Mark Sanchez played one of the worst games of his career, producing a paltry 39.9 passer rating and completing just 13 of 29 pass attempts. He repeatedly short-hopped his intended receivers and held on to the ball for far too long in the pocket. With the Jets moving in on field goal range facing a third-and-seven from San Francisco’s 25-yard line, Sanchez scrambled out of the pocket and was strip sacked, negating a chance at a field goal that could have closed the halftime deficit to 7-3. Chants for Tim Tebow rained down from a mostly empty Metlife Stadium in the waning moments of the second half, creating a potential quarterback controversy on the horizon.
While Sanchez is playing his way out of a starting job, running back Shonn Greene might be doing the same. New York’s third-year tailback amassed just 34 yards on 11 carries with a long run of five yards on the afternoon. Greene lacks the explosiveness and vision to produce big chunk plays in the ground game. With Rex Ryan trading running back Joe McKnight to the defense, Gang Green’s rushing attack leaves something to be desired.
Without superstar Darrelle Revis, New York’s secondary held its own against Alex Smith and company. Smith rode on the coattails of a powerful rushing attack as he completed 12 of 21 pass attempts for 143 yards without a touchdown or more importantly a turnover. As New York’s run defense was gashed and mashed, Smith took what Gang Green’s defense gave him in the passing game and played an efficient and mistake-free game. Cornerback Kyle Wilson was burned on several deep route patterns, but Smith overshot wide receiver Michael Crabtree preventing an even larger margin of victory.
The Jets now hold claim to the NFL’s 31st ranked rushing defense surrendering an astounding 245 yards on the ground against San Francisco. Ryan’s defensive unit was victimized by the 49ers ball-carriers as six different players tallied at least 12 rushing yards on Sunday. Gang Green was not gap-sound and arm tackles produced extra yardage on several running plays. New York was beaten physically at the line of scrimmage and despite stacking the box, they were unable to keep Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and Colin Kaepernick under wraps.
Mike Westhoff’s crew allowed a block punt when the game got out of hand in the fourth-quarter adding insult to injury Joe Mcknight was a bright spot bringing back two kickoffs for 73 yards including a long of 44 yards. Punter Robert Malone was not at his best booting six punts for an average of 43.3 yards with only two falling inside the 20-yard line. Placekicker Nick Folk didn’t have a field goal attempt with the Jets suffering their first shutout loss of the season.
Out-coached, out-played and over-matched. That was the prevailing theme on Sunday. Ryan and company did little to stop San Francisco’s onslaught and once against failed to utilize Tim Tebow effectively in the Wildcat package. It’s back to the drawing board for the men in headsets as the Jets prepare for a Monday night showdown with the Houston Texans.