I recently chatted with Big Cat Country site manager Ryan Day, and we exchanged predictions. I’ll have a link to my prediction in a bit, but I suggested the 49ers win 23-17. I could see an upset, and I could see Jacksonville thumping them. I’m leaning toward the former, but nothing would surprise me.
Ryan went with more of the latter, as he is feeling pretty confident about his Jaguars. I can’t really blame him given how they’re playing, but maybe the 49ers spring the upset. Here’s what Ryan had to say about the game, and then also looking ahead to the playoffs.
Game prediction: No disrespect, but I think this is a game where the 49ers get the brakes beaten off of them. The West Coast has been a pit of misery for Jacksonville as of late, but this defense is playing historically good football and until Blake Bortles comes back down to earth he's playing like a first-tier quarterback in this league. Mix that with Leonard Fournette and a good offensive line and you've got a team that will challenge the New England Patriots in the playoffs.
As far as a score prediction -- I'll say something along the lines of 27-13 with the 49ers scoring a garbage time touchdown in the fourth quarter. I'm sorry, I just think this Jaguars team is playing that well. The 49ers can win this game, sure, but it would take a collapse like what we saw against the Arizona Cardinals a few weeks ago and I don't think that happens again this year.
How deep in the playoffs: There is one team to beat in the AFC and that's the New England Patriots. But they're beatable. Incredibly beatable. Tom Brady has looked, well, different the last four games. He's thrown at least one interception in each of the last four games and got handled by the Miami Dolphins. Man, what? I think as long as this defense plays as well as it has all season and Blake Bortles plays as well as he has the last three weeks, this is an unbeatable team with no equal. They are Super Bowl contenders as they currently stand. And I pray this 49ers matchup isn't a trap game that sends us into a must-win for the division in Week 17 because that would be a hell of a bummer.