|Date:||November 29nd, 2009
||Location:||San Francisco, CA
|Time:||4:15 PM EST
||Sunny, mid 50's
|SBN Coverage:||Niners Nation||Coverage Map
Well, this is it guys. Tim Tebow's final home game. Standing in his way is a dilapidated Seminole team that is a shell of the 90's powerhouse. Oh wait, there's another football game this weekend involving a team from Northeast Florida? Could've fooled me.
The Jaguars make their second trip out west this season to take on a fast sinking 49ers team. After starting the year 3-1, Mike Singletary's bunch has lost five of their last six. In addition, they can thank Jay Cutler for their 10-6 win over Chicago a few weeks ago.
The similiarities between Singletary and Jack Del Rio are striking on the surface. Both are ex-Pro Bowl linebackers who worked their way up the ranks before becoming head coaches. Both want their teams to run the ball, stop the run, and punch the other team in the mouth. And both have issues with getting the most out of their teams on a consistent basis.
Will the Jaguars get to 7-4 or will they have another bad west coast trip?
Jaguars Offense vs 49ers Defense
The 49ers rank 30th in the NFL against the pass, giving up 256 yards a game. Despite signing Nate Clements to the richest defensive contract in NFL history, the 49ers only have six interceptions this year off QBs not named Jay Cutler. The 49ers also rank 22nd in the NFL in sacks. Perhaps the most chilling stat for the 49ers is that their pass defense has gotten worse over that six game span. The team has given up 286 yards a game, including four 300 yard games.
Needless to say, statistically this should prove to be a good day for David Garrard and the Jaguars WR corp. Mike Sims-Walker has been favoring a hamstring injury, but practiced all week. However, I sat here last week and said Maurice Jones-Drew would get 200 yards and 4 TDs against the Bills run defense.
Where the 49ers defense excels is against the run. Led by All-World MLB Patrick Willis, the 49ers are 6th in the NFL against the run. In addition, they are tied for second for the lowest per carry average, 3.4 yards.
The offensive line will need to play much better than the siv they were against the Bills. The rock solid line that rose to the occassion against the Jets needs to make another appearence if the Jaguars want to win.
Maurice Jones-Drew needs just 74 yards to hit 1,000 and 2 touchdowns to set the franchise record for rushing TDs. I say he breaks 1,000 and ties the franchise record this week, before breaking it next week vs Houston.
Jaguars Defense vs 49ers Offense
The Alex Smith experiment returns for an encore performance against the Jaguars. Since replacing Shaun Hill in Week 7 of the regular season, Smith has put up respectable numbers in 2009. Smith boasts a 81.5 QB rating this year, a far cry from his career average of 66.5.
The 49ers passing offense flows through All-Pro Tight End Vernon Davis. Davis is easily the team's leading receiver with 51 receptions, 601 yards, and 8 touchdowns. The Jaguars have never done well against receiving tight ends (see Clark, Dallas) so it will be a challenge to keep Davis contained.
The most talked about player in the 1st round this fear was WR Michal Crabtree. Since Crabtree finally signed with the team he has put up ok numbers, but nothing mind blowing. All I can say is that I'm much happier seeing him on the opposing sideline this week.
Since the Jaguars have returned to the 4-3 defense, the returns have been excellent. Discouting the big play to Terrell Owens, the Jaguars limited the Bills to just 250 yards of offense last week. Derrick Harvey's continued growth is promising, though more sacks would certainly be welcomed.
Once again the Jaguars will be without Rashean Mathis. Tyron Brackenridge did a good job vs Owens despite what the numbers say, and if nothing else, at least we won't see Reggie Nelson at corner again.
Player On The Hot Seat
David Garrard, QB
The 49ers will likely sellout to stop Jones-Drew and that means David will need to be on his game on Sunday. Expect to see the Jaguars throw early and often to take advantage of the bad pass defense.