The Jets' pain somehow got worse one week after an embarrassing lid-lifter that made you think that, well, it couldn’t get worse.
Gang Green was torched, 31-13, by the injury-ravaged 49ers in their home opener Sunday to fall to 0-2. Thankfully, nobody was actually inside MetLife Stadium to witness the latest disappointment in what promises to an excruciating 17-week journey.
Somehow a team missing their starting quarterback, top running back, three stud defensive linemen, All-Pro tight end and future Hall of Fame cornerback dominated Gang Green.
The Jets dug a 21-3 halftime hole that they couldn’t overcome. The banged-up reigning NFC champs used creativity and mismatches to their advantage for their first win of the season.
Jimmy Garoppolo hooked up with tight end Jordan Reed twice before intermission to build an 18-point halftime cushion. It took a grand total of 17 seconds for the Jets, reeling after their season-opening disappointment against Buffalo, to fall behind. Raheem Mostert’s 80-yard gallop on the first play from scrimmage set the tone for another annoying day for the Jets.
The Jets looked out-classed in every imaginable way even after the Niners' rolled out their de facto jay-vee squad thanks to a litany of first-half injuries.
Kyle Shanahan & Co. opened the second half without Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), Raheem Mostert (knee), Nick Bosa (leg) and Solomon Thomas, who were all shelved after injuries in the first half.
But it didn’t matter.
Shanahan showed yet again why he’s one of the best offensive minds in the universe by controlling the game.
The Nick Mullens-led offense managed to extend its halftime lead thanks to a Jerick McKinnon’s 55-yard scamper on 3rd and 31 from their own 11-yard line on their first drive of the third quarter. Robbie Gould’s 46-yard field goal put the Jets in a 24-3 hole six minutes into the third quarter.
The Jets seemingly got a huge break when Tarell Basham’s pressure forced an errant throw by Mullens that was deflected and picked off by Pierre Desir with five minutes to go in the third quarter. Gang Green took over at the Niners' 22-yard line, but squandered a golden opportunity by settling for Sam Ficken’s 25-yard field goal to make it 24-6 with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
The Niners' padded their lead and added further insult on Jerick McKinnon’s 16-yard touchdown five minutes into the fourth quarter.
The Jets, who dug a three-touchdown hole last week before you could blink in the season opener, couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. Gang Green, which finished second in the league against the run last season, left a gaping hole on a toss sweep before Mostert turned on the jets down the sideline for the quick score.
Then, disaster struck for the 49ers' defensive line.
The injury-ravaged reigning NFC champs suffered a big blow when star pass rusher Nick Bosa was carted off on the second drive of the game after he got tangled up with tight end Trevon Wesco. The news got worse for the 49ers, who already were without pass rusher Dee Ford. Two plays after Bosa left, Solomon was also carted off.
The Jets capped their 13-play drive with Sam Ficken’s 41-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 3:39 left in the first quarter.
Gang Green averted quick-strike trouble on the Niners' ensuing drive after Mostert’s 67-yard touchdown was negated by a holding penalty. But Kyle Shanahan’s marched down the field anyway to help dig a deeper hole for the Gang Green.
Jordan Reed’s 18-yard catch and run for a score on third down capped a 14-play drive that chewed up 8 minutes, 44 seconds and gave the 49ers a 14-3 led five minutes into the second quarter. Reed, who was starting for injured All-Pro tight end George Kittle, hurdled Marcus Maye before diving in for the score.
Sam Darnold & Co. methodically marched down the field on the Jets' ensuing drive. The Jets got to the red zone before Gore was stuffed on third and 1. Then, Gase made the smart choice to go for it on fourth down. But Josh Adams was stopped for no gain when right guard Greg Van Roten whiffed on his block attempt on linebacker Fred Warner.
The 49ers capitalized by widening their lead before halftime thanks to a self-inflicted wound by Gase’s club. Henry Anderson’s roughing the passer call after a third-down incompletion extended San Francisco’s drive. Garoppolo and Reed hooked up for a second third-down score — this time a 4-yarder — to make it 21-3 at intermission
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