49ers vs. Jets: Final Report Card, Player Grades for New York Jets
This was one of the ugliest performances of the Rex Ryan era.
The 34-0 drubbing was the third-worst shutout loss at home in franchise history.
The offense played badly from the start, and the defense seemed unwilling to tackle for a majority of the game.
The game got out of hand in the second half, and the team looked to quit in all aspects of the game throughout the fourth quarter.
It looked like Santonio Holmes suffered a severe foot injury, and if he is out for any length of time, it will spell even more trouble for the unit.
This was a putrid effort, and consequently there won't be many positive grades to give out.
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Mark Sanchez: F
Sanchez finished 13-of-39 for 103 yards in one of his worst efforts as a Jet. Sanchez started the game by being careless with the football, then progressed to playing scared and finally finished off the fourth quarter with apathetic play.
He doesn't have many weapons to be certain, but even when he had receivers open, he missed them badly. He showed a tremendous lack of focus as this game went on.
If he could have mustered anything over the first two quarters, the Jets could have been in this game. He was given the ball twice in the first half at midfield and could not generate any points.
The 49ers have a good defense for sure, but Sanchez's poor play falls more on him than it does the 49ers defense.
Tim Tebow: C-
Many will argue that Tebow should have been given more of a chance here, and that is certainly up for debate. He didn't do much at all with the few chances he was given.
The best thing Tebow did today was throw a couple of nice blocks in pass protection to keep some Niners' defenders off of Sanchez.
Shonn Greene: C-
Greene was going to have a tough time from the start, but he fought hard, as usual, for his yardage. He ran the ball just 11 times for 34 yards, as the Jets abandoned the run game in an attempt to get back in the game through the air.
Greene took what was given to him, and although he didn't break any runs for longer than five yards, he ran hard for each yard.
It's clear that Greene isn't a featured back, but he was one of the few players who didn't look like he quit on the game.
Bilal Powell: C
After looking like the better option in the first few weeks, many figured Powell to have a bigger role this week. That didn't happen, as he ran the ball just three times. He did play more snaps than Greene, but a lot of that could be a result of his strong blocking skills in pass protection.
It was clear that the Jets' game plan was to try to pound the ball, so it was probably a conscious effort to give Greene the bulk of the carries this game.
Santonio Holmes: C
I'm torn on whether to mark Holmes down for throwing the ball on the ground when he injured his foot. On one hand, you never know the type of pain a person goes through, but then again, could you ever see someone like Wayne Chrebet doing something like that?
Holmes had just four catches for 29 yards and was used as a possession receiver until he got hurt. He did beat the 49ers deep for what could have been a touchdown, if not for a great play by Dashon Goldson to break up a slightly underthrown ball.
Chaz Schilens: C
Schilens produced three catches for 45 yards, gaining the most yards of any offensive player on the team. His 22-yard catch was the biggest gainer of the day for the Jets.
Jeremy Kerley: C-
Kerley caught two balls for just 12 yards. As with the other receivers, it was a tough game to grade him without reviewing the game film closer. Mark Sanchez was so inaccurate that there was no way receivers were going to have good statistics. But just how well did they get open? Tough to tell during live action.
Austin Howard: D-
Howard had a tough assignment, as he was lined up on Aldon Smith most of the day and struggled severely at times. Smith had two sacks and provided consistent pressure on Mark Sanchez. Smith was also active in the running game, registering four tackles.
Not many people have been able to handle Smith. Howard was no different, even with the help of Jason Smith. Howard was starting just his fourth NFL game at right tackle and was in over his head.
Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore: C-
Slauson and Moore were part of a unit that was manhandled by the 49ers front seven. They didn't appear to make any significant mistakes, but they couldn't provide any push in the running game and didn't do much to protect Sanchez.
Nick Mangold: C-
Mangold was whistled for his second penalty in two weeks, this time on a hold as he fell backwards in pass protection. As the leader of the unit, Mangold has to take some blame for their shoddy play.
D'Brickashaw Ferguson: C
Much of the 49ers' pressure came from the right side, so Ferguson gets some credit for keeping Sanchez's blindside clean. He's quietly been doing his job for the most part this year.
Jeff Cumberland: C
Cumberland caught a few short passes, ending with four catches for 17 yards. His four catches was tied for the most on the team, which says more about the horrific offense than it does Cumberland.
Konrad Reuland: INC
With John Connor and Dustin Keller out, you'd expect Reuland to play a bigger role. He didn't catch a pass and couldn't have helped much in the blocking scheme.
Dedrick Epps: D
Epps caught his first NFL pass, which was also the first pass Tim Tebow completed as a Jet. He took a shot to the knee and subsequently fumbled the ball away. It's entirely possible that one play could be Epps' Jets legacy, as he figures to be gone once Dustin Keller returns.
Muhammad Wilkerson: F
Wilkerson was nonexistent in both the pass rush and run defense. He didn't generate any pressure and failed to make a solo tackle. Wilkerson's efforts don't usually show up until the game is dissected further, but today won't be one of those days where he looks better on the game film. A no-show performance.
Quinton Coples: D+
There were a couple of Quinton Coples sightings, as he showed up in the backfield a few times this game. He had one tackle for a loss and had another solo tackle later in the game. It wasn't a great performance, but it was better than he showed the past two games.
Kenrick Ellis: F
Ellis was part of a unit that was thrown around by the Niners' offensive line. Ellis is supposed to play a key role in stopping the run when he is given the opportunity, but he didn't do much today, registering just one solo tackle.
Sione Pouha: D+
Pouha did manage three solo tackles but was quiet for most of the game. After signing his big contract, he has either been off the field with injuries or trying to fight through them while playing. Either way, he is clearly not the player he was last year and seems to be playing at less than 100 percent.
Mike DeVito: F
DeVito had one solo tackle and, like the rest of his linemates, was unable to even slow down the Niners' running attack.
David Harris: D
Harris did lead the Jets with 11 total tackles (eight solo), but he missed a number of tackles along the way. For as many times as Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter ran free through the Jets defensive line, Harris could have easily registered double-digit solo tackles. Instead, he was one of the culprits who resorted to trying to arm-tackle the Niners' running backs.
Calvin Pace: D+
Pace did record a key sack while this was still a game and was credited with a forced fumble, but did nothing besides that. He was part of a linebacking unit that appeared slow and overmatched in all facets of the game. Aside from his sack, he did not record another solo tackle.
Bart Scott: D
Scott had five total tackles and appeared to be one of the few Jets playing with any kind of fervor for the entirety of the game. He remained active while many of his teammates sleepwalked to the final whistle. Still though, he didn't create any big plays and struggled again in pass coverage.
Bryan Thomas: D
Thomas recorded his first sack since 2010, and it came at a time when this was still a ballgame. His play was limited, so don't blame him as much as the others for the missed tackles, but he didn't appear on the stat sheet besides his sack.
Aaron Maybin: F
Maybin had one tackle right at the line of scrimmage. Besides that, he played just one other snap all game. Maybin has yet to find the magic he showed last year, when he was able to generate an instant pass rush just about anytime he was inserted.
Kyle Wilson: F
Wilson is one lucky man, as Alex Smith failed to hook up with receivers who beat Wilson deep at least three times. What makes things worse was that after each incompletion, Wilson was seen celebrating as if he had actually done something.
Although he ultimately didn't give up the big play, Wilson was beaten numerous times by average receivers. He's going to have to tighten things up going forward for certain.
Antonio Cromartie: B
Cromartie probably had the best game of anyone on the defense, as Smith clearly targeted Wilson all day. Cromartie also registered three solo tackles and was one of the few Jets who didn't deserve much blame for this display of ineptitude.
Ellis Lankster: C-
The Niners did find some passing room underneath, and Lankster was in the vicinity multiple times. He didn't get torched by any means, but he didn't appear much throughout the game. He had one solo tackle and assisted on another in a quiet overall performance.
Yeremiah Bell: B
The play from the safety position was strong once again, as the Jets actually did a fine job on the dangerous Vernon Davis. Along with LaRon Landry, Bell held Davis to just two catches for 28 yards on the day.
Smith barely looked Davis' way the handful of times the 49ers turned to their passing game, so credit has to be given to the safeties for being where they were supposed to be. As usual, Bell was solid on defense, cleaning up the mess left by the rest of the unit to the tune of five tackles.
LaRon Landry: B
See Yeremiah Bell's description for the job the two of them did on Vernon Davis. The elimination of the Niners' biggest threat in the passing game was the one positive thing the defense was able to sustain all day. Landry had six solo tackles, which was second to David Harris.
Robert Malone: B-
Malone saw a lot of action today, thanks to the inept performance by the offense. He punted seven times, forcing three fair catches and one return of one yard. Malone pinned the 49ers at the 8-yard line and the 11-yard line on two of his punts.
Malone was able to rescue the Jets from poor field position once, booming a punt 54 yards from his own end zone, but couldn't duplicate that feat on another attempt.
The punt block wasn't his fault, as Jeff Cumberland completely ignored his blocking assignment.
Nick Folk: INC
Folk kicked the opening kickoff five yards deep into the end zone, then took the rest of the game off.
Joe McKnight: B+
McKnight had a nice 44-yard return late in the game, but of course the offense couldn't do anything with it. He had another 29-yard return, but besides that had to settle for touchbacks.
Rex Ryan: F
The biggest qualm I have with the coaching staff is that the team appeared to quit on this game after Carlos Rogers returned Santonio Holmes' fumble for a touchdown.
The defense's poor tackling got worse from there, Mark Sanchez's already awful focus got worse, and the 49ers threw the Jets around the field for much of the fourth quarter.
That kind of play falls directly on the head coach.
There will be a ton of questions to answer for Ryan about the quarterback situation. Ryan could have given Tebow a lengthy look as early as the second quarter but stuck with Sanchez for every disgusting drive for the rest of the game.
Tebow wouldn't have been the difference in winning or losing the game, but by just letting Sanchez give a clueless and scared performance, what kind of message does that send?
Without Dustin Keller and Santonio Holmes, Sanchez has virtually no weapons to speak of. Throw in the running game's failures and that makes things even harder. However—for the second straight week—when Sanchez did have open receivers, he couldn't connect with them.
Ryan was furious at the postgame press conference and gave the team Monday and Tuesday off to do some "soul searching."
He remained steadfast in his support of Sanchez as the team's quarterback, for better or worse.
Tony Sparano: B
I didn't have many problems with Sparano's play-calling, as he was clearly just trying to execute the game plan. About the only call that came under question was a 3rd-and-1 in which he called a passing play when the Jets were clearly having trouble protecting Sanchez.
The Jets started the game conservatively by design and tried to open things up in the second half as they fell behind.
The Jets' offense has no identity to speak of, so Sparano has to get some of the blame for that. But were there any real instances where you were screaming at the television because of the play-calling? Probably not.