The NFL comes to London in Week 8 when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
The two teams couldn't be more polar opposite.
San Francisco appears poised for another run at an NFL championship this season, coming into this contest with a record of 5-2. Since losing two in a row early in the season, the 49ers have responded by winning four straight games—scoring at least 31 points in all four.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville has opened up the season with seven straight losses—most of which have come by way of blowout for the opposing team. ESPN Stats & Info provides some context about the level of ineptitude we're seeing from the Jaguars this season:
The Jaguars have been outscored by 146 points through 7 games. Only team outscored worse thru 7 games since 1970 merger- 2009 Rams (151)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 20, 2013
Needless to say, the 49ers are heavily favored to win this game, but anything can happen once the opening whistle sounds.
When: Sunday, Oct. 27, at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Wembley Stadium, London
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 40.5 pts.
- Spread: Jacksonville (+14.5)
49ers Injury Report (via 49ers.com)
Out (definitely will not play): WR Quinton Patton (foot)
Did not participate in practice: WR Jon Baldwin (illness), DT Glenn Dorsey (hamstring), DT Ray McDonald (biceps), DT Justin Smith (shoulder)
Jaguars Injury Report (via Jaguars.com)
|Shorts III, Cecil||WR||Shoulder||DNP||LP||LP||Probable|
Will the 49ers Fall into Trap?
If ever there was a trap game on the schedule for San Francisco, then this is the one.
The 49ers endured a brutal schedule to open the season, facing three of the best teams in the NFL in the first three weeks. However, four big wins in a row have improved San Francisco's record to 5-2, and the easiest part of the schedule is upcoming in the second half after a bye in Week 9.
Jacksonville is the weakest team in the league, and the 49ers could probably win this game even if most of the starters sat on the bench.
However, heading into this contest with anything less than 100 percent focus will doom San Francisco to an embarrassing loss. While Jacksonville's roster can't compare to that of the 49ers, the Jaguars still play every game with fire.
You can be sure Jim Harbaugh has drilled this truth into his team. The 49ers won't take the Jaguars for granted—especially after watching this team hang tough in the first half with the mighty Denver Broncos just two weeks ago.
The Jaguars haven't been able to run the ball this season, averaging just 63 yards per game, which is the worst mark in the league.
Will San Francisco cover the spread?
Chad Henne has proved capable of moving the ball through the air on offense, but the defense of the 49ers has been playing exceptionally well of late, forcing turnovers and applying pressure with regularity.
On the other side, San Francisco's rushing attack has been dominating opposing defenses, which is bad news for the Jaguars, which feature the league's worst run defense.
The 49ers will dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides, shutting down Jacksonville's offense and running through its defense.
49ers win 33-13
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