JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Who are the real 49ers?
Are they the team that beat their first five opponents of the 2023 NFL season and rose to the top of everyone’s power rankings?
Or is this the team that started the bye week with a lot of questions?
The 49ers certainly looked in better shape Sunday while handing the Jacksonville Jaguars a 34-3 loss at EverBank Stadium. The victory ended the 49ers’ three-game skid and ended the Jaguars’ five-game winning streak.
“We had three games that just didn’t go our way,” 49ers linebacker Fred Warner said. “We had to get back to 49er football, especially on the defensive side.
“We had to be proud of what we put on tape, and today I feel like we did that.”
And it will most certainly be duly noted in the notes from their impressive Week 10 victory:
The 49ers attempted 30 points and averaged 4.8 yards per carry – even with backup quarterback Sam Darnold kneeling three times to end the game.
Christian McCaffrey had 95 yards on 16 carries, and Deebo Samuel added 29 yards and a touchdown on three rushing attempts.
The return of left tackle Trent Williams certainly helped, and Jon Feliciano stepped in and played well in place of injured left guard Aaron Banks.
The only thing that didn’t go as planned: McCaffrey was held out of the end zone, ending his 17-game touchdown streak.
Quarterback Brock Purdy found a solution to the fourth-quarter turnovers that plagued him during the 49ers’ three-game losing streak. He played so well through three quarters that he only attempted one pass in the fourth quarter. And it was a 22-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk that sent the signal-caller to the sideline for the rest of the rout.
Purdy completed 19 of 26 pass attempts for 296 yards with three touchdown passes, no interceptions and a passer rating of 148.9. He now leads the NFL with a passer rating of 109.9 for the season.
Tight end George Kittle had three catches for 116 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown in the first minute of the second half. Brandon Aiyuk had a 13-yard touchdown run to cap the game’s first drive.
The 49ers tightened up their run defense, allowing 3.5 yards per rushing attempt on the day.
Travis Etienne, the Jaguars’ leading rusher, had just 35 yards on nine rushing attempts. He’s typically a high-volume runner, but the Jaguars struggled to get their ground game going and extend drives.
Linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who has been banged up in recent weeks, had a solid performance with a team-high eight tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage. Nick Bosa, Clelin Ferrell and Javon Hargrave also each suffered a loss.
Pass the defense
The 49ers generated four turnovers. So they actually had more points to remember than points allowed.
Bosa also had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Ambry Thomas also forced a fumble and was able to recover after Christian Kirk missed a short completion.
Talanoa Hufanga and Fred Warner intercepted Trevor Lawrence, who struggled to advance the 49ers defense.
Bosa and Hargrave had 1.5 sacks each to lead a pass rush that generated five sacks. Chase Young, making his debut with the 49ers, had half a sack.
Rookie kicker Jake Moody made field goals of 39 and 35 yards, the latter of which slipped just inside the right upright on the final play of the first half. He was also good on all six of his kickoffs, with the Jaguars’ average kickoff spot being the 24-yard line.
Punter Mitch Wishnowsky wasn’t called upon too much, but he had another big day, averaging 42.0 net yards on three punts, including a 56-yarder that he dropped at the line of 1 yards.
The 49ers’ game plans on both sides of the ball led to plenty of opportunities to make plays on Sunday. And many of these players have taken full advantage of their opportunities.
A boost goes to defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who dialed it up from the sideline. The 49ers linked their pass rush to their coverages on the backfield very well.
Offensively, the 49ers made things look easy at times with Purdy hitting open receivers, while things opened up in the running game for McCaffrey and Samuel.
The only thing we can downgrade the practice for is that coach Kyle Shanahan was one of the people on the field during Thomas’ fumble return, which resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty negating his return. touch.
This performance was in line with what the 49ers produced in the first five games of the season.
After a three-game losing streak, the 49ers returned to their old way of doing business at the end of the bye week.
“It was playing complementary football,” Shanahan said. “It took us a little while, but I thought once we were playing well on both ends, that’s when the score became what it did.”
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