The San Francisco 49ers picked right off where they started last week, destroying the young Jacksonville Jaguars at London’s glorious Wembley stadium with majestic finesse. Everything was going the 49ers’ way in regards to fed-ex delivery (“ground and pound”), the passing game, and of course on the defensive coverage. Soon to be head coach offensive coordinator Greg Roman did a magnificent job with the schematic play-calling menu.
Almost every play on the offensive end seemed to tip the Jaguars’ young secondary in the wrong direction. Overall, the 49ers stuck to what they did best; killing the clock, committing to the run, and utilizing the great talent around this golden 49er roster. The Jaguars did have a couple of moments against the sturdy west coast offense/defense; however, it just wasn’t enough to overtake the current reigning NFC champions.
The Niners blew through the 1st half with a commanding (28-3), thanks to the touchdown contributions from (RB) Frank Gore, (TE) Vernon Davis, and even (QB) Colin Kaepernick. Gore ran a suitable 71 yards on 19 carries, which includes his 2 rushing touchdowns against a dizzy Jaguar secondary. On a side note, Kaepernick’s ability to play-call has blossomed, much like the previous 49er (QB) Alex Smith. The 6’4 (230 lb) play-caller from the University of Nevada has now developed a full rapport with his O-line, orchestrating the offense with full resplendent confidence.
(RB) Kendall Hunter also put up a stunning 84 yards on just 9 carries, setting up Gore for the easy walk-in TD in the 3rd quarter. In this game, Kaepernick literally looked like a legitimate premiere running-back rushing for 54 yards on 7 carries and recording 2 impressive “Kaepernicking” touchdowns. His legs definitely played a huge role in the first 30:00 minutes, especially when the Jaguars were only fully focusing on man-to-man coverage. Davis wasn’t the only (WR) who made an impact in the aerial attack, but the athletic (WR) Anquan Boldin also chipped in a bit of chunk yardage with +50 yards on 4 receptions. Furthermore, swiss army knife (FB) Bruce Miller also added significant (+) yardage against the defenseless Jaguars. The 49er rock distribution opened up many opportunistic windows for the gritty offensive line.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and his secondary unit did a tremendous job on defensive coverage, as usual (what’s new?). (CB) Tramaine Brock almost had his 4th interception of the regular season, when (QB) Chad Henne threw an intended pass to one of his trusted receivers, (WR) Justin Blackmon. Amazingly, the 49ers’ defensive front couldn’t get to Henne; lacking that explosive play-maker (OLB) Aldon Smith. Despite not sacking the quarterback for any negative yardage, the Niners were still able to deliver exceptional pressure in the pocket. (ILB) Patrick Willis made another sensational “play” nearing the end of the 4th quarter, forcing the fumble out of (TE) Marcedes Lewis’s hands, and having (LB/ST) Dan Skuta returning the rock for a 47-yard touchdown to seal the deal.
The special teams unit played to their strengths, keeping the kick-returners in the 20-yard territory; for the most part. Unfortunately, they did allow a 47-yard kick return from one of the Jaguar’s returners. If it weren’t for special teams’ captain (ST/S) C.J. Spillman making the tackle, it would’ve been another easy six for Jacksonville. (WR) Kyle Williams has been absolutely abysmal at the return game, fumbling most of his possessions and calling fair catches on numerous occasions. In fact, he just called his 20th fair catch of the (2013-2014) season; the most in the NFL league today. Ever since his NFC Championship punt-return mishap against the giants in 2012, it was questionable on whether or not he would still be playing for this 49er organization.
It seems as if William’s old costly habits are coming back on the field, the coaching staff needs to seriously keep an eye out on his progress during the bye week. This will help determine whether or not he will be a permanent kick/punt returner for the “red” and “gold”. After Anthony Dixon’s 47-yard kick return in the 4th quarter, it is a complete given that there are other reliable alternatives at the punt/return position. Splitting the rock between Dixon and Oregon Duck (RB) LaMichael James would be an excellent auxiliary tandem to support the returning game.
The 49ers have now won their fifth consecutive win of the regular season. After the bye week, they will face two competitive ball clubs consisting of the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints. The next couple of games will truly test the 49ers’ ability to its fullest potential. Hopefully, sack-master Aldon Smith will be back after week 9 to face the charismatic (QB) Cam Newton. Finally, with (WR) Mario Manningham possibly being activated on week 10 against the Panthers and (WR) Michael Crabtree being available in mid to late November; the 49ers will be at their very best to reclaim their NFC title for a second straight year.
These Niners have earned their well-deserved “bye” week.