Jaguars host a hot 49ers team today in Jacksonville with the hopes of an upset.

By Blake Von Hagen

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San Francisco will try to build on its most impressive performance of the season when it travels to Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon. The 49ers are coming off a 31-10 blowout win over the Rams on Monday night, but they are still three games back in the NFC West. Jacksonville has been playing better of late, winning two of its last four games.

Jaguars comeback bid comes up short

Barring a miracle, Jacksonville is not going to be making the playoffs in its first season under head coach Urban Meyer. However, things appear to be moving in a positive direction after a terrible start to the year. The Jaguars lost five straight games to open the season before picking up a win against Miami in London. They followed that win with a blowout loss at Seattle, but they bounced back with an unforeseen upset win over Buffalo. Jacksonville played a close game with division-rival Indianapolis last week, but it came up short in a 23-17 final.

The Jaguars have had their fair share of offensive struggles this season, ranked No. 23 in yards per game (332.7). Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has completed 58.0% of his passes for 1,983 yards and eight touchdowns, but he has also thrown nine interceptions. He went just 16 of 35 for 162 yards against Indianapolis last week. Running back James Robinson, who is the team’s leading rusher, returned to practice in a limited capacity on Thursday. He is dealing with a knee injury and is officially questionable for this game. Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. has caught 38 passes for a team-high 434 yards. Jacksonville is going up against a San Francisco defense that ranks eighth in the NFL, allowing 331.4 yards per game.

49ers trying to climb back into playoff picture

San Francisco needs to string some victories together if it wants to creep back into the playoff picture. The 49ers opened the season with wins over Detroit and Philadelphia, but they proceeded to lose their next four straight games. They snapped the skid with a road win at Chicago before coming up short in a divisional matchup against Arizona. That’s when everything seemed to come together for San Francisco, as it blew out the Rams on Monday night in front of a primetime audience. It marked the team’s first win at home in more than a year and it also kept the team in the playoff hunt.

The 49ers have been an average offensive team this season, ranked No. 13 in the NFL in yards per game (362.2). Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has completed 66.4% of his passes for 1,936 yards and 10 touchdowns. He executed his role as a game manager against Los Angeles, completing 15 of 19 attempts for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Elijah Mitchell had 27 carries for 91 yards, but he fractured his wrist in the process. He had surgery on Tuesday and is currently listed as questionable for this game. The rookie is the only player on the roster with more than 140 rushing yards, so his absence would be impactful. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel has caught 54 passes for 979 yards and five touchdowns. He will be facing a Jacksonville defense that is No. 21 in yards allowed per game (366.4).

This is a flat spot for San Francisco coming off a blowout win in primetime against a Super Bowl contender. It is also a short week on the road for the 49ers, so it is not an ideal scheduling spot for them. They could be without their starting running back, which would force Garoppolo to throw the ball more than usual. I do not trust him to cover a touchdown spread, which is why the early betting action has been on the home ‘dog. Jacksonville has shown that it is going to fight until the end, which is exactly what you want in a spot like this. I think the Jaguars will keep this one close and potentially pull off the upset outright.

Prediction: Jacksonville +6

Written By Blake Von Hagen , “Blake V.”

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

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