I'll admit it. I'm actually looking forward to the game tomorrow. We're going with the great unknown of Bryce Petty at QB and that adds a level of intrigue and excitement. I've consistently said that I don't think he's the answer we're looking for, but because he hasn't had a chance to show that, the great unknown brings with it a sense of anticipation. He's in a good situation here, there are no expectations on him and he's coming in with a full week or first team reps, facing one of the worst defenses in the league, which happens to be a unit missing a lot of its key components.
I personally don't think we'll win tomorrow. The 49'ers are favoured in this contest despite having won two fewer games this year. With McLendon out, Wilkerson potentially out and Lorenzon Mauldin also out, I have a feeling that Carlos Hyde will have a good day and the Jets will struggle to keep Kaepernick in the pocket. We all know that we can't hold up in coverage for very long, so I wouldn't be surprised to see our old friend Kerley have a decent game.
I think Bryce will have an up and down outing. I'm looking around 200 yards and a couple of touchdowns. However I don't have any faith in him to not turn the ball over. I don't want to see us reign him in like we did against LA, but he can't be as wild as he was against the Colts. San Francisco may only have 7 interceptions on the year (one more than the Jets), but I find it hard to imagine that they won't add to their total tomorrow.
This game may come down to special teams and the punter/kicker combination - I know, I can hear the excitement bubbling under the surface. If that's the case then I'd give the edge to the 49'ers. It's not going to be a very pretty game at all.
My prediction is Jets 20 - 24 San Fran
Now lets get the view from the other side. If you've been reading GGN this week, you'll be familiar with David Fucillo over at Niners Nation. He gave me his thoughts on the game and a prediction to go along with it.
The 49ers enter this game as a rare favorite. It's rare in that it's only the second game this season they've been favored, and it's only the second time in the past 23 years a 1-11 team has been favored in a game. The 1-11 Patriots were 5.5 point favorites at home against the 1-11 Cincinnati Bengals. The Patriots won 7-2, failing to cover!
I think the 49ers end up winning this game. I thought it would happen last week against the Bears, but they crapped the bed in the second half. That has become a regular occurrence, and now I am fascinated to see if it happens against a Jets team that is on par with the 49ers awfulness. But in solid Bay Area weather, I think the 49ers will be in position to put up a decent defensive effort, and get some production on offense against the Jets coming to town on a short week.
I will guarantee that barring injury, Colin Kaepernick will do better than the 1-of-5 for 4 yards we saw last week. I'll even go on record predicting he'll do better than that in the first quarter. I realize I am going out on a limb! I think he ends up throwing for 200+ yards and a touchdown, and adds another 40 or 50 scrambling yards. I just think this is the week his improved performances prior to last week culminate in a win.
That being said, left tackle Joe Staley is listed as doubtful and likely to miss the game. He has played 92 straight games, and been mostly a rock for the team on the left side. This is a big unknown. I think maybe it leads to more scrambling for Kap behind questionable pass protection, but I still think the 49ers can win. I don't think we see a repeat of that 7-2 Patriots win, but I'll go with something like 49ers 24-Jets 17.