49ers & Jaguars: 5 Keys

The 49ers take on the win-less Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday in London. Inside we break down five keys to the game that will help San Francisco head into the bye week at 6-2.

The Soggy Pitch

The field at Wembley Stadium is going to be soft and damp providing players with a unique challenge. The grass used for tradition "football" in the English Premier League is different from that quick surfaces of the NFL.

The soft and slippery turf might prevent the offense from running it's usual assortment of misdirection plays. The players will have longer cleats to compensate.

Look for Sunday's game to be a sloppy affair featuring a number of running plays due to the slow track.

Run, Run, Run

San Francisco has run for at least 149 yards in each of the last four games. Jacksonville has allowed 150 yards on the ground in four of their seven games while allowing opponents 4.6 yards per carry.

Frank Gore has led the way behind the team's physical offensive line that regained its identity in week four after starting the season 1-2 and struggling to get the running game going.

Expect the 49ers to run early and often against the Jaguars defense that's last in the NFL in average yards allowed on the ground (153.3).

Contain Blackmon

Jaguars' receiver Justin Blackmon has been the team's most explosive player since coming back from his four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Blackmon has caught 25 passes for 384 yards in his three games back, including a 14-catch, 190-yard performance in Week 6 against Denver.

For Jacksonville to have any shot Sunday, they will have to get some big plays from Blackmon as he represent the only significant match up problem for the talented 49ers defense.

Quarterback Chad Henne is capable of finding him, as Blackmon has been his primary target while he's thrown for a combined 621 yards over the last two weeks.

Keep Getting Turnovers

San Francisco's defense has gotten multiple turnovers in each of their last four games, all wins, playing a key role in their recent success.

The 49ers lead the NFL in turning turnovers into points, scoring 75 off 15 takeaways. They have scored nine touchdowns and four field goals.

Eric Reid and Tramaine Brock have led the way with three interceptions each.

Win on Third Down

On both sides of the ball, the Jaguars are on of the NFL's worst teams on third down. The 49ers have shown improvement in that area lately, converting 8 of 16 opportunities last week against the Titans.

With just four wide receivers active for Sunday's game, the 49ers won't have as many options available on third down with Jon Baldwin sidelined while dealing with an illness.

Baldwin only has three receptions on the season, but his absence will be felt on third-and-long while the Jaguars will be able to key on Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin.

San Francisco's defense is ranked fifth in league on third down, allowing opponents just a 33.67 percent conversion rate. The Jaguars are last, converting less than 30 percent of their chances.


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