Both of these teams head overseas to Wembley Stadium in London as the San Francisco 49ers (5-2) take on the winless Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7). Jacksonville will be the host team playing their first of 4 games in as many seasons in England. Fortunately for the Jags despite their futility they might be headed into an environment while on paper neutral could quite possibly have more fans than back home in Florida. The 49ers (5-2) has topped 30 points in each of its four consecutive wins and wasn't seriously threatened after jumping out to a 24-0 third-quarter lead at Tennessee in a 31-17 victory last Sunday.
The 49ers are familiar in this spot out of the country beating Denver about 3 years ago 24-16 at this very dame venue. San Francisco also played Arizona 8 years back and lost 31-14 at a game played in Mexico City. Led by Colin Kaepernick (103/182 1420 8 TD 5 INT) the third year star from Nevada poses a dual threat. His wittiness and excellent field presence makes him one of the more dangerous backs in the nation when calling his own number. Kaepernick (42-240 5.7 1 TD) is more fortunate to now have former Baltimore Raven and Super Bowl Champion Anquan Boldin (34-495 2 TD) as his top target. TE Vernon Davis (43-466 6 TD) has also done a great job in the open field using one on one matchups to carve through opposing secondaries. Veteran Frank Gore (127-547 4.3 5 TD) has been used cautiously but is showing in his 10th season and at 31 can still approach the middle while successfully running north and south around a protective offensive line. The Niners will use to their advantage that the Jags are dead last against the run yielding 870 yards on the ground and 8 TD's which is tied with Washington as the most given up.
Since a 20 point loss at home to Indianapolis the 49ers' defense have given up only 13 points per game and will have their sights set on making things difficult for Chad Henne. Henne (103/173 1222 2 TD 5 INT) has been skeptical and methodical when it comes to taking chances down the field. However the truth is with nothing much left to lose it wouldn't hurt since things had not gotten better with Blaine Gabbert at the helm. Fans have gotten beyond restless as has Gus Bradley knowing that Jacksonville is the only team not to score an offensive TD in front of the home folks. Henne has topped 300 yards in his two games since taking over for the injured Gabbert and had a season-high 318 on Sunday in a 24-6 loss to San Diego in week 7. Sure things aren't helping you much when Maurice Jones Drew (103-316 3.1 2 TD) fails to take pressure off of Henne held to just 37 yards last week. Henne has looked promising at times thanks to receiving core duo Cecil Shorts (39-491 1 TD) and Justin Blackmon (25-384 1 TD) benefiting from most of the activity. However it will be a challenge against the 49ers intimidating front seven and secondary which over the last month has excelled in stay at home man to man coverage not giving up the big play.
San Francisco should not overlook one of the two remaining winless teams especially given the fact that they sit just one game behind the NFC West leading Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco has been in the midst of their easiest stretch of the season schedule-wise. After the bye week next week, they will have to match up with Carolina, New Orleans, Seattle, Atlanta, and Washington in the second half. While it will be nice for the Jaguars to get away from the pressure of winning in front of the Jacksonville faithful, a matchup against the red-hot 49ers is no consolation. San Francisco has a huge edge in talent and experience in playing across the pond, giving the potential for a blowout in London.