JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers are Super Bowl contenders once again.
All they needed was a three-game skid, a bye week and a cross-country trip to Jacksonville to get back on track.
Brock Purdy threw three touchdown passes, including a 66-yarder to George Kittle, and the Niners seemingly fixed all their woes with a 34-3 drubbing of the streaking Jaguars on Sunday.
“We know who we are. We know what we’re capable of,” defensive tackle Arik Armstead said. “We have an extremely high standard for ourselves. Bigger than any people or any outside people can put on us.
“We want to be great. We want to be dominant, and we want to play at a high level. And we know our team is going to need us to do that.”
Deebo Samuel returned from a three-game absence and added a 23-yard scoring run for the 49ers (6-3), who stopped Jacksonville’s five-game winning streak and reestablished themselves as a favorite in the NFC.
San Francisco dominated both lines of scrimmage and controlled the game from the opening drive. The Niners ran for 144 yards against one of the league’s top run defenses and sacked Trevor Lawrence five times. Nick Bosa was a menace all afternoon, and newly acquired defensive end Chase Young got in on one of the sacks.
“Having him is such a big threat,” Bosa said. “I think we played off of each other well.”
The Jaguars (6-3), meanwhile, embarrassed themselves at every turn and looked nothing like a legit playoff contender. They had a five-possession stretch in which they fumbled, kicked a field goal, threw an interception, fumbled and threw another interception. Lawrence was responsible for three of the team’s four turnovers.
“I think you have got to feel the pain and embarrassment of today,” Lawrence said. “It’s terrible. It’s one of the worst games I’ve probably played in my career. … We couldn’t do anything right, but you got to flush it, too.”
It was Jacksonville’s worst home loss since a 45-10 blowout to the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019.
“This was definitely a humbling experience,” Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said.
Kittle had three catches for 116 yards. Christian McCaffrey finished with 142 total yards, but his streak of consecutive games with a TD ended at 17 games, including the playoffs.
He was tied with Lenny Moore for the NFL record, and the Niners tried to get him the mark by giving him the ball or targeting him on five consecutive plays in a 31-point game while other starters had been removed.
“Eighteen games in a row is a big record,” Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said. “If we had a chance to do it, I was going to try to do it for him. It’s a little nerve-racking. Last thing I want to do is get him hurt. … We got close. Wish we could have done it for him, but I think that was a pretty big accomplishment to do it for 17 games straight.”
Added McCaffrey: ““It means a lot to me for them to keep me in the game at the end there and try to get me that record, but I’ll take a huge win.”
Purdy completed 19 of 26 passes for 296 yards, giving way to Sam Darnold in the fourth with a 148.9 QB rating. Purdy’s first TD pass was a shaky one to Brandon Aiyuk into double coverage, but he was much better the rest of the game.
Purdy threw five INTs during the team’s three-game skid but vowed to have better ball security coming out of the bye. It surely helped that Samuel and All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams were back in the lineup.
After scoring 17 points in each of their three losses, San Fran topped the 30-point mark for the sixth time this season — most in the NFL.
Jaguars receiver Christian Kirk had three plays he’d surely like to have back. Kirk overthrew running back Travis Etienne on a trick play in the second quarter, let a punt bounce that ended up getting downed at the 1-yard line on the ensuing possession and fumbled in the third.
Kirk still led the team with six catches for 104 yards.
49ers: DT Arik Armstead injured his right ankle in the first half but returned a few plays later.
Jaguars: Returner Jamal Agnew injured his left shoulder injury in the first half and did not return. CB Tyson Campbell re-injured a hamstring early in the second half.
49ers host Tampa Bay next Sunday.
Jaguars host Tennessee next Sunday.
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