@ -- Sunday, Sept. 30th, 1:00 p.m. EST
Let me just say that this matchup holds a special place in my heart. In 1998 the Jets and the 49'ers faced off at 3com, and when pressed by one of many legal guardians I've had throughout my life, I settled on the Jets as my decidedly favorite sports team after waffling as a youth between New York teams. The Jets ran up an impressive score, totaling thirty points in an impressive showing...until the 49ers came back and beat them 36-30.
Years of taunting have ensued.
Sister Site: Niners Nation
Location: Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ.
Coverage: FOX. DirecTV 706. Sirius XM 113.
Weather: Cloudy. Temps in the 60's.
Record: All time series is 9-2 in favor of the 49'ers.
Who is favored?: All betting odds and that vast majority of media analysts favor the 49'ers.
What happened last time? Niners beat the Jets 24-14 in 2008.
Injury report: ("probable" players are omitted)
Offense: The Jets are 22nd in overall offense, 11th in points, 20th in passing and 16th in rushing. SF is 21st in yards, 15th in points, 24th in passing and 7th in rushing.
Defense: The Jets are 19th in points allowed, 21st in overall yards allowed, 11th against the pass, and 28th against the rush. San Francisco is 13th in points allowed and in passing yards allowed, 11th in total defense and 8th against the run.
San Francisco 49er to Watch: Vernon Davis
Davis is an absolute monster and could very well be the best tight end in the NFL. Rex has more or less praised him as such. It's not entirely uncommon for Davis to draw coverage from Cornerbacks, including the tragically absent Darrelle Revis on some plays. Vernon has 13 receptions for 169 yards and 4 TDs in this young season in addition to his blocking contributions. In terms of production he leads the teams statistical next best receiver, Michael Crabtree, in averages and scoring. The 49ers are actually ranked pretty poorly in pass offense and Davis will be relied upon to keep our teams defense honest against a great rushing offense. Davis poses a challenge to every position on defense receiving or blocking.
Jets X-Factor: Kyle Wilson
This one kind of goes without saying. Until he establishes himself, Quarterbacks and receivers alike will test Wilson and the secondary. The outcome of the game may very well rest on his shoulder pads. It's more likely that the defense will just become more mediocre overall and either the offense will turn a corner and the Jets will be OK, or the offense will remain erratic and the Jets will remain a middled team. Wilson can keep things alive by just being serviceable on the outside.
Prediction: Jets 27 49ers 24
Oh, why the heck not? No reason, but this might be the last chance I have to express optimism and still have it be even remotely rational. I'm choosing to believe Mark Sanchez can have one of those games where he channels the energy of an amalgam of John Elway and Joe Montana on steroids but still manages to make one really random boneheaded play. For better or worse, the Jets and the 49ers are both about to learn a great deal about who they are and who they will be this season.