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During the season, Bent's Game Analysis charts games for some of the Jets' upcoming opponents, enabling a breakdown of what to watch out for on gameday…
The 49ers season got off to a great start when they shut out the Rams 28-0 in their opener. Unfortunately, they've failed to win since then, with all but three of their losses being by double digits. While, on paper, this looks like the Jets' best remaining chance to get another win this year, the 49ers will be viewing the game in similar fashion. History is against the Jets, as they've only beaten the 49ers twice in their history and just once since 1983. It's also been six years since the Jets won a game in the Pacific Time Zone.
Let's break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) for the 49ers to try and highlight what to watch out for.
Last time these teams met, the 49ers blew the Jets away 34-0 in a game perhaps best remembered for Santonio Holmes' Lisfranc injury. However, it was also a breakout game of sorts for Colin Kaepernick, who was used in special packages off the bench and picked up three first downs and the go-ahead touchdown. A few months later, he took over as the starting quarterback and ending up taking San Francisco all the way to the Super Bowl.
Since that spectacular start to his career, Kaepernick has seen his fortunes change. His numbers got worse and worse to the point where he was benched for Blaine Gabbert toward the end of last season. He reassumed the starting role in October, but was once again benched for Gabbert on Sunday after a remarkable performance in Chicago where he managed to complete just one pass for four yards in snowy conditions.
For now, Kaepernick is still the number one, but it's obvious he has a short leash. His running skills are still a threat but he's been too erratic as a passer. As for Gabbert, he didn't fare much better on Sunday (4-for-10) but he was the starter for their opening day win.
The 49ers have had excellent continuity on the offensive line this year, with four of their five starters playing virtually every snap. The only position where that hasn't been the case has been at right guard where their first-round rookie Joshua Garnett took over from Andrew Tiller several weeks ago and has been the starter ever since.
That continuity is threatened this weekend, with Joe Staley's status up in the air due to a hamstring injury. Staley is the 49ers' best lineman and a force in the running game, so that could be a big loss at left tackle.
Daniel Kilgore has resumed his role as the starting center after returning at the end of last season following a serious leg injury. The massive Trenton Brown is the right tackle. He was a seventh-round pick in last year's draft. Former Bronco Zane Beadles is in his first year with the 49ers at left guard after two years in Jacksonville. All three, along with Garnett, have struggled, especially Brown, who leads the team with seven penalties and five sacks surrendered.
Tiller is an option off the bench, as are Marcus Martin and John Theus. Theus, who is listed as the backup tackle, was a fifth-round pick in this year's draft, but hasn't played yet. Therefore, if Staley can't play, the 49ers are expected to move Beadles out to tackle and re-insert Tiller into the lineup at left guard.
The 49ers' running game is led by Carlos Hyde, who is having a career year with almost 700 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the season, despite missing a couple of games. He came within eight yards of his second 100-yard game of the season last week and has also caught 22 passes.
With reserves Shaun Draughn and Mike Davis both averaging fewer than three yards per carry, DuJuan Harris has moved up to second string on the depth chart. He showed his playmaking ability on a 47-yard touchdown reception against the Saints last month. Draughn has contributed 18 pass receptions.
The strength of the 49ers' receiving corps is underlined by the fact that their leading receiver is a player who was a Jet castoff. Jeremy Kerley has 43 receptions and will surpass his career high if he can make 15 more between now and the end of the season. His three touchdown receptions also tie his career best. He should find himself matched up with Buster Skrine in the slot.
Torrey Smith is perhaps the team's highest profile receiver but he's more of a complementary player than a number one and has just 20 catches on the season. He's been less of a deep threat than last year too, with his average dropping from over 20 to 13 yards per catch.
The team perhaps expected more out of Quinton Patton but he's yet to emerge as a difference maker although he's already surpassed his career best with 31 catches. Bruce Ellington, another player they were perhaps counting on to step up, has spent the year on injured reserve.
Rod Streater provides veteran depth off the bench at receiver, with rookie Aaron Burbridge someone they might also want to start featuring more.
At tight end, Vance McDonald and Garrett Celek will split duties. They have combined for 45 catches and five touchdowns, with four of those scores by McDonald.
The 49ers have been retooling their front three with consecutive first-round picks being spent on defensive linemen. They selected DeForest Buckner seventh overall in April, having picked Arik Armstead last season. Buckner has shown some promise in his rookie year, but Armstead is now on injured reserve.
Glenn Dorsey, himself a former top-five pick, is the starter at nose tackle with the other starter currently listed as Chris Jones. Jones faced the Jets a few weeks ago as a Miami Dolphin, but has played well over the last couple of weeks since signing with San Francisco.
The 320-pounder Quinton Dial is another player who usually gets starter reps, but he's banged up at the moment and listed as questionable. Other rotational options include promising rookie Ronald Blair.
The 49ers' season went from bad to worse when Navorro Bowman suffered a season-ending injury in the fourth game. Since that time, the 49ers have really struggled against the run and currently rank dead last in the league, giving up almost 170 yards per game.
A familiar face is currently starting at inside linebacker, and he's been extremely productive. Former Jets' special teams ace Nick Bellore is seeing his first extended run of playing time on defense and is already in second place on the team in tackles, despite only having been inserted into the lineup since October. He had his best game of the year so far against the Bears, leading the team with seven stops.
Gerald Hodges and Michael Wilhoite have been rotating in alongside Bellore. Wilhoite has been a liability against the run, while Hodges has performed better overall. He is leading the team with two interceptions.
On the outside, 2015 draft pick Eli Harold and veteran Ahmad Brooks get the majority of the reps. Brooks leads the team with five sacks.
Aaron Lynch has been dealing with an injury, so Tank Carradine might be the first guy off the bench on the outside. The 40th overall pick from 2013 has been disappointing following an injury-plagued start to his career.
The 49ers' secondary is anchored by two veterans - cornerback Tramaine Brock and safety Antoine Bethea. However, they lost Eric Reid to injury a couple of weeks ago.
With Reid out, last year's second-round pick Jaquiski Tartt, who had been serving as the third safety, has been moved back into a full-time role. He struggled in coverage when starting full-time as a rookie.
The other starting cornerback is former first-round pick Jimmie Ward. Rookie Rashard Robinson, the only cornerback in the regular rotation standing over 6 feet tall, is also likely to see a lot of time. Ward will typically revert to the slot in nickel situations.
Backup cornerback Keith Reaser is the only other defensive back to play more than a couple of snaps in any game over the past few weeks.
Phil Dawson is a solid kicker and has been perfect from inside 50 yards, but has attempted just two kicks from beyond 50, making one. Punter Bradley Pinion, a fifth-round pick last year, has not fared as well as he did in his rookie year, surrendering almost 300 return yards.
Kerley has been handling punt return duties all year and is averaging just over eight yards per return. Reserve defensive back JaCorey Shepherd is the kickoff returner but hasn't had a 40-yard run back yet this year.
In coverage, Tartt is leading the team in special teams tackles, but now that he's starting he might have a reduced role. Burbridge has also been productive as a gunner.
I'll be back on Monday to recap the game.
Stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.