Week 4: San Francisco 49ers At New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
The New York Jets during their preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 26, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Getty Images)
The New York Jets during their preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 26, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Getty Images)
Winner The 49ers have not lost their status as the likely NFC front runner just because they lost a road game to the Vikings. While Alex Smith was not at his best that game, he has become a consistent passer and an outstanding leader. Look for Smith to return to top form against the Jets.
Mark Sanchez is playing like he has gotten the message this season. He is playing with urgency and purpose. While that has made him a more effective quarterback, he still has many areas to work on, including passing accuracy. However, Sanchez has shown he can come through in end-of-game drives.
Winner The key to the 49ers’ offensive success is establishing their physical dominance with their hard-hitting offensive line and the honest, workmanlike play of running back Frank Gore. Tight end Vernon Davis is a go-to receiver who may be the best at his position in the league. Marion Manningham and Michael Crabtree are playing well, but Randy Moss has not asserted himself yet.
The Jets are not the kind of team that is going to dazzle anyone with consistent big plays from the wide receivers. That may fly in the face of the modern game, but Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell can carry the ball. Wideouts Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley are the Jets’ best receiving threats.
Winner The 49ers got pushed around by the Minnesota Vikings in Week Three and that is not going to sit well with Jim Harbaugh in practice. He is going to push hard this week, so look for a nasty and physical effort from linebackers Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith as well as defensive end Justin Smith.
The Jets may not have All-Pro cornerback Darelle Revis (knee), who appeared to buckle as he made a cut against the Dolphins. While the Jets are solid defensively without Revis, they lose much of their identity without him. The Jets linebackers will have to be at their best to control the Niners’ running game.
Special Teams
The 49ers can feel confident every time they send David Akers out to attempt a field goal. He’s healthy and he’s booming long field goals again. Kyle Williams is an explosive return specialist who had a 94-yard kickoff return against the Vikings.
Winner The Jets can thank Nick Folk for providing the winning points in the overtime win over the Dolphins. Folk does not have a big leg, but he has been consistent. Unsung Robert Malone averaged 45.7 yards on 6 punts against the Dolphins.

The Winner Is

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Winner 49ers
3 out of 4

The 49ers are not used to losing, but they came up with a mediocre effort against the Vikings and were handled easily. Look for Jim Harbaugh’s team to rally from that game and paly at a peak level against Rex Ryan’s Jets. Look for one of the most physical and nasty games of the season. The 49ers should have enough to overcome New York’s homefield advantage.


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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