(By Daisy Barringer)
Apparently there are NFL fans in the UK and apparently that means that every year, several NFL teams must travel to London to play at Wembley Stadium. This bizarre crossing of the Atlantic has been occurring since 2007, when 82,000 fans filled 90,000 of the seats to see the Miami Dolphins “host” the NY Giants. Until this year, there was only one game per season in London, but when the Jaguars “host” the 49ers this Sunday, it will be the second NFL game this year to be played there. (The Vikings won their only game of the season thus far there against the Steelers.) Apparently, however, that is not enough, because Roger Goodell announced this week that next season, Wembley stadium will be "home" to three NFL teams during the regular season.
Personally, I don’t mind the London game as long as it isn’t a home game for the 49ers like it was in 2010. It isn’t fair for any team to sacrifice a home game, but I’m the kind of girl who only cares when it affects me.
Luckily, Sunday’s game is an away game for the (5-2) 49ers who are heavily favored (+16.5) to beat the winless Jacksonville Jaguars.
One might call this a trick game—will the Niners be too confident and somehow blow it?—but that person would be a moron. Unless the 49ers totally self-destruct—like literally blow up on the field—I can’t see any way we lose this.
Um, the Jaguars suck? Like really, really, really, really suck. Not only have they
failed to win a single game this season, they’re only averaging 10.9 points a game, which ranks them, oh right: LAST in the league.
They’re also LAST in the league for points allowed during a game (31.7).
And they’re averaging 2.9 yards per run attempt for a total of 1,037 yards allowed thus far in the season. Which is, you guessed it: puts them LAST in the league. (RB Maurice Jones-Drew might have been a Pro Bowl player, but that all seems to be well in the past. The Niners need to stop him. And they will.)
But they’re giving up 4.6 yards per carry to the other team. Like, the Jaguars 100% would need to stop the Niners run game immediately—before kickoff even—and I think we all know that’s not going to happen. Give the ball to Gore. Give the ball to Hunter. Give the ball to Kap. I mean, give the ball to La Michael James for all I care.
I am trying to think of something. I really am.
Nope. I’ve got nothing.
The Rest of It
Mario Manningham has been practicing, but don’t look for him to play. Totally not worth it in this situation.
The field the Niners have been practicing on this week was apparently super soggy and slippery. Patrick Willis wasn’t stoked, especially coming off of his groin injury. They moved to artificial turf today.
Sleep deprivation. The players are tired and not everyone is adjusting to the time difference. Adrenaline will handle that.
The 49ers are on a 4-game winning streak. Look for them to easily extend it to five before their bye.
Let’s just keep the ball on the ground as much as possible and get out of London with a win and no injuries. The End.
Watch San Francisco "at" JACKSONVILLE on Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT on FOX.