By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Obviously, the Jets’ defense has taken a major blow with the loss of Darrelle Revis. So how will they compensate as they prepare for one of the best teams in the NFL in the 49ers?
When you think of great offenses, teams like the Packers, Patriots, and Saints come to mind. However, while the 49ers may not rack up as many yards and gaudy stats, they are efficient and very complex in their formations and shifts.
Here is how the Jets defense matches up with the Niners:
Stopping the run: Despite their additions to the wide receiver position, the 49ers are still a run-first team that will ride Frank Gore as long as they can.
What makes the 49ers running game so difficult to deal with is the complexity of their run formation and pre-snap shifts to create lanes and confuse defenses.
If the Jets want to have a prayer to stop the Niners consistently they must do a better job getting off blocks and making tackles. Through their first three games, the Jets have struggled with some of the basics of their run defense, and it has hurt the other aspects of their defense.
Without Revis, the Jets need to stop the run early to make defending the pass that much easier.
Dealing With Vernon Davis: Even with Revis in the lineup, Davis would have been a load to deal with. Now, the Jets are going to have to find an answer to the freak-of-nature tight end without having the luxury of leaving their corners on an island.
Davis is the Niners’ biggest threat in the passing game. Dealing with him has to come as a bigger priority than their wide receivers.
Cromartie Island: Without Revis, the Jets are going to have to take their chances with leaving their now-top corner on an island against Randy Moss.
The Jets have actually been putting Cromartie in “island” situations before this game, so this will not be anything new for Cro. Cromartie has been successful going against Moss in the past: The last time the Jets played the Patriots with Randy Moss in 2010, Darrelle Revis left the game with a hamstring injury. Cromartie was able to step in and actually improve the efficiency of the Jets’ defense.
Dealing with a 49ers offense that can beat you in so many ways, the Jets are going to have to take their chances leaving Cromartie alone on the outside.
Blitz: It is a common misconception that the Jets will not be able to be as aggressive as usual without Revis in the lineup.
Sans Revis, not only does New York have to remain aggressive on defense, but they need to be more aggressive than ever before.
The Jets’ secondary is not going to be able to hold up as well without Darrelle. On third-down situations, the Jets cannot be shy about sending 5, 6, and 7-man blitzes to get off the field. If they get beat on a few big plays, than so be it—beating a team like the 49ers will require the Jets to take some risks.