Gamethread: New York Jets vs. San Francisco 49ers 09.30.12

Jets K Nick Folk as he kicks what would become the game-winning field goal last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Who: New York Jets vs. San Francisco 49ers
When: 1:00 p.m. EDT
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Media: TV – FOX, DirecTV – 706, Radio – ESPN 98.7 FM, Sirius – 113, Sirius XM – XM 229, Internet AudioNFL Fieldpass.
Their Previous Meeting: The last time these two teams met, despite coming off a loss against Jay Cutler and the Denver Broncos, Favre, yes THE Brett Favre, and Company, at 8-4, still had a chance to contend for a playoff berth. Unfortunately, the Denver game served as a prelude to the Jets losing four of their final five games in the waning days of the Mangini era and the then lowly 4-8 49ers capitalized. Despite completing 65% of his passes, Favre struggled to find the end zone however, had no issue finding 49er cornerback Walt Harris on his lone interception of the day. The 49ers controlled much of the game taking an early 7-0 lead before the Jets tied on a 2 yard Brett Favre run. Frank Gore put the Niners ahead again on a four yard touchdown pass from Shaun Hill only for Jets running back Thomas Jones to answer with a 17 yard score. However, the Jets’ offense would sputter thereafter while the 49ers scored on a Joe Nedney field goal and Hill threw his second touchdown pass of the day to Bryant Johnson. The Jets went on to lose the contest 24-14.

Injury Report

Jets: LB Nick Bellore (Shoulder–Probable), FB John Conner (Knee–Questionable), CB Antonio Cromartie (Shoulder–Probable), DT Mike DeVito (Calf–Probable), WR Stephen Hill (Hamstring–Doubtful), T Austin Howard (Back–Probable), TE Dustin Keller (Hamstring–Questionable), S LaRon Landry (Heel–Probable), CB Ellis Lankster (Low back–Probable), C Nick Mangold (Wrist–Probable), G Brandon Moore (Hip–Probable), LB Calvin Pace (Achilles–Probable), NT Sione Po’uha (Low back–Probable), CB Darrelle Revis (Knee–Out), QB Mark Sanchez (Low back–Probable), LB Bart Scott (Toe–Questionable), G Matt Slauson (Knee–Probable), S Eric Smith (Hip/Knee–Probable), LB Bryan Thomas (Hamstring–Questionable), CB Isaiah Trufant (Ankle–Probable), and WR Patrick Turner (Hamstring–Questionable).
49ers: TE Vernon Davis (Back–Probable), WR Ted Ginn Jr. (Ankle–Questionable), RB Brandon Jacobs (Knee–Questionable), P Andy Lee (Hand–Probable), DT Isaac Sopoaga (Ankle/Knee–Questionable), and LB Patrick Willis (Ankle–Probable).

Jets: QB Greg McElroy, RB Jonathan Grimes, TE Dustin Keller, C Caleb Schlauderaff, NT Damon Harrison, and CB Darrelle Revis.
49ers: QB Scott Tolzien, WR A.J. Jenkins, RB LaMichael James, RB Brandon Jacobs, G Joe Looney, NT Issac Sopoaga, and S Trenton Robinson.

Game Captains: TE Konrad Reuland, WR Chaz Schilens, RB Joe McKnight, LB Josh Mauga, and K Nick Folk.

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The life of a Jets fan. Your franchise cornerback returns from injury only for you to lose him to a torn ACL. Without a doubt the loss of Revis is a tough blow for a defense that revolves around him and his abilities. But, there is little time to dwell on it as the Jets have to move forward and prepare with what they have in front of them, many of whom are unproven as far as a starting role is concerned. When comparing them to Revis, who we’ve realistically been spoiled with, the drop off might seem disturbing but in reality like every human cornerback in the league they have their flaws. Revis is not human and therefore it would unfair of us to heighten our expectations to Level Revis. The Jets will undoubtedly rely on their safety tandem of Landry and Bell now more so than ever before simply because they can with the upgrade in talent. They also need to start up front and apply pressure on Alex Smith. The Jets’ D-Line has been struggling mightily in that department and would do well to get something, anything going today against the 49ers or we may be grimacing at both the offense AND defense.

Speaking of offense, or lack thereof, what immediately comes to mind is points are being left on the field, Ground and Pound is averaging less than 3 yards per carry, and Sanchez has struggled to connect with his receivers. To the point about Sanchez, he’s made some questionable throws but his receivers haven’t exactly done him wonders either with dropped passes, mistimed routes, wrong routes and letting press coverage blanket them. The absence of Dustin Keller has certainly, to a degree, thrown Sanchez off because of the rapport the two developed. Hill has been catch less the past two contests and is now sidelined with a hamstring injury while Santonio has seemingly been the only consistent contributor. Schilens is still a relatively unknown commodity while Gates looks like he could use additional reps on the practice squad. And then there’s Patrick Turner who the Jets just re-signed to help with Hill out but he is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Keller’s listed as questionable but hopefully he can return and provide some much needed help. At running back while Shonn Greene has yet to lose his starting job, the heat is growing. He’s averaging a measly 2.8 YPC and while his backup Bilal Powell has shown the speed and vision the running desperately could use. What makes it worse for Greene anyway is that he’ll be going against a clone of, or what WAS a clone of, the Jets defense and Powell could see more carries if he can find some holes. Technically we could still file Joe $ under this category but the team seems adamant about the switch to corner. Enter Jon Grimes. Grimes was an impressive force in the preseason who was left developing on their practice squad for a few weeks before the Jets snatched him up. If the Jets are serious about McKnight’s change then activating two running backs on game day would be foolish given Greene’s struggles and past injury issues. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Grimes active.

There’s no doubt this will be a tough task especially since the Niners have so many weapons while the Jets have a penchant for beating themselves by leaving points on the field and missing tackles. This will hopefully give us a positive idea of where the team is headed and how far they can go. Let the battle begin.