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14 dominant observations from the 49ers win over the Jaguars

Marc Adams
Nov 22, 2021 at 11:10 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers have won two games in a row. On Sunday, they dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars, beating them 30-10. What was so impressive was that the 49ers did this on the east coast, during the early time slot, following a Monday night game. West coast teams, traveling east for games, normally win only about half the time, which is understandable. But west coast teams traveling east, and playing the early game, tend to lose more than they win. And for teams that just played on Monday night, it's even worse.

But the 49ers overcame those obstacles and showed who the better team was right from the start, with the NFL's longest drive of 2021 to open the game. Here are my 14 observations from the 49ers dominant win over the Jaguars.

  • The 49ers opened the game with a 20 play, 87 yard drive, and burned 13:05 off the clock—but then settled for a field goal. I didn't like the decision to kick a field goal there. If you go for it and don't make it, you've at least put a bad Jacksonville offense right near the goal line. It doesn't really matter, because the 49ers won big. But I still wasn't crazy about the decision.
  • That said, what an opening drive! It was death by a thousand papercuts. No big plays, just small chunks that wore out the Jags defense before the game had hardly begun. And it ended up being the longest drive (as far as time) the NFL has seen this season.
  • The 49ers used so much clock early on, paired with Jacksonville doing nothing on offense, that the score was 17-0 before the Jaguars had run their fifth play. That's dominant in just about every fashion.
  • Forget being one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Deebo Samuel is quickly becoming one of the best all-around players in the NFL. Every week, he seems to get better.
  • Speaking of Samuel, he only had one catch for 15 yards. But he did have eight rushes for 79 yards and a touchdown. What will he do next? Throw for 300 yards? Maybe play linebacker? I can see him picking off a Russel Wilson pass and taking it back for a touchdown.
  • Josh Norman is bad at covering receivers. But he is good at forcing fumbles. He leads the league with six forced fumbles, and he hasn't even played the entire season. Maybe I should considering letting up on him. Nah.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo had his fourth really good game in a row. He is showing great leadership and playing at a high level right now.

  • Over his last four games, Garoppolo is 76-109 (70%), 1,006 yards, six touchdowns, one interception (no lost fumbles), and a 113.17 passer rating.

  • Garoppolo also eclipsed 10,000 yards passing in his career.

  • The 49ers have found their identity, and their rhythm. They are back to running the ball. But it's not just the effectiveness of the run game that's been so important, it's the fact that they are sticking with it for the entire game. Kyle Shanahan is on a roll.
  • Brandon Aiyuk has really turned things around. Through the 49ers' first six games, the second year receiver had caught only nine passes for 96 yards and one touchdown. Since his meeting with Shanahan, Aiyuk has caught 20 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Sunday was another strong outing. He had seven catches for 85 yards and one touchdown.
  • Nick Bosa had two more sacks. Yawn. What else is new? He now has 10 sacks in 10 games. And he's accomplished this in spite of being double-teamed, held and choked on every play.
  • Jaylon Moore didn't have a very good game. He ended up getting benched in favor of Tom Compton. Yikes! San Francisco needs to figure out right tackle.
  • Jauan Jennings may not be much of a threat in the pass game, but he is a great blocker. On Sunday, he had an 88.8 run blocking grade. Per Jeff Deeney, it was the highest blocking grade for a 49ers receiver since 2019.

Next Sunday is a big game. The Minnesota Vikings, who are playing really well, are coming to Levi's Stadium. The 49ers will be battling the Vikings down the stretch for a playoff spot. A win over Minnesota could go a long way in getting the 49ers into the postseason.
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