Why Pressuring Mark Sanchez Is Crucial for San Francisco Defense
Under head coach Jim Harbaugh, the San Francisco 49ers are a perfect 4-0 in games following a loss.
The Niners' Week 3 upset loss to the Minnesota Vikings was an uncharacteristic performance for the Red and Gold, to say the least. The defense failed to consistently rush the passer, and when they did, Christian Ponder was able to escape and make several key plays on the move.
One key way to get back in the win for the 49'res is to ramp up the pressure and keep Jets QB Mark Sanchez from finding a rhythm throughout the game.
Ponder was able to successfully ward off 49ers pass-rushers and connect with his receivers on several remarkably accurate throws. He's second in the NFL in completion percentage (70.1) right now, and it's not because he played the defensively inept Jaguars and Colts the first two weeks of the season, either.
Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford, the first two QBs the Niners faced this year, ranked in the top five in completion percentage in 2011, so life hasn't been easy for San Fran in pass coverage thus far in 2012.
Aside from Minnesota, though, they've performed admirably.
Sanchez is an excellent change of pace for the Niners in that he currently ranks dead last in the NFL in completion percentage (50.5) and is typically horrid under pressure.
In 2011, Pro Football Focus graded the Jets signal-caller as the most inaccurate QB in the league when facing pressure. In 2010, PFF again graded Sanchez as the NFL's least accurate passer under pressure.