JACKSONVILLE – Two teams that were on the smaller side when they entered their final weeks made a surprising comeback on Sunday.
The 49ers are on a three game losing streak, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are no longer the hottest team in football.
Quarterback Brock Purdy returned to his pre-season heat, the defense rebounded and the 49ers rolled to a thrilling 34-3 victory over the Jaguars to the delight of a red-clad road crowd.
The 49ers improved to 6-3 on the season, and the Jaguars (6-3) dropped a game for the first time since Sept. 24.
Here are his takeaways from the 49ers’ win:
Security takes a new form
Newly acquired defensive end Chase Young did not start in his first game since coming to the 49ers from the Washington Commanders.
But his presence seems to have made a big impact on the 49ers as they begin to try to shake off the Jaguars for the second time in the game.
Nick Bosa and Young, a former Ohio State teammate, combined for a sack of Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the second quarter with Bosa recovering. It was the first big game of the 49ers defense.
Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks moved from the coaches’ box to the sidelines, but what stood out was what happened on the field.
The 49ers defense looked very strong against the pass rush, which led to a few turnovers.
Bosa nearly had another sack in the third quarter, but he got the better of it. He forced Lawrence into a layup when he looked past Tank Bigsby and into the arms of Talanoa Hufanga for his third interception of the season.
The 49ers also changed the way they play at slot receiver, with Deommodore Lenoir moving to nickel back in place of Isaiah Oliver. Ambry Thomas entered the game to play fullback, allowing Lenoir to move inside.
Thomas came up with a big play in the third quarter when he stripped Jaguars receiver Christian Kirk at the 6-yard line. Thomas recovered and ran another 92 yards, but the return was ruled out of action as several 49ers players and coaches entered the field.
The 49ers had four carries and five sacks for Lawrence.
Offense continues from solid
The Jaguars entered the game on a five-game winning streak and had not trailed by more than three points in any of those games.
The 49ers wasted no time jumping ahead of their Week 10 game.
As such, the 49ers extended their status as the best starting team in the NFL with 38 points in their opening game this season.
Quarterback Brock Purdy came out with a bang after the last week as the 49ers marched 57 yards on four plays.
Purdy drove the drive and passed 13 yards to Brandon Aiyuk. Purdy’s pass was provided with pin-point accuracy on Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell and free safety Andre Cisco in the back of the end zone.
On the day, Purdy completed 19 of 26 attempts for 296 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Purdy capped his day with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Juszczyk with 12:40 left in the fourth quarter.
Pregnancy in sports
Coach Kyle Shanahan puts a lot of emphasis on running the ball late in the first half, especially as the 49ers prepare to receive the kickoff to open the second half.
The 49ers used the series to build a 10-point drive to extend their lead.
A close demonstration that took place. The 49ers took over at the Jaguars’ 25-yard line to cut the 49ers’ lead to 10-3 with 4:20 left in the second quarter.
Then, the 49ers went on an 11-play, 61-yard drive to cap off the final minutes of the first half.
Kicker Jake Moody not only squeezed a 35-yard field goal inside (or beyond) the right field to extend the 49ers’ lead to 13-3 on the final play of the second quarter.
Because the 49ers won the first down and delayed it, they got the ball to open the third quarter. And he wasted little time in managing the game.
Tight end George Kittle hit a single pass by Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd on the right sideline, and Purdy threw for a 66-yard touchdown.
The play gave the 49ers a 20-3 lead with 14:10 left in the third quarter.