(By Daisy Barringer)
The 49ers devoured the Jaguars 42-10 yesterday, and even though I should have been elated that they got their 5th straight win (albeit it against a totally pathetic winless team), all I could think after the final play was, “What on EARTH am I going to write about tomorrow?”
I mean, seriously. What does one say when her team completely dismantles a team who pretty much sucks in every category? Yay? We really showed them? Take that? Frankly, it was such a meager showing from a Jacksonville team, one that is well on its way to “earning” a first-round draft pick, that there were moments where I legitimately felt sorry for them. Me. Feeling sorry for the opponent. And I never feel sorry for anyone. Ever. I love football. I love hard hits and interceptions and touchdowns and dismantling the other team. And yet, there I was at the end of the first quarter pitying the guys with the ugly uniforms and even uglier play. Who had to fly all the way to London only to be humiliated in front of 83,000 people who just wanted to watch a good game.
I supposed that, at the very least, they saw a good game from the 49ers who looked as solid as they have all season. The question, I suppose then, is: Are the 49ers really that good or are the Jaguars really that bad?
I suspect it’s a bit of both.
Here are the facts:
After losing to Seattle and Indianapolis, the 49ers have won five straight games and scored 30 or more points in each of those wins.
They’ve returned to the run, which is clearly a huge key to their success. The offense had 398 yards yesterday, 221 of those were on the ground. Kendall Hunter had the most yards (9 for 84), proving he continues to deserve the ball of LaMichael James. Gore had 71 yards on 19 attempts, but his two touchdowns were huge. And then, to no one’s surprise, Kaepernick rushed for 54 yards on 7 attempts and also had two touchdowns.
Thank God for that because even though Boldin (4 for 56) and Davis (3 for 52) both had great games, it’s clear that keeping the ball on the ground is our best (and kind of only) option until Manningham and Crabtree come back to provide more passing options.
Which brings me to the only real bummer of the game: Kyle Williams. No one defended him more heartily than I when he lost the NFC Championship game for us two seasons ago. However, the dude now struggles big time. He fumbled not one, but two kickoffs in the first half. He also dropped an early pass from Kaepernick and just looked totally baffled all around. Anthony Dixon came out in the second half to return the Jags only kickoff and impressed everyone with a 47-yard run that has now opened a “who will be the returner?” debate—at least amongst the fans and media. Harbaugh isn’t having it. No one’s shocked.
Perhaps the reason Harbaugh isn’t having it, you see, is because the rumors are swirling that the 49ers are willing to deal Anthony Dixon before the trade deadline tomorrow at 1 p.m. PT. I don't think it will happen though because, frankly, what would they get for Dixon? Not much. Plus, we are suddenly in dire need of a kick returner who doesn’t drop the ball, so
If I’m being super picky, it did seem like the defense got a little complacent after they went up by 28-3 in the first half. But, like, whatever. Patrick Willis totally made up for it when he forced a fumble in the 4th that was recovered by OLB Dan Skuta for a 47-yard touchdown. Plus, I mean, they were up by 25 points. Against the Jaguars. What was going to happen if they played a little softer than usual? Exactly. NOTHING.
Long story short: The 49ers went to London, had a ball, and won the game. They’re now 6-2 and they have a bye next week so they can rest and get healthy. Our next game is at home against the Panthers and though I predict a win, that game is going to be a lot tougher than I thought at the beginning of the season. The Panthers’ defense is for real. I mean, they’re no 49ers, but they’re good. Anyway, we don’t have to worry about that for two weeks.
For now, keep your fingers crossed that somehow the Rams manage to beat Seattle in tonight’s MNF matchup. The spread is between 11.5 and 13 points and I think we all know it’s not going to happen, but hey—a girl can dream, right?
Well, look at that. I guess I did have something to say after all. And I didn’t even talk about the fact that Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL right now. Not gonna lie: super happy for the guy. Can’t help wonder what it would be like to meet him in the Super Bowl. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. For now, let’s hope the Niners use their bye week wisely and are ready to finish out the second half of the season strong.
I think it looks good.