Well that sucked.
In a game where the Jags were looking to make a statement and jump into the upper echelon of NFL talent, the team turned the ball four times and did not manage a touchdown.
I think I am contractually obligated to include at least one winner, so here is your winner and many losers.
D’Ernest Johnson and Tim Jones
When your winner on the day is your third-string running back and blocking wide receiver, you probably did not play well.
That was the case today, where the Jags were unable to run the ball consistently for most of the game and had to try and find someone to provide a spark.
Johnson did fine with his touches, gaining a whole 12 yards on three carries. He did have a rush for over 10 that got wiped out by a penalty.
In the passing game, Johnson caught two balls for 28 yards, which was the second-best receiving performance on the day for those clad in teal. Yikes.
To Tim Jones’ credit, he caught two balls for 17 yards.
Christian Kirk did lead the team in receiving with 104 yards on six catches, but that was largely overshadowed by the score of the game and his fumble.
For most of this season, the top winner spot has been reserved for the defense. Heading into Sunday’s game, that unit led the league in takeaways.
After Sunday, the team’s takeaway total remained the exact same, as the Jags were unable to generate a turnover or stop the 49ers consistently.
It should be noted that after San Fran scored its opening touchdown in the first half, the defense buckled down and only allowed six points through the next four drives. That is a winnable strategy on most days, but not on Sunday.
Offensively, the team struggled to gain any momentum and was outgained 437-221.
Trevor Lawrence was sacked five times and threw two interceptions, one off the hands of Tank Bigsby and one that was impacted by a rusher hitting his arm.
The Jags were below average on third down (4-12) and never converted in the red zone. It was as thorough a beatdown as one could be put through.
Stopping the 49ers playmakers
This one was bad on both sides of the ball.
Starting with the defense, the Jags allowed tight end George Kittle to rattle off 116 yards and a score on three catches.
Christian McCaffrey went for over 100 all-purpose yards. Brock Purdy was sacked twice, but still only threw seven incompletions.
Offensively, Nick Bosa and Javon Hargrave each registered 1.5 sacks. Chase Young and Arik Armstead both registered a half sack.
The 49ers’ defense finished with 10 QB hits and four tackles for loss. There was simply no stopping the front of San Fran with the Jaguars’ offensive line.
The Jags had to stop someone on either side. In the end, they stopped just about no one.
Without these, the Jaguars legitimately might have had a chance in the end.
Lawrence fumbled on the team’s fourth drive, at the 46 of San Fran, but the 49ers did not run that into points. The 49ers led 10-0.
Lawrence then later hit Bigsby in the hands, which was tipped and picked, and the 49ers again did not turn that into points either. The 49ers led 20-3.
On the following possession Kirk fumbled, but this time, the 49ers scored seven plays later and took the game to 27-3.
The final nail in the coffin was Lawrence getting hit and floating a ball to Fred Warner, which the 49ers then turned into another score. That in turn took the score to 34-3.
To open the second half, the Jags threw two picks and fumbled once. They punted on their only two other drives.
Turnovers will kill you, and obviously so. Even still, the Jags did enough to negate their first two, but the offense’s ineptitude on Sunday did nothing to help right the ship and turn things around later in the game.
Losing at home
You are supposed to win at home. That is what makes sense, right?
Well, this season, the Jaguars simply have not done that. The team is 1-3 in Jacksonville, and 5-0 on the road (including the “home game” in London). Someone smarter than me has to make that make sense.
Last season, the team was 5-2 in true home games and 0-1 in the London home game. Somehow, the Jaguars have regressed when playing in the place they should play the best.
In home games this year, the team has been outscored 108-66, including today’s loss and a 37-17 loss to the Houston Texans.
Next week, the team is at home again against division rival Tennessee.
Tank Bigsby’s rookie year
I covered Tank Bigsby at Auburn from his first snap as a freshman to his final snap as a junior. I was a writer for every one of his games, and have been a huge fan of his for years. When the Jags picked him, I was elated.
In reality, he has been awful.
He cost Lawrence another interception, and his stats this season paint an alarming picture.
4 targets - 2 INTs— Ronnie T (@RonnieTee) November 12, 2023
23 rushes - 2 fumbles
27/4 = 14.8% of touches is a TO
No, he will not be cut or stashed on the bench, he will likely have to keep being played to hopefully build his confidence back up. But in all my years at Auburn watching him from the press box, he did not have this many errors in his entire career like he has had through nine games.
The win streak
This is the final dump on the Jags. The team’s win streak ends at five games, and things will start anew next week.
The silver lining in this is that last season, after going on the road and getting thumped by the Detroit Lions 40-14, the team won its next five regular season games.
That streak would have to be a bit longer this year, with eight games still to go, but it is certainly food for thought.