49ers mailbag: Who’s running the ball? How long will Garoppolo stay? What’s Bosa’s sack goal?

SANTA CLARA – Time to click open this week’s Week 11 mailbag, via 49ers fans’ hitting my Instagram and Twitter handles:

Why SO MUCH running? Are we really that scared of interceptions and fumbles? (@whostin_texas)

Gosh, if you put it like that, sure. The 49ers have committed more turnovers since 2017 than any other team. Running the ball is their preferred identity, and being a 44-carry ball hog kept the Rams’ explosive offense off the field in Monday’s 31-10 win. Another byproduct: no turnovers, as was the case in wins at Philadelphia and Chicago.

Will the Niners run the ball more against Jacksonville? (@maryannmyniguez)

Elijah Mitchell’s finger surgery complicates matters, though Jeff Wilson Jr. is fresh off his season debut, and Trey Sermon apparently is still on the roster. The Jaguars (2-7) have allowed 100 rushing yards in just two games: their opener to Houston and last Sunday to Indy. They’re allowing the fifth-fewest rushing yards per carry (3.89). It won’t be as easy you might suspect.

Will Jimmy Garoppolo be here next year? (@alexispaterakis)

It shouldn’t be shocking — if the 49ers keep winning and he keeps converting third downs, avoiding turnovers and targeting stars. Garoppolo seems happy to again make the most of his time here. He’s thriving out of the shotgun, just as he did at Eastern Illinois. His passer rating the past three games: 100.6, 100.6, 141.7. He is signed through 2022 at about the same $24 million salary as this season. But if Trey Lance isn’t ready next year, he’d essentially have sat out 2020 (COVID cancelation at North Dakota State), 2021 (NFL redshirt) and then 2022. Seems unlikely the 49ers would go that route.

Breakout player against the Jags? (@all4dg3)

Lance, of course! Just kidding. Garoppolo’s stunt double hasn’t sniffed a snap in a month, and coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t compelled to force the rookie onto the field, barring a Garoppolo injury or a pile of turnovers and losses. As for a Week 11 breakout player, double down on the guy in jersey No. 22, Wilson.

Playoff hopes still alive? (@jeremievenditti)

Aren’t we all? The 49ers absolutely can challenge for the NFC’s wild-card berths. They’re a game back of the No. 6 spot (New Orleans Saints, 5-4) and even closer to No. 7 (Carolina Panthers, 5-5). It’s time to make a move with this stretch against the Jaguars (2-7), the Minnesota Vikings (4-5), the Seattle Seahawks (3-6) and the Atlanta Falcons (4-5).

How many sacks will Nick Bosa get this year? (@kyleben20)

He has eight, only one shy of his 2019 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year total. Going home to Florida could entice him to punish Trevor Lawrence in that Duval backyard.

How bad is our right tackle’s injury? (@j.m.p.9)

Which one?! Jaylon Moore did not sustain major structural damage to his knee, after leaving one drive into Monday’s win. Moore started in place of Mike McGlinchey, whose torn quad has him done for the season. Third-string option Tom Compton may have to suffice. Corbin Kaufusi returned last week on the practice squad. Mexico native Alfredo Gutierrez is strictly a developmental prospect this year. Another option, one they didn’t entertain last week: slide Daniel Brunskill to tackle and insert Aaron Banks at right guard.

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