18 Sep 3 Keys to Victory Against the New York Jets
After a disappointing loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers are officially in “win-now” mode.
That may be a slight overreaction, considering it was only week 1. However, with a rising Cardinals team, on top of a Rams and Seahawks team who, quite frankly, could blow up at anytime, the 49ers need to put up a string of victories to stay on top with the competitive NFC West.
To do all of this, it starts with beating the New York Jets.
The Jets, who are coming off of a 27-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills, are in no means world beaters on both sides of the ball. This is the type of matchup that, if it was happening in weeks 14 or 15, would heavily be considered a trap game.
Nonetheless, the 49ers have to go out there and make a statement. They have to step onto that field and absolutely punch the Jets in the mouth. This game is the 49ers’ for the taking. But how do they go about it? How do they come out victorious against the Jets? Lets break it down..
1. Make Sam Darnold see ghosts
Not an ideal thing to hear from your franchise savior. In any event, Sam Darnold went viral for his “I’m seeing ghosts” statement last season against the vaunted New England defense. Going into this game, the 49ers need Darnold to see some more. The Jets feature a bottom-5 offensive line, and this type of matchup should be food for the 49ers pass rush. They finally get a natural pocket passer in Darnold; something the 49ers feasted against last season. We have seen how the team struggles going against mobile QBs (i.e. Kyler Murray, Lamar, Mahomes, etc.) However, Darnold is none of these QBs. There should be no excuse for zero sacks once this game is all said and done, and in order to win against the lowly Jets, the 49ers must hit home with pressure, and score big on sacks.
2. Force Turnovers
Not only did he have 22 passing yards in one half, but he also tossed a really bad pick. Just like his USC days, Darnold features poor decision making. With a WR room that will be missing number 1 wideout Jamison Crowder, Darnold’s supporting cast is not ideal. Just like I stated above, this 49ers pass rush needs to pressure Darnold. If the team does that, they will have a good shot at forcing easy interceptions. Darnold and the Jets offense are not intimidating, and the 49ers defense needs to come in and do everything possible to shut the Jets down. This matchup should have the 49ers defense jumping for joy, as the door is wide open for them to get sacks, force TOs, and even celebrate some defensive touchdowns.
3. The Offense Needs to Game Manage
Welcome back Jet! After missing two seasons worth football, he exploded on the scene for the 49ers as the guy everyone figured he’d be: quick and shifty with some zip to his game. The 49eers offense did not perform… terribly? The 3rd down conversion rate was awful, and Jimmy didn’t hit the big-time throws. However, they showcased the ability to work long drives and short drives to put points on the board.
Although the team looked rusty on offense, they should be much improved going into this week. Against the Jets, this offense will need to keep the ball out of Darnold’s hands, and control the clock. Although the Jets are easy pickings, we saw how easy turnovers can lead to points for the opposition. With the addition of Mohammed Sanu, and the exciting debut of Brandon Aiyuk, Jimmy should have no problem attacking this suspect Jets defense. Jimmy may not need to throw for 300 yards and 4 TDs, but he will need to watch and limit the INTs. If he can get this job done, it should be smooth sailing for the defending NFC Champions.