Jacksonville Jaguars: Anquan Boldin

Jaguars fantasy breakdown: Week 8

October, 25, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Looking for some help with your fantasy football lineup? Every Friday I'll give you my opinions on which Jacksonville Jaguars players to play and sit, as well as which of the opposing players might be a good play against the Jags. For more fantasy football advice, check out ESPN.com's fantasy football page.


QB Chad Henne: He has had back-to-back 300-yard games and it’s likely the Jaguars will be behind and will need to throw a lot to keep up. The only thing about Henne is that while he throws for a lot of yards he doesn’t throw for a lot of touchdowns -- only two so far. The other issue to consider is the weather: It’s supposed to be rainy with winds up to 20 mph. Verdict: He’s a good option if your league allows two QBs. Otherwise, sit him.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: He touched the ball only 11 times last week, but he set a season-high with a per-carry average of 4.1 yards. He seems to be running the ball better and the offensive line is becoming more comfortable with the zone blocking scheme. But this’ll likely be another game in which the Jaguars are forced to throw to keep up. Verdict: Sit him.

WR Justin Blackmon: He has had another week to nurse the minor hamstring and groin injuries he played through last week. The Chargers bracketed him to try and contain him. Expect the 49ers to do the same. Verdict: He’s still a legitimate No. 1 fantasy receiver so play him.

WR Cecil Shorts: He also is dealing with a shoulder injury but definitely will play. He should benefit from the extra attention paid to Blackmon. Verdict: Use him as a No. 2 or 3 receiver.

TE Marcedes Lewis: He had just one catch last week, but it was a 31-yard catch-and-run that showed how dangerous he can be. Don’t expect big numbers out of Lewis, who inexplicably wasn’t targeted in the red zone. Verdict: Sit him.

K Josh Scobee: The weather expected at Wembley Stadium isn’t exactly ideal for kickers: rain and 20 mph winds, according to an early forecast. Verdict: Scobee has hit 31 consecutive field goals in October but he’s not a good play this week. Sit him.

Defense/special teams: The Jaguars are last in the NFL in rush defense and they’ll be facing Frank Gore. They’ve had trouble with tight ends and they’ll be facing one of the league’s best in Vernon Davis. The only positive is that Ace Sanders returns as the punt returner. Verdict: Sit ‘em.


QB Colin Kaepernick: The 49ers used more read-option last week than they had all season, but the expectation is that won’t be the case on Sunday. Kaepernick still has work to do as a passer (he’s only completing 56.6 percent of his passes and has only thrown for eight touchdowns) and the 49ers may ground-and-pound because of the weather. Verdict: He’s a solid play if your league allows two quarterbacks in your lineup. Otherwise, sit him.

RB Frank Gore: He’s fourth in the NFL in rushing (547 yards) and has rushed for five touchdowns. The Jaguars are last in the NFL in rush defense (153.3 yards per game). Verdict: This is a no-brainer.

WR Anquan Boldin: He had 13 of his 34 catches in Week 1 but he’s still the 49ers’ top outside target. The Jaguars will likely play umbrella coverage so Boldin could feast on the short and intermediate routes. Verdict: Play him.

TE Vernon Davis: Tight ends have hurt the Jaguars for 42 catches for 401 yards and five touchdowns this season and Davis is the best one they’ve played to date. Eight of his 26 catches have gone for 20 or more yards and he leads the 49ers with six touchdown catches. Verdict: Gleefully play him.

K Phil Dawson: Dawson has had a solid season (9-for-12 on field goal attempts) but his status is the same as Scobee’s. The weather will be a factor. Verdict: Sit him.

Defense/special teams: What’s not to like about this matchup? The Jaguars have given up a league-high 28 sacks and are rushing for a league-low 63.0 yards per game. Verdict: Play them.
Willis/ShortsGetty Images, USA Today SportsPatrick Willis' 49ers meet Cecil Shorts' Jaguars in the second NFL game in London this season.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The San Francisco 49ers have righted the ship after a shaky start. The Jacksonville Jaguars are still sinking.

The teams going in opposite directions will meet Sunday in London's Wembley Stadium in the second of two NFL games being played in the United Kingdom this season.

The 49ers (5-2) have won four games in a row -- and scored at least 31 points in each of those games -- since starting the season 1-2. The Jaguars are 0-7 and are the first team since the 1984 Houston Oilers to lose their first seven games by double digits.

That makes Sunday's game look like a giant mismatch, yet the Jaguars were 28-point underdogs to the Denver Broncos two weeks ago but lost by only 16 points -- and trailed by just two at halftime.

ESPN.com Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco and 49ers reporter Bill Williamson break down the matchup:

DiRocco: The 49ers used the read-option the most they have all season against Tennessee in Week 7. Will that be a bigger part of the offense again as the season progresses?

Williamson: Mike, I think it is going to be a week-to-week situation. The 49ers used the read-option seven times last week after using it a total of nine in the first six games. The 49ers saw they could exploit Tennessee's defense using it. I think we will see it again, but probably in more challenging games and only in certain situations, when the 49ers are confident it will work. We could maybe see it some in London, but I have a feeling it will be more like the first six weeks of the season.

Mike, if the 49ers do run a lot of read-option offense, do you think the Jaguars can handle it?

DiRocco: Probably not. The Jaguars are last in the NFL in rushing defense (153.3 yards per game) and have given up a league-high nine rushing touchdowns. The defense's biggest problem against the rush is that it has given up a lot of explosive plays. Jacksonville has allowed an NFL-worst 10 rushing plays of 20 or more yards. Stopping the read-option is assignment football and the Jaguars' ends have not been as disciplined as needed. For example, Oakland's Terrelle Pryor ran for 50 yards in Week 2, including a 27-yard run in which the entire defensive front bit on the inside fake.

Bill, the Jaguars have had trouble with tight ends all season and now they face Vernon Davis. Who is the last team that's shut him down how?

Williamson: Davis hurt his hamstring late in the Seattle game in Week 2. He was pretty well shut down in that game before getting hurt. He missed Week 3 against the Colts and then came back against the Rams. He's been good and he is healthy. If the Jaguars have trouble against tight ends, the 49ers will exploit it. Davis and quarterback Colin Kaepernick have a great chemistry going this season. The 49ers' coaching staff is great at exploiting weaknesses.

Mike, do you seeing this being a big problem for Jacksonville?

DiRocco: Absolutely. Tight ends have combined to catch 42 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns against Jacksonville this season. Depending on the defense called, the Jaguars will either have a safety or linebacker on the tight end. At times, the job has fallen to middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, who is very good against the run but not fast or quick enough in pass coverage. The Jaguars won't use the approach New England did against New Orleans standout Jimmy Graham -- the Patriots put their best corner, Aqib Talib, on him -- so I'd expect Davis to have chances to exploit some matchups with linebackers on Sunday.

Speaking of exploitation, the Anquan Boldin trade looked like a steal in Week 1. How is it regarded now?

Williamson: Still, unabashed thievery. Sure, Boldin had 13 catches in the first week and a combined 21 catches in the following six. But the 49ers would be in trouble without Boldin. He had three circus catches at Tennessee and he's been the team's only reliable wide receiver with Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham out. The 49ers would not be 5-2 without Boldin.

Mike, do you think the Jaguars will keep him in check Sunday?

DiRocco: The Jaguars have done a solid job the past two weeks of playing umbrella coverage and making sure they don't give up deep throws. That does leave the short and intermediate routes open, though, and that's where Boldin thrives. He's a physical receiver and the Jaguars don't yet have the kind of personnel to match up with him. Coach Gus Bradley wants to build a secondary similar to the one he helped build in Seattle, which includes big, physical corners. The Jaguars still have work to do there, although rookie third-round pick Dwayne Gratz (5-foot-11, 201 pounds) is finally back from his high-ankle sprain.


Get to know the Seattle Seahawks

September, 17, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars stay on the West Coast to take on the Seattle Seahawks, who are fresh off an impressive pounding of the San Francisco 49ers.

This is a homecoming of sorts for Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, who spent the past four seasons as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator. He helped the Seattle defense rank in the top five in the NFL in eight statistical categories in his final two seasons.

The Seahawks are still thriving because of the physical defense that Bradley helped construct. They lead the NFL in total defense, passing defense and scoring defense. They’ve allowed only 10 points in two games.

Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on CBS.

Here’s a look at the Seahawks:

Record: 2-0.

Last week: Beat San Francisco 29-3.

Coach: Pete Carroll, fourth season (26-23); eighth season overall (59-54).

Offensive coordinator: Darrell Bevell.

Defensive coordinator: Dan Quinn.

Series record: Seahawks lead 4-2.


RB Marshawn Lynch: Lynch is coming off the best season of his career (1,590 yards rushing) but so far hasn’t been able to be as successful on the ground. He is averaging 3.1 yards per rush, although he has carried the ball 45 times in two games. He has scored three touchdowns (one receiving) and is the focal point of the offense.

QB Russell Wilson: Wilson has been efficient in his first two games, completing 63.5 percent of his passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns with one interception for a passer rating of 96.8. He has also rushed for two scores. He appears to be becoming more adept as a passer. He threw for a career-high 320 yards in Week 1 against Carolina.

WR Doug Baldwin: Despite catching only one pass against San Francisco, Baldwin is the team’s leading receiver with eight receptions for 142 yards. He’s also averaging 17.8 yards per catch thanks to his only catch against the 49ers: a 51-yarder. His production will certainly go down once Percy Harvin returns from his hip injury, but for now he’s the Seahawks’ top target.


CB Richard Sherman: One of the staples of a Bradley defense is big cornerbacks, and Sherman certainly meets that requirement. He’s 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds. But he can cover, too, as he showed Sunday night by helping shut down Anquan Boldin. He pairs with fellow corner Brandon Browner (who has missed the first two games with a hamstring injury but may return versus the Jaguars) to give the Seahawks two of the most physical corners in the NFL.

S Earl Thomas: The unquestioned leader of the secondary is Thomas, who has started 50 consecutive regular-season games since being taken with the 14th pick in the 2010 draft. He has 10 interceptions and has averaged 75 tackles in his first three seasons. Plus, he’s made back-to-back Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first time last season.

LB Bobby Wagner: He was a second-round pick in 2012 who stepped right in and started 15 games as a rookie. He made 140 tackles, intercepted three passes and knocked down three passes. He’s only 6-foot, but he weighs 241 pounds, which allows him to play the run as well as be effective in coverage.


The Seahawks could be without starting left tackle Russell Okung, who suffered a toe injury during the first quarter of the San Francisco game. Carroll said Monday it’s unlikely that he’ll play. ... One option the Seahawks are considering, according to ESPN NFL Nation Seahawks reporter Terry Blount, is starting a rookie (Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie) in Okung’s spot at left tackle. Bowie is a seventh-round draft pick out of Northeastern State in Oklahoma and Bailey signed as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas. Both players were inactive against the 49ers. ... Seattle is 2-0 at home against the Jaguars and has outscored the Jaguars 65-15. ... Wilson has gotten off to slow starts in the first two games, including going 0-for-6 against the 49ers. ... Defensive end Cliff Avril, the Seahawks’ top defensive signee in the offseason, made his debut last week and recorded a sack and caused a fumble.