49ers vs. Jets: Why Jets' O-Line Won't Be Able to Protect Sanchez from Niners' D
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has had a rough go of it this season, and his fourth year in the NFL season won't be getting any easier as he takes on Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and the vaunted San Francisco 49ers defense Sunday.
Sanchez's stats have seen a persistent decline ever since the season began, and facing the Niners defenders won't help break that trend. The Jets' offensive line has been a major liability for years now, and this week's matchup will only exploit the protection corps even more.
Let's break down how the San Fran D will break apart the Jets' incompetent O-line.
49ers Embarrassed Following Bad Loss to Minnesota
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In Week 3, the 49ers suffered a disappointing 24-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. They allowed 344 yards of total offense, a mark that they exceeded only six times in 2011.
They allowed Christian Ponder's offense to move the chains 25 times, a new season high, and something they only allowed once in 2011. Considering the Vikes are a team in transition with a second-year quarterback and still very inept offensively, this was unacceptable for Vic Fangio's defenders.
This week they'll be playing with a chip on their shoulder, and for good reason.
The 49ers allowed over 305 total yards seven times last regular season, and they followed up each week by limiting their opponent to less than 300 yards of offense.
If the past is any barometer for the future, then Tony Sparano's offensive line better buckle up and enjoy the ride Sunday at MetLife.
Best Front 7 in the NFL
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The 49ers boast the league's most explosive pass rush in the league today. To go along with a skilled secondary and flawless tacklers, San Francisco is sure to tear apart the Jets in Week 4.
The team's linebackers and linemen racked up 42 sacks in 2011. With much of the same personnel back for this season, the Niners three-week total of four sacks is not cutting it.
They're bound to step up their performance very soon, and they'll have a perfect opportunity against the Jets' weak offensive line.
It's a line that's stuck in a transition phase, somewhere between the ground-and-pound mentality of two seasons ago and the pass-heavy strategy they're trying to mold Sanchez into being able to orchestrate.
They're certainly strong in the middle and on the left with Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson; the rest of the line, however, is filled with question marks. Question marks that Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and a questionable Patrick Willis will look to feast on in Week 4.
Sanchez Struggled against Defenses Not Nearly as Adequate as San Francisco's
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After tearing apart the Bills' shoddy defense in Week 1, Mark Sanchez has shown a steady decline this season after facing serviceable defenses—defenses that don't even come close to San Francisco's nasty corps.
In the Jets' Week 2 loss to Pittsburgh, Sanchez looked incredibly inept, throwing for only 138 yards on 27 attempts and going quarters at a time without completing a pass to a wide receiver.
Last week, he faced a much less vaunted foe in Miami. Judging by Sanchez's stat line, you'd never be able to tell.
In five quarters, Sanchez managed to toss for 305 yards, but that doesn't tell the tale of the game. He turned the ball over twice through the air, and his QBR sank to a lowly 34.3. His 58.2 passer rating was also the lowest of all Week 3 shot-callers.
If this is all Sanchez could pull off against two lesser defenses, what will his line enable him to do against San Francisco?