49ers @ Jaguars: 5 Key Matchups
Here are five key matchups to watch when the 49ers face the Jaguars in Jacksonville on Sunday morning.
1. Christian McCaffrey vs. Foyesade Oluokun
The 49ers offense goes through McCaffrey primarily because most teams don’t have a linebacker who can match up with him in the run game and the pass game. The Jaguars aren’t one of those teams. They Oluokun, who’s one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He has 92 tackles through 8 games and he’s giving up a passer rating of 82.8. He has the ability to keep McCaffrey in check, which would force the 49ers to run their offense through someone else.
2. Colton McKivitz vs. Josh Allen
McKivitz is on this list every week. This time, he has to face Josh Allen, who has 9 sacks and is one of the best edge rushers in the NFL. McKivitz can’t match up with him. The 49ers will have to run the ball and throw quick passes and roll out Brock Purdy to make sure Allen doesn’t wreck the game.
3. Isaiah Oliver vs. Evan Engram
Oliver is a nickelback who’s bad at covering slot receivers. Which means he shouldn’t be a nickelback. He should cover tight ends, because he has the size to match up with them. And he did a good job covering Darren Waller when the 49ers beat the Giants earlier this season. Putting Oliver on Jaguars tight end Evan Engram would be smart, because he leads their team in targets and catches.
4. Deommodore Lenoir vs. Christian Kirk
Kirk is the Jaguars’ most dangerous weapon — Trevor Lawrence has a passer rating of 107.6 when targeting him. He primarilary lines up in the slot and he’s extremely quick and explosive, which Oliver can’t cover him. The only cornerback on the 49ers who matches up with Kirk is Lenoir, because Lenoir can match his speed and quickness.
5. Charvarius Ward vs. Calvin Ridley
Ward used to be the 49ers’ No. 1 cornerback. Now, he’s the No. 1 player most likely to commit a penalty that results in an automatic first down. Ward has become lazy in his coverage, using his hands to reach out and grab people rather than using his feet to mirror their movements. On Sunday, he’ll have to cover Calvin Ridley, one of the better route runners in the league. Ward needs to keep his hands to himself