After watching the Jaguars throughout the morning and into the afternoon, it’s hard to fathom how the Broncos only beat them by 16 points. The 49ers said all the right things about Jacksonville (and then some) leading up to this contest, but the game ended up being not much of one. The 49ers jumped out to a 28-0 lead after a little less than 1.5 quarters, and cruised from there.
The 49ers only attempted 17 passes in this game, one by Colt McCoy, and Colin Kaepernick ended the game healthy. That says it all, really. The 49ers ran on 54% of their offensive plays coming into this game. Today they ran 38 times (69%). They rushed for 221 yards as a team, with Kaepernick and Frank Gore combining for four rushing touchdowns.
The highlight play of the four was a designed quarterback keeper from 12 yards out. Kaepernick received two great blocks — one from Gore on linebacker Geno Hayes, and Joe Staley absolutely squashed an unfortunate cornerback named Dwayne Gratz.
Gore’s 71 rushing yards moved him to 30th all time with 9,457 (four yards ahead of Shaun Alexander). The two scoring runs put him at 58 touchdowns in his career, tying him with Jamal Lewis and Mike Alstott for 47th in NFL history. And that concludes this week’s edition of “Frank Gore inches toward the Hall of Fame.”
This game wasn’t much of an advertisement for NFL football, but the 49ers don’t care. They head into the bye week at 6-2, and they escaped London without sustaining any major injuries (unless something went unreported). Yet, although the score was a pretty accurate indication of how this game went, the 49ers were left with a few things to stew over during their extra time away from the field.
- No sacks or quarterback hits for the defense.
- Tramaine Brock almost came up with his fourth interception (Justin Blackmon knocked the ball out of his hands), but soon after Brock was thinking interception and jumped Mike Brown’s route. The result was Jacksonville’s first “home” touchdown of the season.
- Gore lost a fumble for the second time this season, although that play seemed doomed from the moment Kaepernick bobbled the snap.
- Kyle Williams looked like he was in “return everything” mode after all the talk about his league-leading 146 fair catches (estimated). While one has to commend Williams for working on breaking that habit, he mishandled a kickoff and a punt. Williams also caught a kickoff that was probably going to wind up out of bounds before reaching the end zone, and his momentum took him out of bounds. Anthony Dixon (who was mentioned as a potential trade candidate earlier in the day by Ian Rapoport) got a shot later, and he had a kickoff return for 47 yards.
That’s pretty much it for nits to pick. The 49ers flew across the Atlantic and faced a winless team and won by 32 points. They scored more than 30 for the fifth straight game, tying a team record according to 49ers PR Director Bob Lange. The secondary completely stifled Jacksonville’s most dynamic player, Justin Blackmon, and Maurice Jones-Drew had a 30-yard carry and not much else.
Over the next couple weeks the 49ers will rest, heal and probably make some roster moves. Mario Manningham will probably be back when the 49ers host the Carolina Panthers, and he could be joined on the 53-man by Eric Wright and Tank Carradine. The trade deadline is Oct. 29 at 1 pm, so there’s still a chance for that Anthony Dixon for Josh Gordon trade we’re all waiting for to finally happen. In actuality the 49ers will probably stand pat, content to reinforce the team from within and continue improving as a team as they get ready to face one of the league’s best defense’s (Carolina) and two of the NFL’s best teams (New Orleans and Seattle) in the season’s second half.