JACKSONVILLE – The challenge is significant and high profile.
"We have our work cut out for us," Robinson said as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (6-2) prepared to play the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers (5-3) at EverBank Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.
The reasons are as simple as they are dangerous:
- Edge rushers Nick Bosa and Chase Young, two former No. 2 overall selections in the NFL Draft. The 49ers are considered one of the most talented teams in the NFL, with running back Christian McCaffrey and linebacker Fred Warner considered by some the league's best player at their positions.
- The same is true of Bosa, a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
"They have great players," Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor said Thursday. "That's the first thing that jumps of the tape."
Bosa, the No. 2 selection in 2019 and the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2022, has 43 career sacks in five seasons and led the NFL in the category with 18.5 last season. The 49ers last week traded a third-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft for Young, the No. 2 selection in 2020 and the NFL's Rookie of the Year that season.
"The difficult part of it is that they're both just great players," quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. "There are going to be things that you might have to adjust to in the game. You're kind of guessing on where they're going to play, what they're going to do, which side they're going to play on. At the end of the day, you've got to win your matchups, you got to be able to block and we've got to help our tackles.
"When it's two ends, you kind of know what they're going to do. They've got to pick a side and they're going to rush. They're going to play with instincts and those guys are good players."
Young had five sacks in seven games with Washington this season and joins a 49ers defensive line that also includes Javon Hargrave, who had 11 sacks for the Philadelphia Eagles last season before signing with the 49ers as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason.
Warner, a sixth-year veteran, was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2020 and 2022.
"It's one of those things where you see a group that's played in a system for a long time and the way they communicate is really good – the way they feed off each other, the way they know people like to attack them and the way they respond to that," Taylor said.
- The 49ers are among the NFL's best offenses, with big reason being the versatility of players such as running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Deebo Samuel. McCaffrey, a two-time All-Pro selection, has 5,738 career rushing yards and 4,048 career receiving yards. He has scored a touchdown in an NFL-record 17 consecutive games. Samuel, a 2021 first-team All-Pro selection, has 3,532 career receiving yards and 877 career rushing yards. "They have talented players, then at the same time you can line guys up at multiple different spots and it looks different," Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell said. "You might have to prepare for it differently. They're doing the same thing, but to a defense it looks like it's completely different. You might have a running back lined up at a receiver and the receiver lined up and running back in. That should freak you out. But at the end of the day, you just go out there and play the look." Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen called playing "gap-sound" defense critical. "They want to be physical up front and set the tone with the tight ends as well," Allen said. "And obviously they have one of the best backs. He can see all the holes. If we can stay disciplined and stay within our, our scheme of the defense, I think Coach Caldwell has a great game plan of how we can stop these plays that they run successfully."
NOTABLE - INJURY UPDATES
- Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones practiced limited for a second consecutive day with a knee issue Thursday, with Head Coach Doug Pederson early this week calling him day to day. Jones has missed the last three games and five of eight this season with the issue.
- Also practicing limited for a second consecutive day for the Jaguars Thursday: Cornerback Tyson Campbell (hamstring), safety Andre Cisco (hamstring), guard Ezra Cleveland (toe) and safety Daniel Thomas (hamstring). Outside linebacker Yasir Abdullah returned to practice full after missing Wednesday with an illness. Cornerback Gregory Junior, whose window to return from injured reserve with a hamstring injury is open, practiced full for a second consecutive day.