First, this will be a major test for the New York Jets offense. The Ground and Pound philosophy will be in full swing come week 4, and it will see maybe it’s toughest test. The 49ers are as good as it gets against the run, as they trounced the rest of the league in run defense in 2011, giving a meager 77.2 yards per game on the ground. The Jets will rely on physical, smash mouth football in 2011, and this will be a true benchmark of where they are.
The matchup will serve as a benchmark for Mark Sanchez as well. This defense, as tough as it is against the run, is beatable against the pass. The 49ers were a mediocre 16th in the league against the pass in 2011, giving up just over 230 yards per game through the air. Tony Sparano’s offense also puts great stock in downfield big plays, and Mark should have a chance to get that done in this one.