Earlier this week I saw an article in the fanpost section about teams we look out for apart from the Jets, well although I didn't comment, if i had it would have been the 49'ers. I don't follow or support them, but if the Jets are not playing and there is a San Francisco game on, I'm going to be watching it. So I have a great deal of respect for what they are doing over there in San Francisco and I'm under no allusions that this is going to be one of our toughest tests this years.
San Francisco come into the game with the same 2-1 record the Jets currently hold. Their wins coming against the heavily favoured Packers and the ever improving Lions. Last week however they hit a stumbling block in Christian Ponder, Kyle Rudolph and the rebuilding Minnesota Vikings. I watched this game and if you did not know about the NFL, you wouldn't have been able to distinguish between a team tipped for glory and a team pegged as a rebuilding structure.
The important aspect of that game? despite the vaunted San Francisco defence, the Vikings offensive line did not allow a single sack and Ponder threw 0 interceptions. They made San Francisco work for every point and they allowed Ponder to find his big target and former Notre Dame favourite Kyle Rudolph for two scores. So it's not surprising that my tip for what to watch for this week is protecting Mark Sanchez
Last week we allowed two sacks against the Dolphins and Sanchez threw two costly picks, luckily we got away with it but against the 49'ers we won't be so lucky. However this doesn't just rest on the shoulders of Sanchez, as we saw with the first pick against the Dolphins, Clyde Gates ran the route incorrectly.....if he had cut it properly not only do we not see that interception, we see a good completion. The 2nd pick was all Sanchez, and was a terrible decision.
We are averaging 1 sack a game, three games and three sacks. We should be healthier this week in the FB position and our offensive line are looking much sturdier than they did last year. If we can get the receivers to do their part, and we can hold the protection, there is no reason to believe we can't give Sanchez the time that the Vikings gave Ponder.