49ers report card: Plenty of high achievers from win at Jaguars

SANTA CLARA — Here is how the 49ers (5-5) graded in Sunday’s 30-10 win at the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8):


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)

Jimmy Garoppolo’s touchdown passes to George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk sure made it easier to digest the third-down pass he missed to a wide-open Jeff Wilson Jr. on the 18th play of a 20-play opening drive. Garoppolo’s comfort in the shotgun is undeniable, as he was 9-of-11 for 108 yards with two touchdowns from that formation (overall: 16-of-22, 176 yards, 2 TDs, 126.3 rating). Huge kudos to Aiyuk for his turnaround (season-high seven catches, 85 yards, TD), and to Kittle for being so reliable that Garoppolo trusted him on a fourth-and-1 TD throw. No, Trent Williams didn’t get the touchdown he’s sought for 12 years, but he, Jaylon Moore and Tom Compton blocked well on the edges.


JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 21: DaVon Hamilton #52 of the Jacksonville Jaguars tackles Jeff Wilson Jr. #22 of the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field on November 21, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Of all the Niners’ 42 carries (171 yards), the most intriguing were the eight Deebo Samuel had for a team-high 79 yards, including their first touchdown on a 25-yard run in which he split the blocks of Kittle, Williams, Laken Tomlinson and Daniel Brunskill. A second straight game with over 40 carries reflects just how dominant the 49ers can be — with the help of third-down conversions, mind you. Wilson is averaging only 2.7 yards per carry in his two games back, and of his 19 carries for 50 yards Sunday, his longest was an 11-yarder followed by a loss of minus-1. Trey Sermon resurfaced after a month-long hiatus with not-so-great carries: 2, 1, 0, 4, 12, 5, 4, minus-1, 2, and 3 yards. Jauan Jennings, thank you for bringing that feisty mentality to a team needing more of it.


JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 21: Emmanuel Moseley #4 of the San Francisco 49ers breaks up a pass intended for Marvin Jones #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field on November 21, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

No interceptions for the seventh time in 10 games. No problem. Not in this one, at least. Rookie Trevor Lawrence has no threatening targets. He completed as many passes as Garoppolo (16). But one of those passes — to Laviska Shenault — got punched out by Josh Norman and recovered as a momentum-helping fumble recovery by Fred Warner. It was Norman’s sixth forced fumble in nine games. So, um, forget about that #FireJoshNorman campaign from his taunting penalty against Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury, about which Kyle Shanahan said: “I wasn’t going to be overdramatic and make a big example of someone who had just done it the first time.” COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR (candidate) Nick Bosa is up to 10 sacks. Emmanuel Moseley is quietly having an impressive season. Jaquiski Tartt’s return to the lineup came as a starter — but also with pass interference in the end zone.


SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 15: San Francisco 49ers’ Fred Warner (54) reacts after nearly intercepting a ball against the Los Angeles Rams in the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

OK, the 49ers’ early lead took the pressure off this unit for a second straight game. But Fred Warner impressed as he got to ball carriers and took them down for seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Azeez Al-Shaair only had two tackles while Dre Greenlaw remained on injured reserve, but Al-Shaair and Jimmie Ward were in on the tackle in which Norman forced the fumble. The 49ers allowed only 54 net rushing yards, after yielding just 52 to the Rams on Monday night.


JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 21: Trenton Cannon #49 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on November 21, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Trent Sherfield came to the 49ers for his special-teams prowess, and after initially excelling in camp to push Aiyuk at wide receiver, Sherfield still has a role. He recovered a muffed punt with a 27-3 lead in this one. Robbie Gould made all three field-goal attempts and all three point-after kicks, keeping him perfect in three games since returning from a groin injury. Trenton Cannon’s bumbled return on the opening kickoffs forced the 49ers to start at their 11, and the ensuing offense rescued him. Always a good sign when Mitch Wishnowsky holds more on kicks than performs punts (two for 44.0 net yards).


JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 21: Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on November 21, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

We can romanticize how well Kyle Shanahan and his staff kept the players focused after an emotional win over the Rams on prime time and had them wide awake for a 10 a.m. East Coast start. Beyond that, however, is a confident game plan that produced a 20-point win and has the 49ers back in the playoff chase. Whether Shanahan should have gone for it on fourth-and-goal on the 20-play opening drive is moot; they scored points, and he went for it later on fourth down with the touchdown to Kittle. His staff has rallied after the apocalypse against Arizona. Bring on Minnesota. Skol!

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