San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and his players had shown the utmost respect for the Jacksonville Jaguars all week.
In the lead-up to their game at Wembley Stadium in London, Harbaugh and the Niners had been careful to say only nice things about the 0-7 Jags, who went into Sunday’s game a decided underdog and the leader in the race for the honor of the NFL’s worst team.
As soon as Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee kicked off to start the game, however, all niceties went out the window.
On a chilly day in London, the Niners quickly and easily marched 76 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead on Frank Gore’s 19-yard run up the middle of the Jacksonville defense to launch what turned into a 42-10 San Francisco victory, the 49ers’ fifth straight win.
The Niners put together four long scoring drives in the first and second quarters to take a 28-3 halftime lead – the largest such lead in the Harbaugh era – en route to improving their record to 6-2. It also marks the fifth straight game San Franciso has scored 30 or more points.
Going into their bye week, the Niners now remain just a game behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. Seattle plays the Rams Monday night.
The 49ers’ second touchdown came on a 12-yard run by Colin Kaepernick to finish off an eight-play, 80-yard march. In the second quarter, the 49ers drove 72 yards in 10 plays to score on a 2-yard pass from Kaepernick to Vernon Davis, then drove 63 yards in six plays, culminating on Kaepernick’s 9-yard run.
After the Jaguars pushed across a touchdown early in the third quarter to climb within 28-10, the Niners scored back-to-back TDs to lock up the game, the first on a 2-yard run by Gore and the second on a 47-yard fumble return by linebacker Dan Skuta.
At one point late in the game, the 49ers were so dominant that they had recorded 22 first downs on 47 snaps, reported Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. The Niners offense was so dominant that punter Andy Lee was called on only once.
True to their recent success formula, the 49ers pounded the ball on the ground, with Gore rushing for 71 yards on 19 carries for two TDs and Kaepernick adding 54 yards on seven carries. Kendall Hunter added 84 yards on nine rushes, picking up most of the yards late in the game.
The Niners ran the ball 38 times for 221 yards, a whopping 5.8-yard per-carry average.
Kaepernick completed 10-of-16 throws for 164 yards and a TD and was not intercepted. Because the game was comfortably in the bag, backup Colt McCoy replaced Kaepernick and completed his only pass.
The 49ers will take off next Sunday and come back to action Nov. 10, when the Carolina Panthers visit Candlestick Park.