After an ugly 24-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week, the San Francisco 49ers play their first road game of the season when they take on the New York Jets. Head coach Kyle Shanahan wasn’t pleased with his team’s sloppy play in the opener, and he is looking for his offense to get back on track this week.
Injuries are piling up for the Niners early this season. Deebo Samuel and Richard Sherman are OUT for this game, while superstar tight end George Kittle missed practice this week after hurting in knee against Arizona.
The good news is that rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk and center Ben Garland are healthy and ready to go against the Jets.
San Francisco is trying to avoid the dreaded 0-2 start. Since 2007, 107 NFL teams have started 0-2, and only 12 have gone on to qualify for the playoffs.
Here are the predictions for Week 2 from Niners Nation contributors:
Kyle Posey: This week, I expect to see an angry, focused, and determined 49ers team that plays like the team we all expected before the season started.
Compared to last weeks, the biggest difference in this game is that the New York Jets don’t have matchup advantages. They don’t have a Kyler Murray, Chandler Jones, or DeAndre Hopkins. The Jets defense was brutal against the pass during Week 1, allowing a 60% success rate. As frustrating as it was watching the defense give up throws to Hopkins, the Niners only allowed 41% of passes to be successful last week. New York made Josh Allen look like Jim Kelly.
This game will fall on the shoulders of Jimmy Garoppolo, as the Jets will be stingy against the run. That was the cast last year, and Allen was the Bills leading rusher during Week 1 with 57 yards. I’d expect a lot of play-action on Sunday. It’ll help knowing Sam Darnold will give the defense plenty of opportunities to make a play.
Kyle’s prediction: 27-13
Rob Guerrera: To me, this game is all about the defense. If the 49ers are going to get back to the Super Bowl, they’re going to need their defense to smother teams the way they did last year. There’s no reason that shouldn’t happen this week. Since Adam Gase became the coach of the Jets, their offense has been putrid. New York has scored on just 24% of their possessions (worst in the league), they’ve gone three-and-out on 44% of their possessions (worst in the league), and their average drive has gone just 23 yards (you guessed it - worst in the league). No excuses for Arik Armstead and company this week. Get it done.
Rob’s prediction: SF wins, 17-3
Jas Kang: The 49ers stink! Their offense is terrible, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is awful! Just kidding.
This is an opportunity for San Francisco to show the rest of the NFL that last week was an anomaly. The Niners are too deep and too good to perform the way they did against the Cardinals, and I sense they will want to prove that against an inferior Jets team. The Sherman injury is concerning, but New York doesn’t have a receiver that is a game-breaker in the lineup. I think the 49ers’ offense will do a better job of keeping the defense off the field and controlling the clock. Raheem Mostert could have a big game, and it will be exciting to see what Aiyuk does in his debut. Garoppolo should bounce back as well and be much better than he was in the opener.
Jas’ prediction: SF wins, 30-17 (with Frank Gore scoring both Jets touchdowns)
What is your prediction for the final score?