The NY Jets are getting set to face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in East Rutherford.
This will be a long week for the NY Jets.
After getting spun in circles by the Buffalo Bills up in Orchard Park, the Jets are looking to rebound with a strong performance against a formidable San Francisco 49ers team.
In anticipation of this matchup, the Jets have placed a number of key players on injured reserve, including running back Le’Veon Bell (hamstring), wide receiver Denzel Mims (hamstrings), linebacker Blake Cashman (groin).
They have also signed former Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage, whom the team tried to trade a conditional seventh-round pick for after then receiving a failed physical designation.
Overall, this team should be on a decent bill of health heading into this Week 2 bout. With linebacker Avery Williamson close to returning to the starting lineup, the Jets’ defense will get a noticeable boost in both the run and pass, defensively.
On the other side of the country, San Francisco looks a bit banged up. With wide receiver Deebo Samuel (foot) not quite ready to return as he’s been placed on injured reserve, the Jets should get a bit of a taste of newly-signed wide receiver Mohamed Sanu running across the middle.
Tight end George Kittle (knee) has been monitored since Sunday’s content versus Arizona with what is believed to be a knee sprain that has the potential to keep him sidelined against the Jets on Sunday.
On the defensive side of the football for the 49ers, cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) was designated to IR on Wednesday, he won’t suit up to face the green and white.
Another notable injury for San Francisco, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has been placed in concussion protocol which he suffered on Sunday. No word on if he’ll be available this coming week.
With injury news aside, the Jets still seem to be in for a tough afternoon in stopping the 49ers and their daunting run game.
Although San Francisco may look a bit more vulnerable, this will be an important task for the Jets to prove that last week’s debacle of a contest was just a fluke.
The NY Jets will need a better showing from both Adam Gase and Sam Darnold.
Adam Gase, Sam Darnold both have the perfect opportunity in front of them to show many around the league that their offense isn’t meant to be wasting away in the bottom-of-the-barrel among many teams across the NFL.
While the Jets offense may be without Le’Veon Bell for this particular game, and three others moving forward, the excuses will have to be left at their hotel doors.
The 49ers are entering MetLife Stadium with a chip on their shoulders the size of Mount Everest. Losing to the Arizona Cardinals will only add fuel to an already roaring fire started by head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Adam Gase will likely need to alter the game plan significantly throughout the game to match the intensity of those lined up over the other side of the line.
The key(s) on offense is to establish the run immediately, out-of-the-gate. Gase’s goal here is to limit the amount of long down-and-distance situations with an effective run game to pick up crucial yards that can be used to develop big plays on first-and-second downs.
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Another key, Sam Darnold has to play better — pretty straight-forward. The way Darnold performed this past Sunday won’t fly while facing a 49ers’ secondary that has had the liberty to develop continuity and valuable chemistry over this strange offseason.
It will be quite interesting to see how Adam Gase attacks on the team’s first offensive drive. Gase had success while running the hurry-up offense on the team’s first few drives in many games last season.
Darnold also seems a bit more comfortable in the hurry-up, too. It could be the pace of the offense limits Darnold’s ability to overthink a particular target, who knows. Nevertheless, Adam Gase needs to be better, and so does Sam.
Transitioning to the defensive side of the ball, Gregg Williams will surely have his unit ready for what will likely be a down-and-dirty contest that hosts a zone-run scheme in which San Francisco has ever-so perfected under coach Shanahan.
While Williams’ unit didn’t play as well as most would have imagined in Week 1, his ability to disguise a certain coverage and transform a defense’s attitude, goes unmatched to many other coordinators around the league.
An area where the defense surely needs to improve upon going forward is defending short passes. Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen was shredding the Jets when it came to dinking-and-dunking his way down the field.
This could have been a result of the Jets being a bit thin at linebacker. With Blake Cashman suffering that groin injury early in the game, Harvey Langi had to come at his relief.
While Langi played fine at some points throughout the game, the Jets can’t, and won’t, go into Sunday’s game with just Neville Hewitt and Langi at linebacker.
The addition of Alec Ogletree to the practice squad, and the return of Avery Williamson, can alter that unit’s identity to one of the weaker spots on the roster, to the strongest.
Score Prediction: 49ers 27, Jets 23