Ben Blessington and Michael Nania break down the New York Jets’ extremely important home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
It’s only Week 2, but it already feels like there is so much on the line for the New York Jets after a hapless season-opening effort in Buffalo.
Unfortunately for the Jets, the competition is not getting any easier with the defending champion San Francisco 49ers coming into New Jersey, but Adam Gase‘s crew might be catching Kyle Shanahan’s bunch at the right time. Richard Sherman will miss the game, while Dee Ford, George Kittle, and Jason Verrett are battling injuries.
Plus, the Jets have the advantage of hosting a team traveling from the west coast in a 1 p.m. game. In their only home game against a western opponent last season, the Raiders, the Jets took a 34-3 victory. The Jets did the same in 2018 with a 34-16 win over Denver.
This is going to be a telling game for everyone. Can Gase coach a competitive team that actually feels like it can compete for a playoff spot? Will Sam Darnold make his Bills nightmare a distant memory and begin to establish some consistency? Is this defense going to recapture the success it found under Gregg Williams last year?
Offensively, Mekhi Becton against Nick Bosa will be must-see television. Darnold, Breshad Perriman, and Chris Hogan need to get going against a depleted cornerback room. George Fant has a favorable matchup against Dee Ford due to their respective play styles. Braxton Berrios may be in the spotlight if Jamison Crowder misses the game.
Defensively, the inside and outside linebackers need to be effective against a 49ers run game that boasts plenty of skill position players who love to block. Bradley McDougald, Marcus Maye, and the ‘backers must thrive in coverage, as the Niners love to feature their tight ends and running backs in the passing game. Avery Williamson‘s return would be massive, especially against the run, but also in coverage, where he is far less mistake-prone than someone like Neville Hewitt or Harvey Langi.
A huge showdown awaits at MetLife. Ben and Michael break down the Jets’ path to a victory against San Francisco.