They have to explain through their play that they are a team that does not play down to the level of the team on the opposite side of the football.
This is exactly what the 49ers are.
In a division that is an utter joke this year, one where eight wins will probably bring a division title, the 49ers are still a joke.
Long gone are the days of the 49ers being a Super Bowl contender year in and year out. This has been seen very easily over the past couple of seasons. While some improvements have been made, this team is still a mess.
They do have hope though with some talent on both sides of the ball. Right now though, this talent is not enough to get them victories in bunches.
This seemingly spells bad news for the 49ers on Sunday against the Jets, correct?
Not exactly. New York has a habit of playing down to the competition, and even worse, they have the knack of blowing games when they need them.
These are two factors that are going against them heading into the game on Sunday.
In addition, the game is being played on the West Coast in San Francisco, and cross-country road trips have not been kind to the Jets this season—or to many of the teams in the NFL for that matter.
For not wanting to rehash the details, all that has to be said was that the Jets lost to the Raiders earlier in the season, in a 16-13 heartbreaking loss in overtime.
The real question is though, will the 49ers themselves actually do anything to give them a chance to win the game?
Looking at the roster, the defense is beatable, which means that the Jets will probably have a field day on the offensive side of the ball.
Brett Favre will get to air it out almost all day long more than likely, and he will probably be very effective as a result.
As long as he can prevent the huge mistakes that can plague him from time to time, he may have a chance of being the offensive player of the week in the NFL for Week 14.
An even better bet to possibly get this award though is one Thomas Jones.
The leading rusher in the AFC currently, Jones is licking his chops to play this subpar defense on Sunday.
Unless the 49ers play a perfect game, Jones will probably impose his will throughout the entire game on them.
When combined with the probably-potent aerial attack that will be seen on Sunday, Jones will probably be able to run through plenty of gaping holes throughout the game.
150 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards, along with a touchdown or two, are not out of the question for Jones on Sunday. If this does happen, the Jets will be awfully hard to beat.
The only player that may be able to hurt the Jets on Sunday is one Shaun Hill, the quarterback for the 49ers.
Very underrated to say the least, Hill has this team behind him. This was probably achieved by Hill when he ran for a first down without his helmet on in a great Monday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals a couple of weeks ago.
In this game, he almost got the 49ers to beat the first-place Cardinals, despite a huge talent gap between the two teams.
If he can avoid the turnovers on Sunday, he may be able to keep the 49ers in this game.
It will probably all be up to him, though. Do not look for Frank Gore to have a stellar game in this one. First, the Jets are among the best rush defenses in the league, and second, do you really think that they will let another Running back run over them like Peyton Hillis of the Broncos did last week?
The answer here is probably not. As a result, Hill, against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, will have to do it all to give the 49ers a chance.
The real question is though, will he be able to step up to the plate and knock it out of the park?
For awhile on Sunday, he will prove that he very well may be able too. Without an effective Gore though, along with the talent on the offensive side of the football for the Jets, this will knock the wind out of his sails after awhile, and the Jets will end up winning this football game as a result.
The score may be closer than some expect, considering the Jets have owned the NFC West this season, but, in the end, look for a 31-17 Jets victory, one where they impose their will in the second half to run their record to 9-4 for the season.