EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In less than 90 minutes Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets will look to protect their house against an intimidating San Francisco 49ers team led by their second-year head coach Jim Harbaugh.
If history is any indication to the future, the Jets will have their hands full with the 49ers. San Francisco leads the all-time series 9-2, with a 5-1 record when traveling to New York. What’s the best chance for Gang Green to pull out the upset at home? Don’t give up three touchdowns. Their previous two wins came when they were able to hold the offense to 14 points.
With kick-off looming, here are a few stats that may decide the game if they can execute.
1. Through three games, the Jets have produced six pass plays of 25 yards or longer an amount that is tied for fourth in the AFC. Sanchez currently ranks second in the AFC in average gain per pass attempt (9.85). For the season, he has completed eight passes of more than 20 yards.
- That’s been the book on how to beat this ‘Niners defense in the early going of the season. This means Jeremy Kerley (two receptions of 40+ yards) needs to be a factor this week.
2. New York has scored 31 points off of six take-aways this season. Conversely, the Jets have only allowed seven points off of four give-aways through the first three games of the season.
- Alex Smith rarely throws an interception – prior to last week’s pick by Josh Robinson, Smith had gone 248 straight passes without turning it over through the air. And if the NYJ offense does turn it over, rarely has it turned in to points.
3. The Jets have six rushing plays of 10+ yards this season. The problem is, Tim Tebow has the longest rushing play from scrimmage this season with 22 yards. No running back has a run of more than 15 yards. Conversely, the Jets have given up four runs of 15+ yards, including runs of 49 and 56 yards.
- The Jets ran jumbo packages of six or more offensive linemen 33 times against the Dolphins last week. The results were less than aesthetic. They ran the ball 25 times for 56 yards from their big sets.
4. Believe it or not, the Jets rank fifth in the NFL in offensive third down efficiency – extending drives on 46.5% of the time. And ironically enough, the ‘Niners defense are allowing the 23rd-best third down conversion rate – 45.2%.
- The Jets offense benefitted from the replacement refs, extending drives 10 times on penalty calls through three games. But with no scab refs this week, the Jets will have to make the 49ers respect the run – whether it’s effective or not. In their two wins this season, both have come when the offense has rushed the ball 30+ times in the game.
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