Jets TakeOff! Week 4 Preview: San Francisco 49ers vs New York Jets


Sept 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Tim Tebow (left) and Mark Sanchez (right) both are seen prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Week four is here, and the Jets open a stretch of a tough couple of games tomorrow when they host the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Both teams enter the game with a 2-1 record. The Jets are coming off their 23-20 OT win in Miami last week, while the 49ers are coming off being upset by the Vikings in Minnesota, 24-13. It should be an interesting game as both teams are built to do similar things, run the football and play tough defense. Let’s take a look at the history between these two teams:

The Jets and 49ers have faced off 11 times, with San Francisco winning 9 of them. The last time these two teams faced each other was December 7, 2008 in San Francisco, when the 49ers topped the Jets 24-14. The last time the Jets hosted the Niners at home they won, October 17, 2004, when Curtis Martin rushed for 111 yards and 2 TDs as the Jets beat the 49ers 22-14. Here are some keys to the game:


The Jets’ run defense has been uncharacteristically bad in 2012. Running backs like CJ Spiller and Reggie Bush have broken off large chunks against the Rex Ryan defense so far. Frank Gore is a back that is accustomed to breaking off big chunks, averaging 5.9 yards per carry so far this year. We talked during the week about the Jets front seven getting blown off the football last week. The holes were so big, you could drive a truck through them, and that was against the Dolphins. This week, they go up against a team that was one step away from last year’s Super Bowl. The Jets have to be “gap sound”, and not let Frank Gore get out of the blocks. It could be a long day if this guy runs free.

Sep 23, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) catches a pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter at the Metrodome. Vikings win 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE


We talked about this during the week, but it bares repeating. This is the type of guy that has given the Jets fits. Davis likes to roam free down the seams of the field, and when he does, it’s trouble. Nobody lays a glove on this guy, and he gets to do what he wants. In order to beat this guy, the Jets have to hit him early, and hit him often. The rules allow a receiver to be bumped within the first 5 yards. The Jets need to use this rule to their advantage. They have to bump him off of his routes, every time. If they don’t, Vernon will burn them all day long.

Sept 23, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (11) celebrate the Jets 23-20 overtime win over the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE


Any readers know that I am as a big a fan of Shonn Greene as anybody. I have always had faith that, given the carries, Shonn would get the job done. He has done all he can to prove me wrong so far in 2012. For the season, averaging under 3 yards per carry is just terrible. Greene looks slow, and is not hitting the hole with any gusto. Despite my feelings, a change needs to be made.

Bilal Powell ran with a bit more giddyup last week, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He is hitting the hole with speed, unlike Greene. He needs to have carries early in the game. Shonn fairs better late in the game, when the defense has already worn down. Work Bilal in early, and that will help soften up the run defense.


Amongst starting quarterbacks, Mark Sanchez has the lowest completion percentage, barely over 50%. That will not win very many games, nor will it keep the “Tebow” chants from echoing through the walls of MetLife Stadium. Mark Sanchez must be efficient in order for for the Jets to win.

The 49ers are tough against the run, but have been a bit forgiving against the pass, ranked only 20th against the pass. This is definitely the type of week that the Jets will need the pass to open up the running lanes. Although it looks like Stephen Hill won’t play, it looks more and more like Dustin Keller will, which will be a big help to Mark Sanchez and his confidence. Having his security blanket out there for the first time in a couple of weeks should make Mark more confident. He needs to be, and the Jets need to throw the ball efficiently in order for the Jets to be able to run it. The Jets need to be able to do both well to win.

Enjoy the game tomorrow, Jets fans.