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Week 16 Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars 33, San Francisco 49ers 44
What you need to know
The Jaguars offense had an uneven day against the 49ers. Bortles had flashes of his previously brilliance from the weeks before, but there more negative plays this Sunday than in the past three Sunday's combined and the run game never got into a rhythm or made any big plays. It seemed like an abnormal and bizarre game from start to finish.
The 49ers' blossoming offense has settled into a predictable pattern. Jimmy Garoppolo
is immune to pressure from the pass rush, hitting his receivers regardless -- oftentimes in stride across the middle. The receiving role at running back has shifted from Carlos Hyde
to Kyle Juszczyk
. Marquise Goodwin
is the go-to receiver on early downs, while Trent Taylor
is the go-to receiver on third down. Louis Murphy
starts because he's a big body to block in the running game, but Kendrick Bourne
has a larger role in the passing game. All of the above said, Garoppolo is the major story; a real deal skeleton key that's unlocked Kyle Shanahan's offense.
|QB Blake Bortles, 90 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 50 - 382 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 5 - 31 - 0|
Bortles had his moments; He threw several terrific deep passes to Keelan Cole
and Dede Westbrook
. He helped the team comeback from two 15+ point deficits, and he once again was perfect in the red zone. He showed good velocity and eye level once again, as well as decision making. His accuracy fell off a cliff on several instances, though. He threw three interceptions, one due to miscommunication and two due to poor accuracy. The first interception turned into a pick-six, Bortles first of the entire season. Keelan Cole
stopped running his route, indicating a miscommunication between the two. The second interception was a great play the corner, as Bortles tried to loft the ball over a corner sitting in a zone. The ball needed just a bit more on it, and he paid for it. The third interception came on a pass that Bortles threw woefully behind his wideout and right into the hands of the cornerback. Bortles did throw for two touchdowns, both in the redzone. The second came after a pass deflected on Leonard Fournette
's hands and into Jaelen Strong
|RB Leonard Fournette, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 48 - 1, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (3 targets)|
Fournette truly could not have had a less noteworthy game. He scored on a one-yard dive up the middle but outside of that he, and the rest of the run game, were woefully ineffective. Fournette showed fine vision and speed to the hole but failed to break many tackles, if any at all. He did show some great work as a pass protector.
|RB T.J. Yeldon, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 13 - 1, Rec: 7 - 64 - 0 (10 targets)|
Like Fournette, Yeldon scored on a one-yard touchdown and didn't do anything else with the rest of his snaps. He dropped one third down pass target on a screen.
Ivory did not receive a single carry or target during the game. It is clear he is not a part of the offense when Fournette is featured.
|WR Keelan Cole, 77 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 108 - 0 (13 targets)|
Cole had his fourth consecutive 100-yard game thanks to several big plays made as a deep threat. He got himself into penalty trouble on several plays but was targeted 13 times on the day, showing the trust that the QB and staff have in him. His best play came on a go route in the third quarter. He was able to use his quickness off the line to create separation and then used a burst of acceleration to catch up to the ball.
Westbrook's best play came on a back shoulder throw to the corner of the goal line. He was able to track the ball in the air and then use his vertical and his body to snatch the ball out of the air and hold onto it through the catch. Westbrook also converted a 2nd-and-12 pass into a first down. He got the pass at the marker thanks to an adjustment in his route and the ability to finish the catch against contact. He has shown the most veteran savvy among the young Jaguars wideouts and this continued on Sunday.
Mickens only caught one pass for five yards but he was targeted a number of times by Bortles, namely across the middle.
San Francisco 49ers
|QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 30 - 242 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 3 - 1|
If you've been reading these recaps for the past few weeks, this performance by Garoppolo should be no surprise. Everything that's been mentioned -- pocket presence, anticipatory throws, and the dropping of dimes -- showed up against Jacksonville. As an example of his anticipatory throws, Garoppolo completed a 13-yard pass to tight end George Kittle
across the middle by throwing the ball before Kittle had even made his inside break. Both of the other two attributes were on display on Garoppolo's touchdown pass to Trent Taylor
on 3rd-and-goal from the 5-yard line. To get a better throwing lane, he rolled out left. In response, slot cornerback Aaron Colvin left his zone to attack a potential run. With Colvin bearing down on him (and ultimately delivering a hit), Garoppolo side-armed a high-velocity strike to Taylor so as to avoid Colvin's outstretched arms.
|RB Carlos Hyde, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 54 - 1, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (3 targets)|
Unlike last week, Hyde's longest run actually gained double-digit yardage. That said, that run was the only one; otherwise he was shut down as a runner once again: 19 of 21 carries went for 5 yards or less. The tape shows that this lack of production and efficiency was due to Jacksonville's game plan. On most plays, they either utilized an 8-man box or they had cornerback Aaron Colvin play press man coverage so as to have an extra defender near the line of scrimmage in the event of a run.
|RB Matt Breida, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 74 - 1, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)|
Breida's signature play in this game was his 30-yard, victory-sealing touchdown run with 90 seconds left. On the play, Breida was lined up as the single back in a trips left formation. Marquise Goodwin
went in motion, which got the Jaguars' defense moving in one direction. Jimmy Garoppolo
faked the jet sweep to Goodwin, and instead pitched to Breida going in the opposition direction. This designed misdirection resulted in Breida being able to run untouched into the endzone. (Although he was untouched, it should be noted that he made a deft tackle-avoiding, tight rope-walking move along the sideline about half way there.) Otherwise, Breida's only other clear display of individual running skill came on a 13-yard run near the end of the second quarter. This time in an I-formation, he bounced off would-be tacklers behind right guard, then cut back inside and ran away from two more, and then powered through another tackle attempt 10 yards downfield.
|RB Kyle Juszczyk, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 76 - 0 (5 targets)|
Juszczyk's receiving performance elicited deja vu. As was the case two weeks ago against Houston, his long gain resulted from lining up in his usual spot as lead blocker in an I-formation and then running a wheel route after the play-action fake. Unlike against Houston, Juszczyk actually went completely uncovered down the left sideline, which is why this yardage again was in the 40s instead of the 30s.
Predictably, Goodwin was shut down by the man-to-man coverage of Jacksonville's cornerback trio. A full two-thirds of his yardage total came on one reception, in which he motioned inside and beat Ramsey on a crossing pattern across the middle -- a middle that was completely vacated due to Jacksonville sending an all-out blitz at Jimmy Garoppolo
|WR Trent Taylor, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 19 - 1 (4 targets)|
Talented and resourceful as he is, the rookie nevertheless got shut down by Aaron Colvin, who is one of the best slot cornerbacks in the league. Indeed, his main contribution, a red zone touchdown catch that put San Francisco ahead 30-19 in the fourth quarter, came via Jimmy Garoppolo
escaping Jacksonville's pass rush, rolling out, and then side-arming his pass to Taylor through a near-impossible window.
|WR Louis Murphy, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 17 - 0 (1 targets)|
At this point, it's clear Murphy is Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day." His existence in San Francisco's offense is like clockwork: Every Sunday, he starts and plays about 50 percent of snaps, but has no role in the passing game.
All five of Bourne's targets came during the first half. (He didn't get hurt and wasn't being shadowed, so the reason for his lack of targets in the second half is a mystery pending further investigation.) What explains Bourne's dismal 20 percent catch rate is as follows: 1) He was wide open on a deep crossing pattern, but Jimmy Garoppolo
overthrew him; 2) He broke open towards the sideline on a busted play, but a sack-escaping Garoppolo threw it towards the inside instead, resulting in an interception; 3) He slipped and fell while covered like a blanket, so Garoppolo threw the ball away; and 4) He was wide open, but the pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage. The good news here is that three of these four incomplete targets came in the red zone.
|TE George Kittle, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 1 (3 targets)|
Kittle made the most of his three targets, catching all three for gains of 13 yards, 21 yards, and an 8-yard touchdown. To boot, each of the three showed off different aspects of the rookie's individual skill set and/or grasp of Kyle Shanahan's offense. On his first catch, Kittle lined up as the strong-side tight end in a three-point stance and beat safety Barry Church inside on a dig route. On his second catch, Kittle was lined up in the same position and ran the Shanahan West Coast Offense special: Back side crosser off a play-action quarterback bootleg. Finally, on his touchdown reception, Kittle stood up in a tight slot right alignment, sat down in middle zone, and fell forward into the end zone.