49ers vs Jets: New York's Biggest Winners & Losers from Week 4

Ryan Alfieri@Ryan_AlfieriCorrespondent IIISeptember 30, 2012

49ers vs Jets: New York's Biggest Winners & Losers from Week 4

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    You can open your eyes now; it's over. 

    Not only did the Jets take an absolute beating at the hands of the 49ers to lose 34-0, but Santonio Holmes suffered a non-contact injury late in the game and Mark Sanchez had one of his worst games ever. 

    Throw in the fact that the Jets let up over 200 yards rushing, and this game has the potential to be a season-killer. 

    Here are the winners and losers from Sunday's game. 

Loser: Mark Sanchez

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    With each passing week, Mark Sanchez continues to get progressively worse. 

    To be fair, he was not exactly set up for success. He went against the vaunted 49ers defense without Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill. His running game has not given him any kind of help. 

    Still, Sanchez was awful all game long, even when his receivers were wide open. He was wild with his accuracy and was never comfortable. 

    His stat line is cringe-worthy: 103 yards with an interception in a zero-point effort. 

    Assuming that Santonio Holmes will be unavailable for a stretch, things are not going to get any easier for Mark Sanchez, especially since the Jets play the Texans next Monday night. 

    These next few weeks are going to tell us whether or not Sanchez can be a long-term starter, but the odds for his success are stacked against him. 

Winner: Pass Protection

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    Despite an afternoon of dreadful football, the pass protection held up rather well against a strong 49ers front that can be dominant at times. 

    Most of the sacks the 49ers did have came on coverage sacks or were at the end of the game when the Jets were throwing out of desperation. 

    This is a promising aspect, but at the same time, the fact that Sanchez was unable to get anything going in the passing game even with enough time to make throws is concerning. 

Loser: Run Defense

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    Rex Ryan was heated in his press conference, perhaps as mad as he has ever been after a game. Why? Because his team was uncharacteristically unable to stop the run once again. 

    By the end of the day, the Jets allowed a whopping 245 rushing yards. 

    Fifty of those yards came from option runs and Colin Kapernick, as the Jets clearly were unprepared to stop it. The combination of Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter was just too much for the Jets to handle, even when the Jets knew it was coming. 

    Along with all of their offensive issues, this is an area the Jets need to fix quickly. Teams now know that they can run on the Jets, which only spreads out their Revis-less defense even more. 

Winner: Quinton Coples

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    In a game where just about everything possible went wrong, Coples was one player who could leave the game with his head held high. 

    He made a great play blowing up an option-run and was able to push the pocket when he was on the field.

    Not a stunningly-impressive performance by any stretch, but there's not much else to take form this game on a positive note. 

Loser: Running Game

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    Shonn Greene is clearly not a top-end runner, but neither him nor Bilal Powell were able to get anything done on the ground. 

    Even when Powell was able to finally break free and get a good lane, he made a terrible cutback to turn a possible first-down into a two-yard run. 

    At the end of the day, the Jets had just 45 rushing yards. Not exactly the "ground-and-pound" attack Rex envisioned. 

    Granted, few teams are able to have much success running on the 49ers, and after giving up a lot of yards to Adrian Peterson last week, they were going to make sure the Jets did not have the same success. 

    Still, the Jets have not been able to run on anyone this year, and they now are having an offensive identity crisis as a result. 

Winner: Kyle Wilson

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    Let's be clear, Kyle Wilson is not on this list because he played well, it's because he didn't. He was exposed, and the 49ers did everything they could to take advantage of him. 

    Kyle Wilson is a "winner" because he got lucky.

    I counted at least three times where Wilson was beat badly enough to give up a long completion, but errant throws by Alex Smith spared Wilson. Not only did he let receivers get past him, but he displayed no recovery speed to make plays. 

    In the end, the 49ers found a way to score a ton of points anyway, but look for future opponents to continue to go after Wilson after a shaky debut as Revis' replacement. 

Loser: Mike Tannenbaum

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    On could probably write a dissertation about the ups and downs of Mike Tannenbaum's reign as general manager of the Jets, but these next few weeks will tell us all we need to know about the team he has assembled this year. 

    With another injury to Santonio Holmes, the Jets' depth is going to be tested like never before. The Jets are a very "top-heavy" team, with most of their money tied up in a few elite players rather than spreading it around evenly to boost depth. 

    This philosophy may work for a season or two, but this isn't Madden. You can't just turn off injuries. Teams that are able to sustain success even after losing their top players are the most well-run franchises around. 

    Who knows, maybe Stephen Hill will emerge as a decent player and Sanchez does bounce back. But I wouldn't put money on it.

Loser: Rex Ryan

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    Rex clearly did not have his team ready to play, especially once the 49ers whipped out their own version of the Wildcat, but Rex is on this list because this season has a chance to really turn south on him. 

    After Santonio Holmes' injury, the Jets are thinner than ever, and not just at the receiver position. Outside of Nick Mangold, the Jets are now completely void of elite talent.

    Plus, his quarterback is playing worse with each passing week, and the calls for Tim Tebow have just begun. Without Holmes in the lineup next week, things are looking bleak for the Jets for when they play the Texans next Monday night.

    One more disastrous performance by Sanchez in front of the entire country, and Rex is going to have a real quarterback problem on his hands.  

    If the Jets are going to salvage anything of this season, it is going to take a masterful performance by Rex Ryan.