race. Their defense ranks first in sacks and fewest points allowed, and their offense ranks sixth in points scored and first in rushing yards.

“They have as much qualities as anyone that it takes to win a Super Bowl,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “A top defense, a very good running game, a good offense, good special teams.”

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This article has 158 Comments

  1. Funny how a great defense and working running game can make a QB look good by keeping the ‘have to make a play’ pressure off him. Just dink-and-dunk it, let the RB and defense do the work, and, presto!, you’re in the Super Bowl….

    It’s just amazing all the so-so QBs that have gotten to Super Bowls, some of them even winning them, because they rode the defense and running game. Heck, a couple of them even made it into the HOF because of that, even though they were, during their day, never more than average.

    And yet people seem to think it’s some ‘killer argument’ that some mediocrity made it. Team game. Always has been. A good QB makes a big difference. But as we’ve seen , even in the modern era, even bad QBs like Eli Manning and Joe Flacco can win Super Bowls with great defensive runs and the odd hot-streak.

    So I have no reason to automatically discount the Jaguars from Super Bowl contention. Other teams might be better. But with a rocking defense, solid run game and hot streak out of a mediocrity like Bortles, they could go all the way.

    1. First, I am not sure how anyone can refer to Eli and Flacco as “bad” QBs. While they are not elite QBs, they are definitely decent franchise QBs (10-year starters who have won more than 50% of the games — Flacco has won more than 60% of the games). If franchise QBs get blamed for team losses, they do deserve credit for wins.

      Second, team with dominant defense but mediocre-to-bad offense have won the Lombardi so rarely that it should be considered outliers. What I’d be interested to see is the play-off record of teams with D’s rated in the top-third and O’s rated in the bottom third compared to play-off record of teams with the reverse ratings.

      With the modern NFL geared for offense, I think the formula for consistent play-off success from season-to-season is to have a D that ranks in the top-half and an offense that can score 4 TDs in a game on the road. During the play-off run, a team will invariably be in a situation where offense has to come from behind in the second half. That’s where dink-and-dunk O’s with dominant D’s can fall short.

      1. @moses – not seeing the ” Eli and Flacco as “bad” QBs. ” ………they are both SB winners……I don’t get the bad label

        1. Manning v Smith (with a reference to Josh McCown):

          Do you know how many times Eli has lead the NFL in INTs? Three. His career completion rate is under 60%. Manning’s career QB rating is 83.8, a mere 3 points over the back-up journeyman Josh McCown.

          Alex Smith, routinely considered a poor ‘game manager’ has a career rating of 87.3 and 94.8 once he got away from the incompetent coaching sh**-storm that was his career in SF. He also out performs Manning in most every passing metric.

          In fourteen years of QBing, Manning’s only had four good seasons. Alex Smith, who is considered a mediocre, nothing-special game-manager by most fans has had six good seasons of equal, or better, performance. This includes Smith leading the NFL in passing in 2012 before he got hurt and is leading the NFL in passing again this year.

          Manning’s ANYA is barely above Smith’s so the pretending that he’s some ‘deep ball, gunslinger who makes a difference’ QB is a laugher. He’s a mediocre passer who turns the ball over way too much and has, simply put, had a few hot-streaks in the playoffs. Just like many other bad QBs who have won the Super Bowl, like Dilfer in 2000.

          Smith has actually out-performed Manning in the playoffs. Only Smith has watched his team fumble/collapse away multiple playoff games (like the 2011 NFC Championship game or the 45 points the Colts put on the Chiefs a few years ago wasting his 44-point effort). Manning’s QB rating in the playoffs is a very averaged 87.5 while Smith’s is 101.0

          When an ‘average, ridiculously conservative, you can’t win with him game manager’ has routinely out-performed you… You’re not a good QB. Hype aside. And that’s all it is. He’s no Peyton. He’s not even Alex Smith.


          Worse than Manning in everything except INTs and playoff QB rating. Both are fairly insignificant over Manning however. And none of his Manning-exceeding performances approaches Smith. And, what’s worse, he’s even less effective in the vertical game than Smith. What good is a big arm if you can’t hit the WR? Not much.

          Seriously, these are two media creations. A pair of below-average QBs who, by virtue of ESPN highlights and people falling for the narrative have received far more accolades than better QBs.

          Smith is one, but there are others. For example, Stafford is better than both. Yet people drop the loser tag on him all the time. Cousins is better, but he’s never taken his bad team to the playoffs so some people crap on him and call him a ‘system product’ despite he’s been successful in at least two different systems. Jameis Winston, many of whom in the Talking Heads Industry are starting to say he’s not working out in Tampa is looking better than both. Heck, I’d take Tyrod Taylor over either one of them and he’s limited as a passer and I wouldn’t want him on the 49ers..

          1. None of this Seb-esque comment changes what Mood or one said.

            Manning isn’t a “bad” quarterback and neither is Flacco.

            An example of a bad QB winning a Bowl would be Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson.

      2. Winning is a team effort. When Montana’s defense during 1980 & 1982 was bad, he lost. He was 6-10 as a starter. Same with Dan Fouts. The only time they won was when the Chargers defense could put up some semblance of a fight. Fouts finished his career 86-84-1.

        Marino… Another HOFer. When the Dolphins defense went to pot, so did his his winning. From 1986 through 1991 Marino had ONE winning season in SIX YEARS even though he routinely won post-season performance accolades and among the NFL’s elite QBs.

        Team game. Quarterbacks are the most important piece. But it’s still a team game.

  2. Debut@Bears… Win. Houston will be a better test.
    Houston… Win. Titans will a better test.
    TItans… Win. Jacksonville will be the real test.
    Jacksonville… God, this feels like a playoff game!

    Then I wake up with cold sweats and we’re 4 and 10…
    Christmas list: a running game, and escape routes for Garoppolo.
    It still feels like a playoff game.

      1. For sure, Moses.
        I wonder how much of that spread is due to the Garoppolo effect, and how much is Bortles tendency to come back down to earth on-the-road?

  3. Jacksonville has the best defense I’ve seen in a long time. Even better and more talented than the recent Seahawk defenses. They are a year away and maybe 1 or 2 players away from true long term greatness like maybe we saw with the old Ravens and Steelers teams. They can be inconsistent at times which I attribute to their youth at key positions. They are extremely fast and when they hit they bring a fully loaded truck. I’m excited to see what this 49er offense can do against the best defense in the NFL. I don’t see any way possible anyone can predict a 49er win in this game but if by some Christmas miracle the good guys can pull out a victory then I will officially drink the kool aid and this offseason will be the longest offseason in professional football history.

      1. Yup, thats one of the reasons the Jags defense is so great. They get pressure with just 4 and dont really blitz all that much. Leaves 7 in coverage so those throwing lanes are very very tight. The LB’s and Secondary are crazy fast so teams really have to scheme well to move the ball. If I were a betting man, I’d say the Jags will shut down Marquise Goodwin and leave the other WR’s in mostly 1v1 coverage. They might be able to cover Goodwin 1v1 with Ramsey but I would expect him to get some help. AJ Bouye also excels at single coverage so I would expect him to be on Bourne probably which means Trent Taylor needs to have a big day for the 49ers to have a chance. Also in the passing game, the 49ers will probably need to hit Kyle Juszczyk and Carols Hyde to pick up yards. Garoppolo has been fantastic spreading the ball around converting 3rd downs. Considering the circumstances with injuries and his tenure on the 49ers, if Garoppolo can continue that 3rd down success against this defense then you can argue he has the potential to be a top 5 NFL QB next year. Hard for me to judge the run game… I expect this Jags front 7 to absolutely destroy the 49ers o-line. Tomlinson, Kilgore, Fusco, and Beadles are absolutely no match for the Jags on the line. It’s simply not close. If the 49ers can move the ball on the ground it opens up the play action game. My gut tells me the 49ers will not get much on the ground though which will make moving the ball through the air much more difficult.

        1. Good preview Houston,
          No chunk plays this week. They’ll have to earn every yard with fewer possessions.
          I’m hoping for enough of a running game to keep the front 4 from pinning their ears back all day.
          I guess I’ll be happy if the team plays tough, no quit, and Garoppolo shows good decisions, throws accurately into those tight windows, and continues to convert third downs…. win or lose.

          If we somehow win… the Rum serves an entirely different purpose!

  4. In many instances predicting the outcome of an NFL game is impossible. New England lost when they shouldn’t and the 49ers won when the shouldn’t. As the odds makers say, the over under at the beginning of the season for the 49ers was 4. We are there now. Right now there is less than a 50/50 chance that the 9ers will beat that number. On paper the teams left to play are better than the 9ers. So let us hope that the 9ers play way over their heads and win one of the last two and make Vegas Suffer once again.

    1. More important than winning this game is for JG not to suffer a major injury !

      Sure I would expect the team and fans to want a win against one of the best teams with the #1 D and pass rush in the NFL….but… They don’t have to win just play hard and hand the ball off 30+ times min. Three step throws, get rid of the ball and protect yourself Jimmy because this line is about to get run over like a tidal wave. Sacksonville is gonna be blitzing time after time.!!!

  5. Occasionally this year SFs D has limited good running backs. If they can keep Fournette mostly under wraps they’ll help their chances mightily. Bigly. I don’t expect much offensive production against this D, so have to keep it close to have a chance. Perhaps Saleh knows something about Bortles he can work on. If Jags get more than 20 points it will be hard for Niners to get a win. Move the chains to play “keep away.” Short drops and quick releases. They’ll need to take some deep shots early just to keep the secondary honest.
    Like the last game, I think SF could surprise but I can’t bet money on it. Last week’s win makes it unlikely that SF can sneak up on them. We can hope for some overconfidence on their part and a little luck.

  6. Grant,
    Good read.
    I especially like the view on how much Fournette has helped Bortals and the entire offense.
    This begs the question… Would drafting a player like S.Barkely do the same for this offense as Fournette has done for the Jags?

    We have a pretty good idea of how much having Jimmy can lift this offense. Now, if Jimmy can resuscitate the offense with our current talent, how much more effective can we become with Barkely in the backfield.

    Sure we need O-line help. But after watching the Jags quick emergence this season because of Fournette, perhaps Barkely can provide the punch that can put our offense along the elites in the league.

  7. This link is a little dated (before Jimmy G’s Bears debut) but the article by Daniel Brown talks about the relationship between the two QB gurus, Martinez and Christensen, and so I decided to post it here:
    It seems to me that it is important for QBs to get the throwing mechanics corrected in high school. It appears that with few exceptions, QBs rarely make drastic improvements in throwing mechanics in college or in the pros. Once can refine the mechanics but the basics are learned by the best QBs before playing in college.

  8. Charles Barkley gave a big shout-out to the Republican party for the brand new tax law — saying it sucks for poor people … but, since he’s in the 1%, he’s gonna blow his new savings on a ROLEX, BABY!!!

    “Thank you Republicans, I know I can always count on you to take care of us rich people, us one percenters.”

    i promise no more politics….

    1. That was worth sharing. Barkley is frequently quotable.
      As to yesterday’s budget/tax discussion, it never went off the tracks, stayed pretty respectful in disagreements; so not too bad. Things can go south on those sometimes.

  9. Remember how people were laughing in the offseason when word got out that Lynch had asked Belichick about trading for Brady?

    There’s some theories out there that possibly BB was looking to move on from 12, and that got squashed by Kraft. This in turn led to the Garoppolo trade, and also the Brissett trade.

    1. I am with you…..I think BB is getting tired of Brady ….just saw Brady press conference answering questions about his trainer……

      sounds to me like Brady was saying he is untouchable……

    2. No secret BB has a knack for when it’s time to move on from a player, but the backlash the organization would have received for making that move would have been substantial. So it’s quite conceivable that Kraft would be inimical to allowing that trade to ensue. There’s also a rumor floating out there that Brady got wind of it, and went to Bob directly to shut it down. The recent personal trainergate lends credence to that rumor….

    3. If Bill Belichick moved on from Brady he would be the dumbest coach alive but BB is not dumb. I don’t think Kraft had to tell BB anything. I’m sure BB knows the end of Brady is not too far down the road but it won’t be this year and probably not next year. Brady is leading the league in Yards, 3rd in TD’s, tied for 2nd in the league in passer rating, 4th in the league in Comp %, he has 28 TD vs 7 Ints, and the Pats have scored the 4th most points in the league. He has his team at 11-3 even though the defense has been average at best. Belichick may be annoyed at certain things with Brady but Brady is still a superstar who can win Superbowls. Moving on from Brady given his current level of play would be a colossal mistake and I just don’t see Bill Belichick as the village idiot.

    4. Yeah Jack. BOS9er, who reads Boston Press, floated that here last week. I’d be surprised if B.B. was ready to move on from Tom, but rather looking ahead like Walsh with Joe, Ronnie, Roger, etc. And Kraft didn’t want to pay 2 franchise QBs at once. Montana/Young was a different time. PFT offered some amplifying details today on the trainer thing, though it’s pretty much rumors.

      1. Belichick knew he couldn’t keep both, and trading the old vet while keeping the young stud would have made the most sense.

        1. BB is 65. I am not sure he wants to make another 10-year run with a new QB. Seems like retiring with Brady is the most logical path. I’m going with Occam’s razor principle that the only reason to hang on to Jimmy G till Halloween was to maximize the insurance coverage. I’m not buying these conspiracy theories about BB and Brady conflicts. They may have the same love-hate relationship as Walsh-Montana but both like to win and will hang in there.

          1. A Pats fantasy…in 4 parts:
            — BB & Brady ride off together into the sunset after their last SB win this season….
            — McDaniels becomes HC, and keeps as many of BB’s staff as possible…
            — new QB prospect is found in 2018 draft, as Boston won’t sit for the Hoyer-Horror show…
            — Pats back contending by 2020

          2. “BB is 65. I am not sure he wants to make another 10-year run with a new QB”

            17 years is a helluva tenure for an NFL coach (I think the next longest is Marv Lewis?) Even the superhuman can only endure that kind of stress for so long. Belichick and Brady calling it a day at the same time, on their terms, makes a lot of sense. Maybe as you suggest, BB simply isn’t looking beyond that eventuality.
            20 is a nice round number…

  10. I keep hearing Jags have top talent at all levels of their defense, can generate pass rush without blitzing. Sounds like a very familiar defense that rocked the NFL 2011-2013.

    I’d be surprised of the 49ers won. Too many holes on the offensive line. If we do win, it will be the defense creating turnovers. Key big plays on offense.

    1. I think Mr. Hyde has to have a career day, if the 49ers are to win. That’s the one chink, if you can call it that, in the Jags defensive armor. Then sprinkle in that play action passing game to catch that secondary out of sorts….

      1. I was watching football with a friend who knows a helluva lot more about football than me. We had the Jags game on and he pointed out the Jags are susceptible in the run game to certain schemes because their DE’s are so hell bent on pass rushing that they go up-field without reading run or pass and that opens up off tackle runs. Not sure if that was just the particular game we were watching or if that is a common theme with the Jags. We both agree though that the 49er run game doesn’t stand much of a chance against the Jags. The 0-line will probably be overpowered by the Jags d-line so there won’t be many running opportunities. Hope that’s wrong but just can’t see the 49ers o-line suddenly becoming a power run blocking team.

        1. Sounds like a defense Breida could possibly exploit that defense better than Hyde. If there is run production, it could be something like 5-8 runs stuffed, big run play, another 5-8 runs stuffed and so on.

        2. Also thinking bootlegs, fly sweeps could work. The old 49ers would call more trap plays (remember the 2011-12 games vs the Lions) . Does our current zone involve alot of traps?

        3. Houston

          Two things: This one’s gonna’be tighter than a frogs fanny…and JimmyG’s gonna’ be sporting some new track shoes…nonetheless,, Jags 20…Niners 21

    2. I agree with your points Brodie and Razor. I would add that one area where we might have an advantage is special teams. The Jags ST unit struggled against the Rams and Browns. It would be huge if we could start possessions with a short field.

      If we can keep it close, we can win it at the end. Garoppolo is that good.
      Garoppolo 4th Qtr: 23/29 (79.3%), 305 YDs, 1 TD, 0 INT, 122 passer rating.

      If we can keep it close, we can win it at the end. Bortles is that bad.
      Bortles 4th Qtr: 50/86 (58.1%), 518 YDs, 1 TD, 4 INTs, 60.1 passer rating.

      1. A good quarterback hides a multitude of sins, that’s for sure. With a quarterback, there is always a chance to win. That energizes other players.

        1. yes, Raheem “the Dream” was a good addition by Chip from his Philly days. Mostert has been on 7 teams in 2 years in the league — wonder what is the record in this regard…

  11. If the 49ers get blown out, it won’t change my draft wish list or my optimistic long term outlook.

    There’s a traffic jam of four and five win teams picking 4-10. I have not watched footage or scouted any of these players. Just some preliminary highlights. If anyone has the real scoop on these guys, I’d love to hear feedback.

    Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB/S – Looks like a great zone CB or FS. Really like him. But the 49ers don’t need safety. Is he the right type of corner for our system?

    Quenton Nelson, OG – Great player at non-building block position (OT, Edge, CB, WR) seems to be the 49ers draft curse. Take him anyway?

    Mike McGlinchey, OT, Connor Williams, OT – Have not studied them at all. But a long term OT in the draft would work, especially if an OG can be had in free agency.

    Arden Key, DE – Seems faster, more quick twitch than Bradley Chubb. Is Key truly 6’6″, 265? If so he’s extremely athletic for a man that size.

    Courtland Sutton, WR – Lots of great footage of redzone and contested catches. But highlights don’t show how good his routes are.

    1. Williams is agile and athletic and seems like he’d be a high quality system fit.
      Top quality edge rushers are rare, as are top notch CBs but the OL need is severe.

      1. BT – Thanks. Good to know. I have not even started thinking about zone fit re O-linemen. I’m just tired of seeing our linemen get knocked on their butts.

      2. Everything that I have read about Connor Williams says that he has vastly disappointed, and some of the articles have said it is to the point that a few scouts are saying he is a huge risk in the first two rounds.

        1. Same here MWD. I’d feel much better about Nelson being the offensive lineman they take in the top 10. Maybe McGlinchey is only a RT in the NFL, but I’d even feel safer taking him over Williams….

        2. Vastly? Really? Where are these reports he vastly disappointed?

          I have heard he struggled a bit early in the season then got hurt. But really impressed the last couple of games when he came back. And he dominated his freshman and sophomore seasons.

          1. Vastly may be the wrong adverb, but I was disappointed with Williams’ play this year. I was expecting much more from him this year. I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking him that high….

    2. The way Josh Allen is playing has John Elway on the sidelines salivating. I could see a scenario where he might give Lynch a call, and make him an offer he can’t refuse….

      1. That’s what I’m hoping for. Trade back, stay in the top ten, get Edge, OT, CB, WR. if the draft order stands it would cost the Broncos their 2nd rounder.

        Add the Broncos 2nd with the Saints late 2nd and Bears high 3rd the 49ers could move back into the 20s and still have picks in the 2nd and 3rd.

        The Broncos are a five win team. Not sure how SOS shakes out but if the 49ers win one more game they could be drafting back to back. That won’t stop me from hoping for a win Sunday. Winning cultures make teams attractive free agency destinations.

  12. I like the idea of two TE set to max protect eventually sneak out to flats or seams depending of situation. Same with RB.

    I believe KS will have a goo game plan to succeed. I believe if JG is accurate this week we can have success.
    In the first half he need to throw deep down sideline at LEAST 3 times. Even if we don’t hit and waste a play lets at least let er rip. This will soften up the middle for Taylor and the TEs in the seam.

  13. Biderman – 49ers ruled out CB Mabin. Celek questionable. Colbert, Robinson cleared from concussion protocol. Buckner fully expected to play.

  14. After watching the mic’d Video of JimmyG, it showed me everything I need to know about why Kaepernick was ultimately a bust. Not only form a leadership standpoint, but more importantly between offensive series. JimmyG is sitting, studying and discussing plays with his coach. Talking through scenarios. Krapernick used to stand on the sidelines watching the defense play instead of concentrating on his responsibilities. That’s the difference between a guy who has been underestimated at every turn, had to fight and scratch vs a freak athlete, who never learned to do the extra things necessary to become successful.

    1. Very true….JG has that want to learn, study, discuss, figure out and will to win and be successful. All with a smile, humility and charm. JG has that swag and coolness on and off the field too. Kaep was the opposite.

  15. Nice point Daniner. It’s well documented how un-coachable Kaep was. He had no interest in working on his game, which included among other things his mechanics, and his ability to learn the mental aspects of the game that would ultimately improve his overall ability. His early surprising, short lived success was his downfall. He thought he could continue and be successful without improvement. He still doesn’t think he needs to. That’s not how the NFL works however. They have a history of making flash in the pan players come back down to earth. Once they figured him out, which didn’t take long, he became just another mediocre QB. Combine that with his idiotic decision to protest while on the clock, he’s become a pariah that will never, ever be signed by any team in the league. He’s actually suing the very people he and his proponents on this site (a narcissist formerly known as Seb) hope will give him a job at some point. Now thats irony! Stupidity actually!

  16. If JG plays well against the Jags D there will be no end to the hype heading into next season. Simple as that.

    But realistically I think this is a D that will give JG a lot of trouble. No time and small windows. Supporting cast isn’t strong enough. I think the Jags will win this one pretty comfortably.

      1. He was a little shaky looking early on, but I agree he deserves another year. Will be interesting to see where Fangio calls his home next year. If I were the Packers, I’d get him on the phone….

    1. Niners have given up big points by teams with good Os – Rams, Cowboys, Eagles; and I think the Rams are going to drop another 35+ pts. on them in the last game. I think Saleh’s done a mediocre job, thought definitely better than the last 2 D coordinators.

  17. I hate to say it, but I think Jimmy Grapes sees his first loss.
    Jags are loaded we are not and if we even have a shot at th end it will be a win for me. Because next season we should have some more talent in key spots.

      1. I predict the 49ers win this game. Jags record on the left coast is miserable, plus they gave the 49ers bulletin board material. In addition, Shanny is very familiar with their defensive scheme….

          1. Got a better executioner behind center. Quick processing and release should nullify many of those DE’s coming around the corner, along with some off tackle runs….

        1. What approach do you think Shanny will take to counter the Jags D?
          My feeling is that with JimmyG taking an increasing command of the offense, we may see more hurry-up offense, including some no-huddle plays. Lining up and playing straight up would destroy the O line and give JimmyG less than 2 seconds routinely. Will probably a health dose of bunch formations. They have to be careful with quick crossers and slants since the DBs will be expecting it. I think JimmyG will push the ball downfield at every opportunity created by scheme, and will take chances. So an interception may happen. It will be another close game.

            1. Ha, ha. Happy Festivus, Razor!
              I think Grant and some others here are preparing for a post-Festivus “Airing of the Grievances” tomorrow after the Niners lose.

          1. Actually, I’m expecting a conservative gameplan. A lot of runs and short drops. I don’t expect Kyle to leave Jimmy exposed to the Jag’s pass rush.

            1. I’m closer to you on this 49. I do think we’ll try to push the ball downfield some, but for the most part, we will have an approach that is similar to the one we used in the first Seattle game.

              Hyde will be key. We have to establish the run. Jacksonville has given up 74 receptions to RBs. Hyde picking up chunks on the ground and getting yardage on screens will lead to manageable 3rd downs.

          2. I think Hyde will have at least 5 receptions. With Celek time banged up, I see Kittle making a bigger impact. Juice will have 2 or 3 receptions.

            This will be a tough matchup for Goodwin. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kittle or Hyde is our leading receiver. Bourne is my sleeper pick.

  18. Here’s what Grant said on 28 April 2014 concerning QBs in the 2014 draft…

    Jim Harbaugh says David Fales is a top-five quarterback prospect in the upcoming draft. I agree with Harbaugh. Here is my full top-five list. Please leave yours’ as well.

    1. Blake Bortles, UCF
    2. David Fales, San Jose State
    3. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
    4. Derek Carr, Fresno State
    5. Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois

    1. Here’s what Gil had to say after ranking Jimmy 6th out of 14 young QB’s to build around:

      What Garoppolo — who will turn 27 next November — has accomplished in the last three weeks leads me to believe he’s the kind of quarterback who can take you to the Super Bowl. To win three games in a row while posting nearly 9 yards per attempt on a team that is average at best is very, very good. He doesn’t have any demonstrable weaknesses, really. He’s not as athletic as most of the quarterbacks ranked ahead of him here, and the body of work he’s put forth so far is relatively limited. But he’s the best quarterback of the 2014 class and should keep San Francisco on the right track

  19. Jeff Fischer is the snake oil salesman of NFL HC’s. In his campaign to get another interview for a HC’ing job, he claims the Rams success is due in part to the way he left them….

    1. more like a claim of “I’m responsible for the Lambs having success now” was the gist…
      too bad Fischer and his O staff couldn’t figure out what to do with the players they’d drafted so “artfully”…

  20. Should be an interesting game tomorrow though it’s obvious the Niners will have their hands more than full. The Jags are definitely a SB contender. Anytime you have the best defense and the best running game, your going to be highly successful in this league. If Bortles continues to play mistake free football, they could do some major damage in the playoffs. As for tomorrow, the Niners HAVE to establish a running game, which at least statistically speaking, is the Jags defensive weakness, though stats are often deceiving. Regardless, I’d like to just see the team be competitive, play mistake free, run the rock, and come out of the game healthy, especially JG. As a wagerer, I’m taking the Jags to cover the -4 and the under (42).

    JAX 27 SF 13

    I agree with Grant that 5-10 starts is not enough to anoint JG the “Franchise” QB, or whatever the label is. When did they start calling players franchise, cornerstone, and anything else? Pretty soon were gonna call them “Franchise cornerstone gold plated, silver lined with a cherry on top”! I think the smart business move is to franchise tag JG and give him all of next season to show what he’s got over the long haul of a season before giving him the farm. If he has a decent agent, I’m sure they are expecting that and shouldn’t be insulted. The money will be pretty darn good. 50-60 games though. That’s a bit much Grant.

    1. It’s quite a good breakdown. It shows how Goodwin has developed from a 9 route runner to being quite a good route runner in the short to intermediate area. He still has some flaws to his game – notably drops and he can get pushed around by the DB if he doesn’t get a clean release – but overall his success the past few weeks appears to be more than a fluke.

    1. I’m taking the Niners cause JKV for sure thinks this is a gimmie game, and they have to travel cross country.
      And the Jimmy G factor.

      Niners 19
      Jags 14

      1. … and It’s almost Christmas.

        Better looking QB: (not even close) advantage 49ers
        Uniforms colors: advantage 49ers
        Home Field: push

        Prediction: 49ers 35 to 10 (7 points to Jaguars at garbage time)
        hey babe, is the eggnog spiked yet?

  21. 35-10 St. Louis? Hell with the eggnog!! If that happens, I might have to break out the bong! It’s been quite a while so I might have to call on Seb to give me some instruction!

    1. LOL, Juan!
      If that happens, we might see Lynch on the field at the 2 minute warning with HIS bong, white powder under his nose, and Marathe in tow with a blank check.

  22. Watching Frank Gore today. HoF for sure. 5th all time in rushing yards… far.
    IMO Roger Craig should be there already.
    Two completely different running styles, but really effective. And Frank has had a handicap, since his legs were gone 5-6 years ago

    1. Yeah, makes me sick to think that Craig is running out of time, and likely won’t get in.
      Probably not what you were referring to, but that distinctive high-step was impossible to not get excited about.
      He’s got to be getting close to the “Senior Committee” eligibility I think?

      1. Frank sets up his blocks and shows patience. Roger used to say something like
        -I don’t have time to think, I just try to get through and past the biggest guys. -The high knees avoided big guys down low, made it hard for LBs and intimidating for DBs. For a few years running John Madden called him the best all around back. Shoulda made HoF.

    1. A blocked punt would be nice too. Special teams is the Jaguars achilles heel.

      Not all the blame for the Jaguars’ loss can be laid upon Myers. Pretty much every part of the special teams was terrible in its own way. Brad Nortman has his punt blocked and returned by Malcolm Brown for an eight-yard TD, and at the beginning of the game, Jacksonville allowed Pharoh Cooper to return a kickoff 103 yards for a score. Everyone in that unit must be feeling as great today as Myers.

    1. Remember his offense?
      WR in slow motion towards the scrum, then everybody on both teams converges at the 5 Hole and the play nets minus 2.
      Not a big demand for that. Worst since Pete McCulley.

            1. as if Mad Mike’s dropping the pants rant wasn’t enough of a warning for us…
              Jimmy Raye as OC….wow….
              and the priceless look Mike shot at Martz when it was time to pull J.T.O., starting the brief career of 49ers legend Shaun Hill….

              these and other fan fav’s on today’s latest “Memories of Mike– no not Nolan, the other one”

  23. Drafting Impact Players, 49ers–NFL 2018 Draft

    Win Or Lose – Poem by Abby Bilan

    The way how I compete,
    I promise, I’ll compete.
    All it’s challenge,
    Sure I’ll acknowledge.

    Will be win or lose,
    It’s not an excuse
    To back out,
    Never I’ll shout.

    The way I lose,
    Never I choose.
    Win is the other name,
    So always in fame.

    I am win,
    Even not thin.
    To be me is my pleasure,
    I ensure.

    So win or lose,
    Win is ever I choose.
    Lose is where I’ve been,
    Win will never be seen.
    Sure win or lose,
    Never I choose.

    1. 1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, USC QB: Darnold has hinted at staying, but if he comes out, the Browns have to use the pick on a quarterback.

      2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, UCLA QB: Rosen vs. Darnold will be an interesting debate. The UCLA quarterback might be wired to better succeed in New York than Darnold.

      3. Indianapolis Colts: Connor Williams, Texas T: For the Colts, it’s simple: They must do a better job of protecting Andrew Luck, provided he can return in 2018. As long as Williams can stay healthy, he’ll be a top draft pick.

      4. San Francisco 49ers: Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB: With Jimmy Garoppolo looking like the quarterback of the future, San Francisco can draft the best player available, which is the superstar running back from Penn State.

        1. Wouldn’t this be something Prime? The 49ers acquire their QB of the future prior to the trade deadline, thus facilitating a strong finish to their season, and still get the 2018 draft’s most talented player. Wowza!

      1. In this scenario, Colts take Chubb, or maybe BigMac the ND OT. Significant chance Williams is not the 1st OT, which could work wonders for a Lynch trade back still Top 10-12. Elway will resist trade up until 11:59:59, but may cave.
        Williams’ Meds at Combine will be yuge.
        What’s your early take on Key and Chubb? They might have to select at 4/5.

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