52 degrees / cloudy
Key Decision #1: (SF trails 19-16 / 1st & 10 JAX 26 / 8:41 Q3)
- This game started out strangely as San Francisco took a commanding 16-0 lead, and were lining up for a PAT kick, when the Jaguars blocked the try and returned it for a two-point play. The Jaguars then reeled off 17 straight points for a 19-16 lead when the 49ers intercepted Jaguars QB Blake Bortles.
- Since QB Jimmy Garoppolo took over the starting quarterback job, the 49ers had been moving the ball efficiently but were struggling scoring TDs. This was a key series, and Garoppolo converted a key 3rd down play call to rookie TE George Kittle for the go-ahead score. The 49ers now led 23-17.
Key Decision #2: (SF leads 23-19 / 3rd & goal JAX 5 / 10:42 Q4)
- San Francisco Head Coach Kyle Shanahan knows he now has a quarterback who can throw accurately on the move, and on this play, he put Garoppolo on the move, and he delivered a TD pass rolling to his left and throwing back to his right. Shanahan is showing a lot of early trust in his new quarterback, but on this play call, Garoppolo delivered.
- While the Jaguars lost, they showed a lot of grit coming from down 16-2 early, to actually taking a 19-16 lead. However, they have to show more poise as a number of untimely penalties helped San Francisco extend drives.
- Even though QB Blake Bortles threw three interceptions, he has been playing much better lately and the Jaguars staff deserves much of the credit. Bortles has been throwing to a crew of young wide receivers forced to play because of injuries, and they’ve played well.
- Shanahan’s game plan was superb; he had Jacksonville off balance all game long with lots of boot legs, jet sweep looks, and other misdirection play designs.
- Shanahan also has done well by only asking his players to do what they do best. He’s properly utilizing his personnel, and that’s why he’s gotten great contributions from rookies such as RB Matt Breida, TE George Kittle, and WR Trent Taylor. He also wasn’t hesitant to pull struggling CB Dontae Johnson, notwithstanding Johnson’s “pick six” of Bortles.
- Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone continues to get outstanding play from his special teams, led by Special Teams coach Joe DeCamillis. In this game, they blocked a PAT try and returned it for two points.
- When ahead 37-19 in the 4th quarter, the 49ers were sloppy in protecting the lead. They’ll have to clean that up in order to continue to improve; it seemed as if they felt the Jaguars would quit playing – but Jacksonville continued to play hard.