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Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
The New York Jets suffered a crushing blow when it was revealed that star defensive back Darrelle Revis would miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. If that news wasn’t bad enough, they are also going to have to find a way to get their offense going against the San Francisco 49ers this week. For the third time in the first four weeks, the 49ers will have to travel at least two time zones to play on the road.
The Minnesota Vikings used a mobile quarterback to get around San Francisco’s fearsome defense, which means Tim Tebow could see more touches this week for New York. Tebow has been most effective on special teams early in the season and has yet to assert himself as an offensive playmaker with the Jets. New York will be looking to drop San Francisco to .500 when the teams meet in New Jersey on Sunday afternoon.
ABOUT THE 49ERS (2-1): San Francisco was on the very short list of the best teams in the NFL after convincing wins over the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, but slipped up last week in a 24-13 loss at Minnesota. The 49ers struggled to contain Christian Ponder in the pocket, and Alex Smith was uncharacteristically sloppy at quarterback. They just have to get through New York before enjoying a stretch of five of their next six games at home. San Francisco could try to exploit the Jets’ Revis-less secondary by featuring Randy Moss, who has been limited to eight catches in the first three weeks. Smith got a pair of new receivers in Randy Moss and Mario Manningham in the offseason but is still focusing on tight end Vernon Davis in the passing game.
ABOUT THE JETS (2-1): There is plenty of doom and gloom surrounding New York after Revis’ diagnosis. The Pro Bowler served as the quarterback of the Jets defense, and his ability to lock down a receiver in single coverage made it easier for Rex Ryan to call multiple blitz packages. Now that Revis is done, Antonio Cromartie steps into the No. 1 cornerback slot and Kyle Wilson will replace Revis in the lineup. New York showed several areas of weakness in a sloppy 23-20 overtime win in Miami last weekend, including a running game that is averaging just 3.3 yards per attempt. Tebow lined up for 12 plays with the offense against Miami and accounted for zero yards. The Wildcat packages designed to get him onto the field have not worked and Tebow spent most of his time at H-back in Miami. Mark Sanchez has completed less than 50 percent of his passes in each of the last two weeks.
1. Sanchez will be without one of his weapons on Sunday, with rookie receiver Stephen Hill (hamstring) expected to sit out.
2. The 49ers are 10-1 under coach Jim Harbaugh when winning the time of possession battle and 5-3 when coming out on the short end.
3. San Francisco KR Kyle Williams set a career high with 144 yards on returns last week, outgaining the offense by himself at one point.