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9 Takeaways: 49ers 44 - Jaguars 33 in Week 16

Posted Dec 24, 2017

The 49ers upset the Jacksonville Jaguars, 44-33, behind standout performances from Jimmy Garoppolo and several rookies.



The San Francisco 49ers are now winners of four in a row and five of their last six games following a 44-33 upset of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jimmy Garoppolo accounted for 242 passing yards and three total scores while the defense intercepted Blake Bortles three times.

Here are the top Week 16 takeaways from a thrilling afternoon at Levi's® Stadium.

1. John Lynch has to be feeling really good about his team. George Kittle and Trent Taylor, a pair of fifth-round picks, each scored a touchdown on Sunday. Third-round pick Ahkello Witherspoon intercepted Bortles in the second half. Finally, Matt Breida, an undrafted free agent, scored on a 30-yard touchdown run to put the game on ice in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. That's a lot of production out of first-year players.

2. Garoppolo finished the game with 242 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The pick was his biggest mistake since becoming the 49ers starter. He was intercepted in the end zone when the 49ers were knocking on the doorstep. Jacksonville ended up scoring a touchdown which made the turnover a 14-point swing.

Apart from that blemish, Garoppolo was outstanding. He capped a sterling opening drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. It was his first rushing score of his career. Garoppolo's most impressive pass was the 5-yard touchdown to Taylor. The quarterback rolled to his left and then slinged a side-arm pass around a defender and straight into the arms of Taylor. He's shown the ability to make difficult throws in awkward situations. Garoppolo is also incredibly clutch, helping the 49ers go 10-of-15 on third down.

3. K'Waun Williams' one-handed interception in the third quarter may have been the play of the game. Jacksonville was on a 19-3 scoring run, and the 49ers offense had just gone three-and-out. Williams made a leaping, one-handed pick on a pass downfield that helped San Francisco regain momentum. Kittle's touchdown came directly after the takeaway as the 49ers went on to score 28 second-half points.

4. Dontae Johnson's pick-six in the second quarter marked San Francisco's first defensive score of the season. It was Johnson's second-career interception, both of which he's returned for touchdowns.

5. Kyle Juszczyk was the 49ers leading receiver on Sunday with five catches for a career-high 76 yards. A 44-yard catch-and-run on a wheel route up the left sideline marked the longest catch of the fullback's career.

6. Bortles finished with 382 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Most of his production came late as Jacksonville mounted a comeback. The Jaguars scored two touchdowns in a span of 27 seconds thanks to the recovery of an onside kick. Breida put an end to the brief scare with his 30-yard touchdown run.

7. There were some interesting quotes to come out of the 49ers locker room postgame. One player told me that the Jaguars talked more trash than any other team he's played. Jacksonville's tempers boiled over and turned into costly penalties. The Jaguars were pentalized 12 times for 99 yards.

8. Jacksonville entered the game with a league-leading 51 sacks, but the 49ers limited the talented pass rush to just one sack on Sunday. San Francisco only had one sack as well, courtesy of Solomon Thomas, his third of the season.

9. Carlos Hyde was bottled up for most of the afternoon, but he came up with some clutch runs in the second half. He finished with 54 yards on 21 carries, including a 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Hyde celebrated the score by leaping into the stands and flexing along with some of the 49ers Faithful.