The San Francisco 49ers visit the Jacksonville Jaguars today for what many are calling the game of the week. Both of these teams are loaded with young talent and excellent coaching, and in this article, we will look at two players from the opposing team that both Jaguars and NFL fans should keep an eye on.
In my eyes, the most dynamic player on San Francisco’s defense is linebacker Fred Warner. At just 26 years old, Warner has cemented himself in the conversation for the best linebacker in football every year and is having another spectacular campaign. With 71 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 interceptions, Warner is off to a monster start and has been keeping offensive coordinators up at night all season long.
While Warner’s sacks are flashy, and even scarier now that Chase Young is on the team, the interceptions and his ability to disrupt the passing game are what really stand out to me. In the last game the Jaguars played, their only offensive touchdown was a pass to Travis Etienne. With Warner playing linebacker this Sunday, it will be almost impossible for that to work again.
Fred warner int vs Browns pic.twitter.com/yjkDt2a3c2— Jefferson Gibson (@rumandcokejefe) November 11, 2023
This is an instance of how Warner will be able to impact the game this Sunday. Trevor Lawrence seems to have a lot of “what the hell were you thinking?” moments, and thankfully, these instances have not cost the Jaguars games this season, as their defense holds up pretty well after these instances. Despite Jacksonville getting away with a few this season, that will not be the case against this 49ers defense. The Jaguars love to run those underneath hitch routes, and if Trevor has a mental mess-up and doesn’t see Warner, it could be a long day for this offense.
Now to the offensive side of the ball. There are some phenomenal players on this 49ers offense, with names like Christian McCaffery, Deebo Samuel, and even Trent Williams. This offense can disrupt a game in more ways than one. Despite all of this very famous talent, there is another player who flies under the radar even though he is elite at his position and arguably one of the best in the game: tight end George Kittle.
With this season about halfway over, the season for Kittle has been up and down, to say the least. There are times like the last showing, when Kittle had 9 receptions for 149 yards, or against the Cowboys, where he had 3 catches for 67 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, as I said earlier, there are ups and downs. Against the Browns, Kittle had 1 reception for 1 yard, and against the Cardinals, just 1 reception for 9 yards.
George Kittle is going to be a problem vs. the Jaguars pic.twitter.com/E1CHPKMSP8— Jefferson Gibson (@rumandcokejefe) November 11, 2023
Thankfully, this Jaguars defense has had success against top-level tight ends this season, holding Travis Kelce to just 4 receptions for 26 yards and 1 touchdown, along with Kyle Pitts getting just 2 receptions for 21 yards.
Despite that success, Kittle is a little different because of the offense he plays on. 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has so many dangerous weapons that can expand this field and attack the defense in all ways. In my opinion, what makes Kittle so dangerous is not only his talent but also the extreme talent of his teammates.
This 49ers team is clearly loaded with talent across the entire roster. Big names are littered throughout the roster, but in my opinion, two players seem to fly under the radar a little.