Defense Struggles for the New York Jets in Loss to the San Francisco 49ers

Seth Everett

In their season opening loss at the Buffalo, the Jets defense held its own against the backdrop of an offense that couldn’t move the ball. This week the defense put the team in a massive hole from the first play of the game in a 31-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Jets home opener at MetLife Stadium.

“You gotta look yourself in the mirror individually and don’t just come in here tomorrow and try and get through the day,” said a frustrated Jordan Jenkins in his virtual press conference after the game.

“You gotta look yourself in the mirror and say, OK, I didn't do this right. Listen to the coach. Like when a coach says something to you don’t just say ‘yes, sir’. You got to have a conversation and listen to it. Don't be so focused about making a play and get outside and miss your block. Like just do what you're supposed to do.”

San Francisco running back Raheem Mostert ran the ball 80 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first offensive play and the Jets were quickly behind 7-0. It was all a part of the day where the defense allowed 359 rushing yards and the 49ers converted on seven of their 13 third down attempts.

“The whole week we knew they were going to get some explosive plays but you want to try and limit those and keep them in the 10 and 15-yard range,” said Jets head coach Adam Gase after the game. They outran us.”

Physically, the Jets were just pushed around. It was a surprise given that the defense was the strength of the Jets last year. In Week 2 against a beat-up 49ers offense, the Jets just simply were pushed around.

“Honestly, we just have to be dialed in a hundred percent of the time,” Jenkins said. “You can't be right nine plays out of 10 and have the one play a team with running backs like they have, that one play that you're not a hundred, you're not right on. They're gonna make you pay for it.”

The other big letdown play was in the third quarter on a third and 31 from the San Francisco 11-yard line. NextGen Stats said the probability of conversion there was 1.6 percent. Still, 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon went 55 yards on the play, the key moment of a drive where the 49ers got a field goal.

"We were embarrassed," Jenkins said.

Mostert finished with 92 yards on eight rushes with one touchdown. McKinnon finished with 77 yards.

“We just have to keep working to get better,” Gase said. “We’re in the second week of the season.”

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