Game Preview: 49ers vs Jaguars
The San Francisco 49ers have found their identity, and its in the form of Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo has been the first quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger to win his first 5 starts. That is an impressive accomplishment, but Garoppolo has done more than just win games. He has been a leader for this team. If you haven’t already listened to Jimmy Garoppolo mic’d up, then I’d advise it. It shows just how keen his football IQ is and how much of a leader he is for this team.
Garoppolo’s stats last three games:
– Second in passing yards
– Second in yards per attempt
– Second in first downs
– Fourth in quarterback rating (QBR)
– Tied for first in wins
This week’s challenge
The 49ers face a tough game versus a very dominant Jaguars team. The Jaguars are looking to clench a first-round bye during the playoffs. The only way of doing that is to win out and hope the other top AFC teams lose.
The Jaguars have one of the best defenses in the league right now and have been very disruptive in all areas of the field. This will pose great difficulty for the 49ers to successfully drive down the field and score. This will be the hardest team Garoppolo has faced so far in his career. A win against the Jaguars will show the fans and front office just how much potential he has. Garoppolo is expected to do as he has in the past weeks and drive down the field. He can very much keep the 49ers in a close one to the Jaguars, but he will ultimately fall short.
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Keys to win
The Jaguars defense is at the top of almost every statistical category imaginable, which makes it hard to find weaknesses in their game. However, they are ranked 19th in rush defense this year. If the 49ers can establish the run game early and right off the bat. Once they are successful at doing that they might be able to open room for the play action pass, a spot Garoppolo has had a lot of success in. Unfortunately, the running game is one area where the 49ers have struggled to get going the past few weeks. After having their top rusher only rush for 25 yards on 16 carries versus a Titans defense that isn’t very dominant versus the run, this may be very hard for the 49ers to accomplish.
As a football fan, this has to be one of the most exciting game of the week. You have the red-hot 49ers playing against one of the most dominant defenses in the NFL. How could you not be excited? Like I said above, this will be a challenge for the 49ers, however I expect them to keep the game close.