Well, I've only been to two Jaguar games in my life and neither one was a win. I guess this was sort of what I had expected when I first got the tickets, but the last 3 weeks gave me a hope that the Jaguars just couldn't fulfill. I'll definitely try to see them on the East coast next time, because I'm really wasting a lot of money to see the inept team that is the Pacific Time Zone Jacksonville Jaguars. On Sunday, the Jaguars were basically terrible in every aspect of the game besides stopping the run.
I can't sit here and say that the Jaguars were good at running the ball in San Francisco when they simply didn't run the ball. Early in the game, when the Jags did run the ball they would do these stretch plays sideways rather than run between the tackles. I'm really not understanding what the coaching staff saw on tape that made them think that would work. Did they really think that Patrick Willis, Manny Lawson and co. wouldn't be able to burst the gaps on those plays? When the runs between the guards finally started coming, MJD was busting off 6 and 7 yarders, but the Niners had jumped out to a 2 or 3 score lead.
It's also very frustrating for me to watch a team get in 2nd, 3rd and even 4th and short situations, only to pass the ball. Dirk, if you're not going to allow MJD to punch it one yard forward like he has proven time and again that he can do, at least allow David to lower his head and move the pile. To be honest, I don't trust David with much; however a QB sneak for one yard is something that I know he can do and he almost makes it look easy.
That's why on a 3rd & goal from the 3 late in the game I was astonished to see the Jags come out in a shotgun-4 WR set. The only rationale for this set up had to be a QB sneak from David. Spread out the defense and go straight up the gut. At the very least they'll get closer for a 4th & goal attempt. Instead the play was a quick slant mess of a play with MJD basically getting in the way of the play. This was followed up by a field goal attempt that surprised me and the 49er fans around me who also felt we should've gone for it. Unfortunately Scobee missed it, but who really cared at that point anyway?
It's embarrassing that one of the only chances I had to cheer was when Scobee made a chip shot field goal from the middle of the field. Points! was my yell when the kick went through. At least this isn't as bad as Seattle was my thought at the time. Well...it was. Let me remind you that the Jaguars had missed opportunities, yes, but the 49ers also missed out on chances to score points. A San Francisco linebacker had the easiest pick six in his life fall straight between his arms.
Now I know this rant of a post has been nothing but pessimism so far, so I'll try to lighten the mood a bit. The Jaguars are still in good shape for the playoffs and there are plenty of games left for the Jags to make it up. Lucky for the Jaguars, barring a matchup with the Chargers in the playoffs, that's it for their west coast travels. Now I just read Vic's in game blog to see his opinion about the first field goal miss by Scobee and he said there appeared to be a good hold. On Scobee's second miss he just lowered his head in disappointment, but on the first miss he raised his arms to the holder and Podlesh appeared to raise his arms in a "I don't know what just happened" way. There appeared to be some confusion between the two, so I had assumed that there was a bad snap or hold.
My players of the game for the Jaguars are John Henderson and Terrance Knighton. The middle of the defensive line was a brick wall for Frank Gore and he couldn't get anything started between the two mammoths. When the 49er fans would yell for Gore to get the ball, I would too because that's the only shot we had at stopping the offense.
Now I definitely took a healthy dose of haggling from the fans for my jersey, but the Niner fans were really nothing intimidating at all. For a team with a sell out streak for a decade or two, the crowd was a late arrival and early departure group that never really got loud. The thing that surprised me was the amount of Jaguar fans. What I presume is that the fans there were like myself. California Jaguar fans who take took the rare opportunity to see the Jaguars in state. The last time the Jaguars played a game in California was January of 2005. I sat in a section that spent a quarter and a half trying to start a wave only to fizzle out 2 sections later. It really got annoying listening to the guy at the bottom of the section countdown 3,2,1 at least 50 times and I'm honestly not exaggerating.
I apologize to Terry for the lateness of this post. Usually he has his view from the stadiums up about 3 hours after game time, but I went straight to Oakland for my 12 hour Greyhound back home. Unfortunately Greyhounds don't pick up the best internet connection.
Via Michael Wright's Twitter account - I'm in a teal MJD jersey leaning over the rail between the security guard and the Patrick Willis fan.