These 2 teams have only met twice in their history. While Jacksonville won the first nail biter at a score of 10-9 at home. The 49ers won the last meeting by a more lopsided score of 20-3. Both are coming into London on different tempos. Jacksonville in undefeated, well at losing and the 49ers enter on a 4 game winning streak with a defense that is not giving in. Jaguars are looking to QB Chad Henne to right their offense, while still waiting on RB Maurice Jones-Drew and WR Justin Blackmon to establish himself into the offense. The 49ers have a fluid offensive attack with QB Colin Kaepernick and RB Frank Gore leading the push. A healthy TE Vernon Davis and crafty veteran Anquan Boldin on the outside to solidify the receiving core, but they do have help on the way in the next few weeks. It is pretty easy to say that the 49ers are riding into this one on a high horse.
Ever since Henne stepped in for second year QB Blaine Gabbert the Jaguars offense has raised itself ever so slightly. Still carrying a 32nd ranked rushing attack does not bode well against the 49ers tough defensive unit. Jaguars enter the game averaging 282 YPG, 219 through the air and only a mere 63 on the ground. Yeah, 63! If the 49ers defense was not licking their chops before, they should be now. The 49ers on the other hand average a more balanced offense at 335 YPG, 192 passing and 143 rushing. Still not exactly what coach Greg Roman was hoping from his offensive unit, but it is making the strides to return to form.
The defensive side of the ball has been the 49ers strong suit. They bolster the 6th ranked defense in the NFL, while Jacksonville is more around the 30s. San Francisco allows and average 326 YPG, 219 passing and 107 rushing. Not to par with last season, but still not to far behind for having half the unit missing practice with injuries. Not to mention the Aldon Smith dilemma. Jacksonville gives up almost 400 yards a game and have a reeling defensive unit who had a pretty solid game versus the Denver Broncos, but again fell apart against the San Diego Chargers. 49ers defense has been very good as of late and with the reinforcements on the way look for today to be the same.
Again the 49ers have had a pretty solid year special teams wise, not allowing a TD yet this year. While Jacksonville has hung in there. Kind of hard to look at to many stats when the Jaguars only average 10 points a game. All these units have to do is keep the other team in a relatively good spot, field position wise and they should both remain about even. Barring a return TD or field goal fest.
My thoughts are like most Niners fans. They should walk all over these guys, but Jacksonville is a professional team and should never be taken lightly. If all follows suit and the 49ers do roll. Expect Kaepernick and Gore to have monster days. With the 49ers defense only giving up a couple, if that.
Prediction- 49ers 31 – Jaguars 3