Monday, November 28, 2022

The 49ers’ 5 Keys to Avoiding a Letdown Against the Jacksonville Jaguars

The 49ers' 5 Keys to Avoiding a Letdown Against the Jacksonville Jaguars

The 49ers scrambled in front of a nine to 4-5 record. There are eight games left for the inevitable playoff push.

Indispensable? Yes. And they’re better off making it right away.

The 49ers’ schedule sets up for a quick move into wild-card contention. This assumes they form 31–10 on Monday night, building a physically dominant route to the Los Angeles Rams.

Next comes the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, who are 2-7 but have more home wins this season (two) than the 49ers (one). A defeat would soon humble the 49ers once again.

Before digging into that matchup, take a look at the 49ers’ horizon: November 28 versus the Vikings (4-5), December 5 at the Seahawks (3-6), December 12 at Bengals (5-4) and December 19 Vs Falcons (4-5).

“We don’t want to lose anymore,” said tight end George Kittel. “We’re in a good position. We still have a chance to take control of our season, so we don’t want to lose again, and the team came out this week and had a great week of practice.

Here are five ways the 49ers should conquer the Jaguar:

1. Don’t underestimate them

A month earlier, the Jaguars were grieving their 20th consecutive loss and first-year coach Urban Mayer was apologizing for his bar-room layover in Ohio.

Since then, they have won their upcoming two home games 23–20 over the Miami Dolphins and 9–6 against the AFC ex-leading Buffalo Bills.

This leads to the fact that the 49ers have never won in Jacksonville, nor the seven other current NFL stadiums. (The 49ers lost out on the 1999 and 2005 tours, and in 2013 defeated the host Jaguars in London.)

“You can’t go out thinking, ‘Oh, I’m in Florida. Cold. Nice weather,'” said security Jimmy Ward. “No, we’ll lay an egg if we go there taking that team lightly .

“I don’t think that’s on the agenda for me or my teammates. We’re going to go down there and take over the business on this trip.”

There is an inherent danger of going cross country for kickoff at 10 a.m. on a short week (after Monday night’s game), regardless of records and streaks. There’s no body-clock adjustment with a West Virginia or Ohio layover, and don’t dismiss the weather factor: 78-percent humidity (75 degrees).

2. Avoid Identity Theft

What made Monday so different from the 49ers’ 44-carry ground game compared to previous run-oriented wins is that the offense converged so well on the third-down pass. So, it doesn’t run all the time.

“We have always identified ourselves as a heavy offense and use it as a form of play-action,” Williams said. “Any time we can move the chains, an average of 3 or 4 yards, that’s us, that’s 49ers football.”

The Jaguars’ run defense is allowing 3.89 yards per carry, the fifth-lowest mark in the NFL and the franchise’s lowest since 2015.

Jeff Wilson Jr. will likely make his first start of the season after a modest start on Monday (10 carries, 27 yards), in which he also split time as a fullback. Wilson ran for 112 yards and three touchdowns, the last time the 49ers played an East Coast game without a layover – New England’s 2020 win.

Elijah Mitchell’s surgery for a fractured finger on Tuesday will likely sideline 49ers chief Rush. He puts fellow rookie Trey Preach on the call, though he hasn’t had the last four games and only 30 all year. Why is it like this? Shanahan said, “They had a chance when they got hurt, but those guys came back and we still have those guys.”

Other options: all-around catalyst Deebo Samuel, fullback (and third-down option) Kyle Juszcic, and, if an emergency, special-team ace Trenton Cannon.

3. Stop Running

Jaguars lead runner James Robinson (knee, healed) did not practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday, but assuming he plays, the 49ers should be prepared to stop him, especially at the goal line (six touchdowns). Near. DJ Jones, Eric Armstead, Kentavius ​​Street and Kevin Givens must be a wall.

Former 49er Carlos Hyde, who is limited by a shoulder injury, is the Jaguars’ backup (56 carries, 211 yards, no touchdowns).

If the 49ers can stop the running lane and repeat Monday night’s definitive tackle, they’ll force No. 1 drafter Trevor Lawrence to broadcast it. Lawrence is completing just 58 percent of his throws with eight touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He has only five touchdown passes in the last eight matches.

And when it comes to the 49ers’ pass defense, it’s worth noting that the Jaguars have pulled out only three pass-interference penalties against their opponents. DJ Chark broke his ankle in Week 3, and the Jaguars’ receiving efforts are led by Cal product Marvin Jones (38 catches on 66 goals, 434 yards, three touchdowns).

4. Better pass rusher?

In 2019, the 49ers were drafting No. 2 overall, and “when we’re out there, we’re always on the lookout for pass rushers,” Shanahan recalled. “We felt very strong about the top two guys in the draft.”

They would be Nick Bossa, the 49ers’ pick and final NFL rookie of the year, and Josh Allen, the Jaguars’ pick at No.

With 5 साढ़े sacks this season, Allen has 18 1/2 sacks through 35 career games. Second best start in Jaguar history (Yanik Ngakou, 20; 2016-17). Bossa’s eight sacks this season have given him 17 of 27 career games, having missed 14 games last season with a knee injury.

Allen has the toughest job in the game, matching left tackle Trent Williams, who is as effective a year as 49ers general manager John Lynch said he has seen. Troubled by the Bills two weeks ago at home to the Jaguars, Allen had a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery and a career-high eight tackles. His repeat: 10 quarterbacks under pressure in Sunday’s 23-17 loss at Indianapolis.

“He’s a player’s cat, man. He really is,” Jimmy Garoppolo said of Allen. “He’s got a lot of speed from edge to edge on that defense, but just Josh, he’s impressive.”

Added Shanahan about that 2019 draft: “We were real high on Josh, but we were a little high on Nick.”

5. Garopolo in a groove

Garopolo is on a three-game spree, each with a passer rating of over 100. He’s been impressively efficient, and in the 49ers’ two victories, he hasn’t traded.

With this stretch, he likely hasn’t seen his shoulder supplanted by rookie Trey Lance, who is perfectly healthy but hasn’t played since a knee sprained on his debut in Arizona last month.

Making Garoppolo’s Job Easier: Getting More Shotgun Snaps, and Healthy Triumphs of Samuel, George Kittel, and Brandon Ayuk.

The Garoppolo 49ers are 16-4 at the start of the road, including 3-0 marks in Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago this season.

They contributed to their first home win this season by finishing third, converting a trio into Kittle that survived (and completed) an 18-play opening drive. Even more synchronicity was revealed on Garoppolo’s fourth and -6, 40-yard touchdown pass to Samuel.

Offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel said, “There’s a rhythm and timing to everything and that’s why you’re working on similar concepts from OTA, so you have the ability to take someone out of a break.”

“With Jimmy and Deebo, they are very comfortable with that drama, in particular,” McDaniel said. “It was at its finest in a crucial moment. There are a lot of hours between them and our offense in general. That’s what it looks like when it gets fixed.”

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