The 49ers head into New Jersey this weekend and face the whirlwind media press that is the Tim Tebow experience. It does seem like things have quieted down to a certain extent. ESPN and NFL Network are still providing plenty of Jets coverage, but as I flip around it just feels like less for now.
Of course, now the 49ers get to face the Jets and enter that storm. At the same time, Tim Tebow has been mostly irrelevant thus far. He rushed five times in Week 1, one time in Week 2 and two times in Week 3, while not attempting a single pass. I would imagine the Vic Fangio has the defense getting in some preparation for QB keeper plays, but it won't be what we would see had Tebow wrested the job from Mark Sanchez.
Although I'm sure this now means Tebow will get a season-high in touches this weekend, for now I think we can focus primarily on the Sanchise. Mark Sanchez started the season off in strong form against the Bills, completing 19 of 27 passes for 266 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in a Jets rout. Since that game, Sanchez is 31 of 72 for 444 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Jets currently sit at 2-1, tied for first in the AFC East. They looked strong in Week 1, but have regressed back to some of the expectations many had coming into the game. Shonn Greene was adequate in Week 1, but has struggled in subsequent weeks and could be replaced by Bilal Powell in the starting lineup sooner rather than later.
For now, this leaves much of the pressure on Mark Sanchez to make plays. Add in the defense's loss of Darrelle Revis and the Jets offense is feeling more and more pressure. As it stands, the two big threats at receiver are Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley. The Jets added Stephen Hill in the draft, and he had a big Week 1 performance against the Jets. Since then he has been mostly under the radar, while Kerley appears to be emerging in Year 2 as the guy to complement Holmes. As for Holmes? Well, after a slow start the first two weeks, he blew up in Week 3 with nine receptions for 147 yards.
This makes for an interesting week of preparation for the 49ers defense. On the one hand, this is a team that is not particularly great at passing the ball. Mark Sanchez can make plays, but there are some inconsistencies. On the other hand, their rushing attack is pretty abysmal. I think Bilal Powell could change that, but it might take some time. It would seem like the base defense would be in line this week, but with the 49ers athleticism, it could make sense to go primarily with nickel and take their chances with the Jets running backs.