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49ers

vs.

Jets

By
John J. Raspanti


The San Francisco 49ers waltzed into Minnesota figuring to remain undefeated. The Niners were rolling, taking down Green Bay in Wisconsin, and the Detroit Lions at home. There was no way the upstart Vikings were going to beat them.

Apparently, the Vikings didn't get the memo. Led by a pass rush that never led up, and a quarterback with some nifty moves, Minnesota shocked the 49ers 23-14. San Francisco looked listless and failed to execute, guaranteeing that the Jets better be ready for the real 49er team to show up Sunday.

Speaking of the Jets, they snuck past the Dolphins in overtime, 23-20. The traveling soap opera somehow notched the win, even with signal caller Mark Sanchez struggling. Sanchez has completed only 50 percent of his passes this season. He has thrown five touchdowns and been picked off three times. Fourth year running back Shonn Green is averaging a tepid 2.8 yards per carry.

Santonio Holmes leads all receivers with 16 catches. Explosive second year man Jeremy Kerley is averaging 23 yards a catch.

The 49er offense struggled mightily against the Vikings. Quarterback Alex Smith threw his first interception of the season. Frank Gore was running well, but for some reason didn't get his number called very much in the second half. Smith has completed 69 percent of his throws through the first three games. His quarterback rating sits 102.7. Gore has gained a hefty 264 yards on the ground. Michael Crabtree is Smith's go to guy. He's caught 19 passes. Tight end Vernon Davis has already scored four touchdowns. New addition Randy Moss has only eight catches.

The Jets defense has been spotty this season. The sobering news that Darrelle Revis, widely regarded as the best cornerback in the NFL, is out for the season with a torn ACL hurts.

Coach Rex Ryan expressed confidence Monday that the depth of the Jets secondary and the presence of a player like Antonio Cromartie left them in a better position than most teams.

"We're fortunate because most teams only have one No. 1 corner," Ryan said. "Some don't even have any. "

The 49er defense tumbled from the top spot to 11th after their performance against the Vikings. Linebacker NoVorro Bowman leads the team with 37 tackles. All-Pro Patrick Willis is second with 25.

Coach Jim Harbaugh is convinced his team will return to form against the New Yorkers.

"What we believe in is pretty consistent. You find something to believe in and go to work on that," Harbaugh said.

The Jets usually play pretty well at home. The 49ers will want to redeem themselves. It seems unlikely they will be flat two straight weeks.

The feeling here is that the 49ers are among the NFL's elite. We felt that a year ago, and feel that way still. This is where we find out if we're correct. Last week was a classic let down spot. Perhaps the 49ers started to believe the hype and felt all they had to do was show up. If we're right, the 49ers win this game from start to finish and leave no doubt. 49ers -4

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