The 49ers stepped back and allowed the Jacksonville Jaguars to destroy themselves 30-10 just now. The Jaguars are an embarassment who probably won't win another game this season, as opposed to the 49ers, who have won two in a row by at least 20 points, and now their record is 5-5. Which means they're not bad anymore, and they're on their way to being good.
Here are their grades for their performance against Jacksonville.
He nearly repeated last week's impressive performance, admittedly against a much worse opponent. Garoppolo passed for a modest 176 yards, but he threw two touchdown passes and, most importantly, committed zero turnovers for the second game in a row. That's all he had to do to beat the Jaguars, who imploded before the second quarter even started. Still, you would have liked to see Garoppolo hit a wide open Jeff Wilson Jr. in the end zone -- Garoppolo sailed the pass over his head. You also would have liked to see Garoppolo complete a touchdown pass to Kyle Juszczyk, who was open as well. Garoppolo will have to play better to beat the Vikings next week, but next week is next week. He now has won three of his past four starts, and it's starting to seem like he will be the 49ers starting quarterback the rest of the season and next season, too. Because when the 49ers were up big in the second half, Garoppolo stayed in the game until the last drive, then they finally inserted Trey Lance, but didn't let him throw. Bizarre. More on that decision below.
RUNNING BACKS: C-MINUS.
Jeff Wilson Jr. ran the ball 19 times, which is impressive, but gained only 50 yards and fumbled once. Fortunately for him, the 49ers recovered. His backup, Trey Sermon, was better, particularly as a receiver -- he caught a 23-yard pass. The 49ers should have been using him all season. But the Sermon-Wilson duo wasn't particularly effective.
WIDE RECEIVERS: A.
Deebo Samuel is the best running back on the team and perhaps the best running back in the league. Today, he ran 8 times for 79 yards and 1 touchdown. His touchdown run in the second quarter essentially made the Jaguars quit. The 49ers might have two wins right now without Samuel. He is their MVP. And his running mate, Brandon Aiyuk, is good, too. Today, he led the 49ers with 7 catches and 85 receiving yards, plus he scored a touchdown, too. And Jauan Jenning recovered a fumble.
TIGHT ENDS: B-MINUS.
George Kittle finally has become a red-zone weapon for the first time in his career, as he caught a red-zone touchdown pass for the third game in a row. But for the rest of the afternoon, he was afterthought, as he finished with just 34 yards. It's strange to see the 49ers not use Kittle after giving him so much money.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: B-MINUS.
They gave up pressure early in the game before the Jaguars imploded, but allowed just two sacks total.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: A.
Nick Bosa had two sacks and drew two holding penalties, and Arden Key had a sack as well. Key is the 49ers' second-best pass rusher after Bosa. Which means Key is a better pass rusher than Arik Armstead.
Fred Warner and Azeez Al-Shaair shut down Jaguars running back James Robinson, who came into the game averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
Jaquiski Tartt returned to the lineup, so the 49ers defense gave up no long passes. That's the Tartt Effect. But Tartt did commit the 49ers only penalty of the game -- a pass interference in the end zone which set up the Jaguars only touchdown.
Josh Norman forced his fifth fumble in eight starts this season, and the 49ers recovered. Norman's ability to force fumbles makes him an asset to the defense, even thought he's not so good in coverage.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A.
They recovered a muffed punt, plus Robbie Gould made all three of his field goal attempts.
Kyle Shanahan had his team prepared and ready to take care of business, unlike two weeks ago against the Cardinals. So good for Shanahan. The 49ers played a clean game, which is what they needed to do. Shanahan gets credit for putting his team in position to win. But there was essentially nothing he could do to lose. The Jaguars simply wanted this loss more. Shanahan could do no wrong. And yet, he made strange decisions throughout the game. On his first possession, which was a 20-play drive, he decided to kick a field goal on 4th and 1 from the 2 yard line. Against Jacksonville. Like he was scared they would get the ball back and drive 98 yards for a touchdown. Shanahan should have shown confidence in his team and gone for it, but he blinked against the worst team in the NFL. Then in the second half, when he was up by 24 points in the third quarter, he called handoffs between the tackles for Deebo Samuel. Doesn't he care about Samuel's health? Doesn't Shanahan remember getting Samuel injured in the fourth quarter of a blowout last season against the Patriots by using Samuel as a running back late in that game? Good thing Samuel didn't get hurt in this game. And then in the fourth quarter when the 49ers were up big, Shanahan kept Garoppolo in the game, and he got sacked. Trey Lance, the first-round pick who supposedly is the future of the franchise, didn't get to play until the final series, and then he threw zero passes. Shanahan wasted the best opportunity he'll have all season to develop Lance, which makes you wonder if Shanahan even wants to develop Lance. Which makes you wonder why they traded three freaking first-round picks plus a third for him in the first place. But hey, at least they beat the Jaguars and got back to .500. Now they have to beat the Vikings, who are 5-5 as well. Let's see which .500 team is better.