If the Jacksonville Jaguars were praising London for the team’s experience prior to the game with the San Francisco 49ers, they may have been singing a different tune after the 42-10 loss on Sunday. This was a game that was dominated by the 49ers run game and a Jaguars defense that looked confused most of the afternoon.
Jacksonville now takes a 0-8 record into their bye week with many questions left to answer.
A swarming defense by the 49ers and more points off of take-aways also did the Jaguars in. Now, head coach Gus Bradley and his staff now has two weeks off to prepare the team for a divisional road game against Tennessee.
If you watched this game on television, you got the feeling this was a barrage from the opening play. Even the announcers appeared to be pro-49ers, talking about their vast superiority from the beginning of the show. Everywhere you turned; Chris Meyers gushed about the NFC champions and could not forget to mention the ills of a team that was winless. It made for an interesting afternoon.
It had a feel of a 1990s Super Bowl game where the NFC just dominated the AFC in every category. This is a team still searching for an identity. Here is what we learned from Sunday’s game.
Maurice Jones-Drew made a statement
The “leader” of the Jaguars is perceived as a malcontent. To a point, the media is right. But you cannot argue that the player this team most identifies with showed he was willing to “will” this team to a victory with his legs and his catches.
Jones-Drew had 75 yards rushing and 47 yards receiving and looked like he took a more active role in the offense this week. While the Jaguars seemed to abandon the run in weeks past, Jacksonville embraced it and used it to set up the pass this week.
The Jaguars also tried using Justin Forsett and Denard Robinson more in the running game to keep San Francisco off balanced as much as possible.
Some receiving success
Mike Brown did not have the break-out game like he did last week, but did score the team’s only offensive touchdown.
The Jaguars third receiver is making a name for himself with Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon getting the bulk of the passes in the Jaguars’ offense. Shorts still had seven catches in the game to lead the team. Blackmon has been a non-factor the last two weeks.
If the team can find a way to consistently use three receivers in a set, it may allow Chad Henne to use more weapons in passing situations. If the offensive line holds up it we could see more impressive numbers in the season half of the season. Henne threw for 228 yards on Sunday and a touchdown, but he also did not throw an interception. He also was not sacked for the first time this season.
Dominant 49ers running game
Frank Gore just ran over the Jaguars. Colin Kaepernick helped as well. Both were responsible for the four rushing scores on the day and the 49ers proved they did not need to do much passing when they could run all day long.
San Francisco ran for 221 yards on the day with an average of 5.8 yards per carry. To add insult to injury, Kendall Hunter came on late and reeled off a 49-yard scamper and finished with 84 yards of his own to help the cause.
The credit goes to the 49ers interior line that opened huge holes for runners to “walk” through all afternoon.
No pass rush
From either side. The statistics of this game are actually deceiving, which show an even game across the board. The 49ers offense really made the difference. While Kaepernick only threw 16 passes all game, time of possession favored the Jaguars and both teams failed to gain 400 yards in total offense.
Also, the fact the teams used the run more than the pass meant the clock moved this game along. The pass rush on both sides was nonexistent. The tackles for Jacksonville, Austin Pasztor and Cameron Bradfield did a good job of pass blocking and opening holes for MJD.
Too little too late
Why it is that it takes a second half effort to see this team move the ball? Jacksonville – once it settled down moved the ball in the third and fourth quarters. Henne seems more comfortable in an up-tempo no-huddle offense and the receivers also seem to be receptive to it.
When the Jaguars slow down, plod and basically look like they are telegraphing a play that is when they make mistakes and stall in moving forward. It also means many three-and-out series. The Jaguars had two long sustaining drives that amounted to no points scored that could have made this contest 42-24, which would have been more respectable.
The Jaguars looked more efficient on fourth down than on third down throughout the game.