The 49ers sent a resounding message to the rest of the NFL after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-3 on Sunday at Everbank Stadium.
On Monday’s episode of FS1’s “Undisputed,” former All-Pro defensive back Richard Sherman explained why the 49ers are once again the team to beat in the NFC after their dominant performance in Jacksonville.
“They addressed the things that were bothering them over the past three weeks,” Sherman said. “They’re playing better defensively. They’re putting pressure on the middle. They’re going back to basics, Fred Warner with the interception, Talanoa Hufanga with the interception. The D-line is under pressure, [and] Chase Young comes in and adds a whole other element. Someone other than Nicholas John Bosa is getting broke. Javon Hargrave and Arik Armstead have to go and do their jobs. Randy Gregory got some pressure on the quarterback.
“It’s really fun to see Charvarius Ward get some of it [pass breakups]; Looks really good. When there is pressure on the quarterback, everything looks different. Everything looks better. They held a team that was on a five-game winning streak to three points at home. It’s a trip to the East Coast time zone, which West Coast teams always have a hard time working around. “It’s 10 o’clock in the morning, which West Coast teams always struggle with.”
The 49ers’ defensive front wreaked havoc on Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, recording five sacks, while seven different players recorded at least one pressure in Sunday’s win.
San Francisco’s constant defensive pressure forced the Jaguars’ offense to commit four turnovers, which tied for a season-high in takeaways for the 49ers’ defense.
Sherman also highlighted that the 49ers’ offense was equally impressive, surpassing 30 points for the first time since Week 5 after a string of paltry results during San Francisco’s three-game losing streak.
“After the bye, I scored 34 points offensively,” Sherman explained. “Brooke Purdy, three touchdowns [and] 296 yards. Skip, I don’t even need to look at the notes. I know what it’s like when the San Francisco 49ers are on a roll. Christian McCaffrey’s sixteen rushes for 95 yards, also had a pair of catches for nearly 47 yards. They did their best to try to get him into the end zone at the end of the game. “They could have had 41 points if they had tried to score instead of trying to make Christian score, but he deserved that chance, and Kyle tried to get it for him.”
Sherman also pointed to defensive coordinator Steve Wilkes’ decision to move from the booth to the field during games, noting that the change will likely be permanent after the exceptional showing his unit put in on Sunday.
“I think they will close the cabin and not allow it [Steve] “Wilkes goes back to that cabin for the rest of the year. I think they’ll lock the door and hide the key,” Sherman joked.
After going through a tough stretch, the 49ers are back where they expect to be among the league’s elite teams. San Francisco will look to build on this impressive win when they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.
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