Biggest Game of Early 2012 for the New York Jets


June 14, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum speak during minicamp at the Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

This is the down time for the NFL, between minicamp and training camp. Other than talk about the Revis holdout possibility, and anything at all regarding Sanchez/Tebow, there isn’t a lot going on.

So, I’ve been taking a look at the schedule for the Jets in 2012. This is a time to take an early look at it, for good matchups, which games will be important…etc. Taking a look at the first quarter of the season, the game that is the most important jumped right off the page, and we are going to look a bit at why. The game?

Week 4, when the Jets host the San Francisco 49ers. Turn the page for the reasons

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.

Week 4 may also tell a big story in the Sanchez v Tebow saga. Week 4 in an NFL season is a big spot to begin with, simply because of the record. At 3-0 maybe not so much, but with all the parity in the NFL, we don’t see that a lot. Week 4 sees teams at 2-1, 1-2, or 0-3. The losing records make week 4 a make or break week, while a 2-1 record can mean week 4 is a game for first place, or a larger lead in first place, that type of thing.

If the Jets are in any of these types of situations, the pressure will be on Mark Sanchez to hold onto his job. Let’s say the Jets are 1-2 heading into this game. We are now at halftime, and the 49ers have a 13-3 lead. The “Tebow” chants will start raining out of the stands, and they won’t stop. Week 4 is a week where teams look for a spark, sometimes to save a season. If the Jets are in trouble, Tebow could be called upon, and you all know how I feel if that happens.

Week 4 should be a terrific game, our Jets vs the 49ers. It will also be one of the utmost importance to the Jets season, the biggest game in the first quarter of the season.