The 49ers returned to form with another blowout win over a quality opponent, but coach Kyle Shanahan handled it Monday the same way he did the others.
The end result was great as the 49ers improved to 6-3. But there were plenty of mistakes to be corrected, and it’s not as if a 34-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars has any direct carryover to their Week 11 home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5).
It was pretty much the same reaction Shanahan had after two other one-sided wins against highly regarded opposition — a season opening 30-7 win in Pittsburgh and a 40-12 victory over Dallas on in Week 5.
“I thought we made a number of mistakes on offense, there was a couple of things on defense — with screens and stuff — that got through there,” Shanahan said in a conference call with local media. “We made a couple of mistakes on special teams. But when you just keep fighting and keep going, you have zero turnovers and they have four. Sometimes those things just end up taking care of themselves if you just play the right way.”
To go out and dominate the Jaguars, who came in on a five-game win streak, was never discussed.
“I think the biggest thing we emphasized was we weren’t going into that game trying to blow anybody out,” Shanahan said. “We weren’t trying to score 30 points, we were just trying to play as good as we could and not worry about anything else. We feel if we do that, we always have a chance for that game to end up like it did.”
About the only injury concern was to right tackle Colton McKivitz, who had his ankle rolled up on and also was dealing with knee soreness. McKivitz is list as day to day, as his linebacker Demetrius Flanigan-Fowles (ankle).
Left tackle Trent Williams, who played 46 snaps on a sprained right ankle, and defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who was tripped and tweaked his knee, reported no problems upon return from Florida.
What was evident to Shanahan was a level of anger after letting a three-game losing streak percolate during the bye week.
“You go three weeks, losing three games in a row, then have to take a week off and let it fester,” Shanahan said. “We were sick of that feeling. I think guys came back from the bye week pretty pissed and we were looking forward to this game.”
Trent and Deebo: With Williams back at left tackle after missing the last two games and Deebo Samuel doing what he does at wide receiver and in the backfield after also missing two games with a hairline fracture in his shoulder, the 49ers offense looked rejuvenated.
The 49ers had 437 yards of total offense, 20 first downs and had 144 yards rushing against one of the top rushing defenses.
Shanahan believes the presence of Williams and Samuel gave the offense a confidence boost rather than a physical one.
“Trent by no means was close to 100 percent and I thought it was courageous to battle throughout that game,” Shanahan said. “Deebo didn’t get involved that much. I know he got that reverse (a 23-yard scoring run), but he didn’t get too much more.
“I don’t think it had a huge impact on the game, but the way it unfolded, knowing they were going to be out there, gives the offense more confidence.”
Nick Bosa (97) got fewer snaps against Jacksonville and had his biggest game of the season. A.P. Photo
Less of Bosa means more: It may be no coincidence that edge rusher Nick Bosa played the fewest percentage of snaps he’s had since Week 1 yet had his biggest impact in terms of the stat sheet with 1 1/2 sacks, three hits on quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a pass batted down and he pressured Lawrence into a pass that was intercepted by Talanoa Hufanga.
Bosa played 37 snaps or 65 percent, after seeing 89, 91 and 90 snaps over a three-game period.
The arrival of Chase Young, who played 35 snaps, and a liberal rotation kept everyone fresh.
“That’s been our goal for a number of weeks and we’ve struggled to do that,” Shanahan said. “I think getting Chase in there made it a lot easier. I think the way the game went made it a lot easier. It’s hard to take Nick off the field, but it’s something we’re trying to do, because we want him playing at the same level for all those plays, not just rushing the quarterback.”
The 49ers played eight defensive linemen, with Javon Hargrave getting 37 snaps, Armstead 34, Javon Kinlaw 24, Kevin Givens 22, Clelin Ferrell 22 and Randy Gregory 21.
Demo, Ambry and the nickel: Although victimized in coverage on occasion, cornerback Deommodore Lenoir “flew around and made plays” as the nickel back in place of Isaiah Oliver while Ambry Thomas played a season-high 46 snaps. Thomas had played just four snaps total on defense in the previous four weeks.
Thomas forced a second-half fumble, recovered and ran it in for a touchdown which was called back because the 49ers didn’t know the play was alive, with players and coaches illegally coming onto the field.
“I was real happy with those guys and hopefully they’ll continue to get better,” Shanahan said.
When Lenoir left for three snaps due to injury, Oliver replaced him and Shanahan said he “didn’t miss a beat.”
Shanahan stopped short of saying it will be the same lineup in the secondary against Tampa Bay.
“I think Isaiah played some real good ball for us this year too,” Shanahan said. “We’ve got some good options. It all depends on who we’re playing and we’ll see how this settles. We’re looking into it each week.”
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— If McKivitz is unable to play at right tackle, veteran Matt Pryor is next in line on the right side but Shanahan didn’t rule out moving Jaylon Moore, who was steady in two games in place of Williams at left tackle.
Assuming left guard Aaron Banks remains out with turf toe, Jon Feliciano will draw another start alongside Williams. The 49ers were considering moving Feliciano in on a rotational basis at right guard as they did a year ago with Spencer Burford and Daniel Brunskill.
— Defensive end Drake Jackson had an injection to alleviate knee tendinitis and will need at least a month to recover. The 2022 second-round draft pick was placed on injured reserve Friday and Shanahan said his recovery will determine whether he’ll play again this season.