Tom Brady reacts to Jimmy Garoppolo's hot start with the 49ers


Tom Brady reacts to Jimmy Garoppolo's hot start with the 49ers

Coming into the game, the Jaguars were giving up an average passer rating of 65.2 - lowest in the NFL.

Jimmy Garoppolo delivered an early Christmas present to his former team Sunday, leading the San Francisco 49ers to a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars that allowed the New England Patriots to clinch a first-round playoff bye. For good measure, the 49ers' 131 rushing yards were their third most of the season. The Rams are 11-4, having reached double-digit wins for the first time since 2003 - when last they won the division (while playing in St. Louis).

"Any time you have a defense play the way they do and any time you have the number one running game in the National Football League, that makes a lot of things easier on a quarterback", Shanahan said. But the 49ers had the game in their grasp at that point.

The player who brought hope to the 49ers after three-plus years of struggles in San Francisco will be in for his toughest test yet this week. Colvin said he was just trying to fire up the defense when things got heated, but added that he and Jackson were fine moments later. "Putting these games back-to-back, even winning close games where at the beginning of the season we lost close games".

Forget about the garbage time comeback - two Bortles touchdown passes - that cut the lead to four points with 1:50 remaining.

It led to a peculiar afternoon where the 49ers tacked on a second-quarter defensive touchdown by cornerback Dontae Johnson.

"Controlling our emotions when we're on the field, that affects the team". A 45-yard field goal by kicker Josh Lambo put the Jaguars up, 19-16, with 10:52 left in the third quarter.

He plucked a pass tipped off the hand of rookie receiver Keelan Cole and then waltzed into the end zone for the first defensive score for the 49ers since cornerback Jimmy Ward picked off a pass for a score against the Bears in 2015.

Witherspoon set up San Francisco's next touchdown with an interception and 23-yard return to the Jacksonville 18. And with 14 seconds left in the second quarter, Bortles threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jaelen Strong.

Garoppolo completed 21-of-30 passes for 242 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Jaguars' defense.

That said, Garoppolo was never going to rip through this devastating Jaguar defense without making some mistakes. Needless to say, the plane ride back to Jacksonville will likely be a quiet one, and the team may keep the hats and t-shirts boxed up until next week.

Penalties: The Jaguars' 12 were a season-high.

Can't celebrate it because of how bad all parts of the Jaguars' game was against San Francisco.

The play pumped the 49ers' lead to 30-19. Myles Jack, Yannick Ngakoue and Malik Jackson were whistled for post-play penalties that showed a lack of discipline. Only three of those scores were touchdowns. Blake Bortles is the first Jacksonville quarterback to have three straight games with at least two TD passes and no interceptions.

Jacksonville took that pick and Bortles drove the length of the field for the game-tying touchdown.

NOTES: Jaguars WRs Allen Hurns (ankle) and Marqise Lee (ankle) were inactive. "Right now, our focus is doing a better job [next week] and getting ourselves ready to play in the final game of the season".



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