3. The Jaguars’ defense will need to slow down the 49ers’ passing game.
The Jags’ front seven has done a good job of pressuring opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks. The sudden surge of defensive tackle Taven Bryan has helped a lot. Malcom Brown has also played a key role. Together, they have generated pressure inside, which has led to a better overall performance by the defensive front.
On the other hand, the 49ers were able to put 31 points on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11 even though they have a top-10 defense. They never abandoned the run and finished the game with 44 carries. If Elijah Mitchell, who underwent finger surgery Monday, doesn’t play, the Niners will lean on Jeff Wilson Jr. Expect more of the same against the Jags even though they are allowing just 3.9 yards per carry.
Having said that, stopping the run won’t be the Jaguars’ only concern. They will need to also slow down the 49ers’ passing game. Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t an elite quarterback but has a couple of talented wide receivers in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Also, tight end George Kittle is one of the best in the business.
Shaquill Griffin will most likely travel with Samuel in what is poised to be one of the most important matchups of the game. This will leave Campbell to cover Aiyuk. Samuel had a combined 133 total yards and found the end zone twice. The Jags can’t afford him to run amok Sunday.