We try to look at the Jets opponents every week and take some of the statistical numbers from Football Outsiders to better understand what the Jets will be facing on Sunday.
Pass Offense: 17.5% (14th)
Rush Offense: 29.4% (2nd)
O-Line Adjusted Line Yards: 4.93 Yards (2nd)
O-Line Adj. Sack Rate: 10.3% (28th)
Analysis: In a perfect, world, this is just the sort of offense that Rex Ryan would want for his team; a prolific run-blocking line with a hard-nosed running game and a quarterback who rarely makes mistakes. For the Jets this means that they are going to have to do their best to stop the run, something that’s not come easily so far this season. Then if the Jets can get into a middle or long third down, hold the Niners go-to receivers out of the play. While the team has some very gifted athletes in the passing game in Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, they haven’t been wildly effective in getting into the end zone. Still both Davis and Crabtree are major factors in the passing game and keeping the chains moving. Look for the Jets to try and double cover Crabtree as best they can on third down and potentially match Vernon Davis with LaRon Landry.
Pass Defense: -21.8% (22nd)
Rush Defense: -39.0% (2nd)
Defensive Adjusted Line Yards: 3.67 Yards (13th)
Defensive Adj. Sack Rate: 4.5% (25th)
Analysis: When a team is defending the run as well as the Niners are and yet their defensive line is mediocre, it should tell you one thing: their linebackers are amazing. Ahmad Brooks, Novarro Bowmann, Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith might be one of the very best side to side 3-4 linebacking corps in the league when it comes to stopping the run. Now getting after and defending the pass? Meh. So in this way the Niners defense so far is looking very much like the Dolphins defense did last week. The Jets are doing their best to revive their running attack by sliding around some players like McKnight to corner and signing Grimes to their active roster, but whatever changes the team makes might not be enough to overpower this group of run-stoppers. The Jets will be better off throwing the ball and working outside the tackle box than trying to spend too much time and effort forcing something that just won’t be there between the tackles.
Where the Niners are most susceptible is where the Jets have been susceptible in recent years on their defense: in the slot and against running backs. The Jets should plan to throw a lot of passes to backs coming out of the backfield, screen plays or across the middle on shallow crossing routes. Look for Jeremy Kerley to be a big part of the Niners game plan.
Special Teams: 2.5% (13th)
Analysis: The strengths of the Niners special teams come on field goals and in the kick return game. Look to see if the Jets don’t try to take back a possession or two with their own punting unit.