When the degree of awful is this bad, and this pervasive, when even Nick Mangold is guilty of pure suckage, the finger of blame has to point to the head coach. Rex Ryan knows his X's and O's, but he does not know how to motivate or prepare a team for battle. Water finds its own level, and it looks like Ryan's threshold of competency goes no higher than defensive coordinator.
There was a time when the Jets had the best offensive line in football. It’s no coincidence that it was that period where Sanchez looked like he just might have the ability to become a viable quarterback. Since then his decline into Tebow-marred misery has come in parallel with his offensive line’s nosedive in performance. Nowhere was that better illustrated than the performance of Nick Mangold (-6.1) in this game. Once the league’s best center by a country mile, Mangold has lost the air of invincibility he once had and was completely dominated by the 49ers front in this game. He allowed a sack and two hurries, but was moved to the side constantly by San Francisco defenders as the Jets couldn’t get a running game going. To be fair to Mangold he wasn’t alone, and the Jets as a unit blocked poorly, but he was the worst performer and the biggest fall from grace.
Farewell to the Sanchize?
If his backup was anybody else I think Mark Sanchez (-4.9) would have spent the 4th quarter of this game on the sideline. He had played poorly from the outset and by the time the last period rolled around he was hip deep in quicksand and sinking fast. No good was ever going to come from leaving him out there to drown, but the Jets couldn’t afford to throw in Tebow and send a signal flare to every media outlet in the known world that the Tebow-QB controversy is firmly underway.
Under pressure Sanchez was one of seven for eight yards and when blitzed he was just one of six for five yards and an interception. Against the blitz his QB rating was exactly zero. Tebow may not be the answer at quarterback as Rex Ryan insists that Sanchez remains, but it would be hard to believe he doesn’t give a better chance to win than a performance like this.
Replacing Revis is no easy task, and as much as Antonio Cromartie can talk a big game, he’s probably not up to that task long-term. He did however do a very good job of backing up his big talk with a +2.5 grade for this game with +3.0 for his work in coverage. He was thrown at just four times, and had a perfect record, allowing no receptions and breaking up a pair of passes, with style points for breaking one up with his head.
Kyle Wilson (-2.5) was less successful in his new role. The 49ers went after him, throwing his way seven times in the game, and if Alex Smith had been just a little bit more accurate, Wilson would have had over 100 more receiving yards to answer for. As it happened every time he was beaten deep the ball seemed to sail just beyond the outstretched arms of the receiver whose wake he was running in, prompting the standard ‘NO WAY’ celebrations as if he had just locked things down. Wilson ultimately game up three receptions for just 24 yards, but this game is a tale far more of the ones that got away than the plays he did give up.
- Jets LB David Harris missed five tackles in this game, exactly half the tally of the Jets D.
-The entire 49ers defense missed just four tackles in the game.
-Alex Smith faced just five snaps under pressure all game, which is just as well because he completed only one pass on them, for eight yards.
For reference this is Mangolds first bad game via PFF. Also Wilk/Ellis played poorly on this metric, and it was their first bad game. Coples played very well. Like many on this board have iterated, the young DL should play and go through the growing pains. The long term dividends seem like they will be worth it. Wilk-Ellis-Coples over the course of these past 4 games have looked like mainstays in a very good 3 man front. Jason pointed out that the limits on padded practice make baptism by fire important for these positions. Rex has to adapt or he's a goner. Also ray of sunshine on this crappy game... Vlad graded out well for his snaps! Slauson seems to have completely fallen off. I say play the young guys.