After a beatdown like that, there's no question the 49ers' Week 3 loss to the Vikings ate away at them all week long. It's hard not to be impressed with a defensive effort like that. San Francisco limited the Jets offense to a measly 145 yards on 50 plays from scrimmage. Not to mention the fact that New York's offense only mustered up nine first downs all game.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez was pummeled in defeat. His offensive line gave up three sacks, and he was hit and pressured countless other times. His throwing proved to be equally ineffective as he only completed 13-of-29 passes for 103 yards.
However, Sanchez's one interception through the air seemed like a drop in the bucket compared to the blocked punt and the three other balls that were put on the ground. To put it nicely, the 49ers made the Jets look silly in every way. Rex Ryan should be equally embarrassed as his baby, the Jets defense, looked underprepared.
Greg Roman knew they didn't run the ball enough last week, so he made sure to get back to their bread and butter. Running the ball with Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter should always be the primary focus for a 49ers team that has proven countless times they can't win when the passing game is the No. 1 option.
So, what did Roman do today? He called 44 runs in comparison to only 22 pass plays. Gore led the way with 62 yards on 21 carries, and Hunter followed with eight carries for 56 yards. All three offensive touchdowns came on the ground from less than 10 yards out.
Even backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick got in on the action. Early in the second quarter, Kaepernick took a direct snap on an option play out of the Wildcat and walked in with ease from seven yards out. He finished the game with five carries for 50 yards. No one player eclipsed the century mark, yet it took all hands on deck to rush for 245 yards as a team.
Brad Seely's special teams unit proved to be just as valuable as Fangio's defense and Roman's ground attack in all three phases. As I mentioned earlier, they blocked a Robert Malone punt midway through the fourth quarter, and David Akers banged through two field goals.
Unfortunately, he missed two kicks as well. Both kicks were wide right. One was a deep 55-yard bomb that few kickers make consistently, but the other one was a 40-yarder that he generally makes with ease.
Andy Lee had a booming 61-yard boot on his way to averaging 46.0 yards per punt. He also dropped two inside the 20 and helped the 49ers win the battle of field position all game long. Today's shutout win was truly a team effort, in every way.
Next week, San Fran returns home for the first time in two weeks. They will square off against a Buffalo Bills team that will be hungry for a win. After an impressive first half against New England, they failed to finish. The Patriots outscored Buffalo 45-7 in the second half, so you know they will be looking for redemption.
At 3-1, the 49ers are doing their best to keep pace with the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
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