Great defense combined with a powerful ground and pound game were the recipe for this win. It wasn’t that long ago we were saying this kind of thing about the Jets.
The San Francisco 49ers coming off of their first loss of the year went to MetLife Stadium took out their frustration on the New York Jets with a shutout win 34-0. The 49ers ran the ball down their throats while also suffocating the Jets offense. The 49ers had 245 yards rushing yards and a total of 379 total yards. They also had the ball for nearly 37 minutes and had 26 first downs. The Jets only had 145 total yards with only 45 on the ground and committed 4 turnovers with 3 fumbles and one INT. The Jets didn’t get in the red zone all day.
The 49ers advance to 3-1 while the Jets fall to 2-2.
“Our players just really, really played well,” 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said. “There was a lot of fight, there was a lot of energy. They brought a lot of energy to this game and it was really important to them.
Now neither team on offense made performances that are going to be remembered across the league but the 49ers offense managed to move the move the ball, especially on the ground and in unique ways. The first TD for the 49ers came in the early 2nd quarter with the feet of Colin Kaepernick, the back up QB, running it in via a wild cat play. That was the first TD of his NFL career.
It wasn’t just Kaepernick running trick plays as a few receivers became rushers. To help keep that first TD drive alive, Mario Manningham had a reverse run to the right for 28 yards. Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn Jr., who made his return from injury, ran the ball once apiece for 9 and 7 yards respectively.
Overall, 9 players ran with the ball at least once as part of that superb rushing attack. Frank Gore carried it the most with 21 carries for 61 yards and a TD in the third quarter to put the 49ers up by 17. Kendall Hunter also made an impact with 8 carries for 56 yards and a TD run in the 4th quarter after a Jets punt was blocked by LB Larry Grant that started the drive at the NYJ 4.
Alex Smith and the passing attack was not much of a factor in this game. He did make some throws to help set up a few scores but most of the work was done by the running attack and the offensive line. Smith still went 12/21 for 143 passing yards.
As for the Jets offense working against that 49ers defense, a good drive for them ended in a punt. The 49ers defense limited the Jets to 2.6 yards a carry with Shonn Greene having the most success (if any)with 31 yards in 11 carries. Tebow was a non factor on the ground with 2 carries for no yards.
A deflated rushing attack forced Jets QB Mark Sanchez to take more risks to try and get his team back into the game. Sanchez wasn’t good enough today to do that as he goes 13/29 for 103 yards and an INT thrown to 49ers LB Patrick Willis in the drive to start the 2nd half. It was a tip ball at the line as DT Ray McDonald got a hand on it for Willis.
Santonio Holmes was the main target for Sanchez as he was thrown to 8 times and made 4 catches for 29 yards. However, he might be the main target anymore as he suffered a serious left injury in the beginning of he 4th quarter. What was interesting was that he caught the ball on that play for a few yards and then went down with the injury and without getting touched. Likely thinking the play was over and reacting to his injury, Holmes threw the ball out of his hands grabbing his leg in agony. The ball was picked up by 49ers CB Carlos Rogers for a 51 yard TD run to put the 49ers ahead 24-0.
While that play was ruled a fumble, the 49ers caused two other fumbles in the game. On one of the few Tebow plays, Tim Tebow tossed it to TE Dedrick Epps for a near first down early in the 2nd quarter when he fumbled it by getting hit by Safety Dashon Goldson. Carlos Rogers was the one to recover that fumble as well. Epps would go down with an injury to the right knee on the play.
Later inside the 2 minute mark in the 1st half, Mark Sanchez fumbled the ball on a sack by LB Aldon Smith which was recovered by DT Justin Smith. That led to a 49ers FG by David Akers who had a mediocre day going 2/4 in Field Goal attempts.
The whole game was a poor performance all around as Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan tries to describe it.
“It’s obviously unacceptable,” Ryan said. “It starts with the coaches. The players … they’ve got to dig deep, look down at the themselves.”
A lot of soul searching ahead for the Jets while the 49ers head home after splitting the road trip. Getting a shutout on the road is hard to achieve and to do it after a loss makes it huge for a team.
“Those things are really hard to come by,” Patrick Willis said of the shutout. “Any time you’ve got an opportunity to get one of those, you take it and you enjoy it. But, like I said, it’s humble hearts around here and we know that this was just one game in many and that we have to continue on the right track and win.”
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Written by Daniel Trucios