The refs we used to hate are back. Are the 49ers we used to love back, too?
The 2012 season hits the quarter pole this weekend and a 49er victory will give them the same record as they had last year after four games. Of course, the next step in emulating last year is a bit stickier — winning the following six games in a row.
Which will be a moot observation if they don’t beat the Jets. Hopefully, Alex Smith and his supporting cast can hold the team back and drag it down to another ho-hum victory.
The Jets are a bit of a mystery at this point. They walloped the Bills, got walloped by Pittsburg, then squeaked out an OT win against Miami. Anybody see a pattern here?
One thing we won’t have to worry about in the Jets game is the Streak Jinx. As prophetically warned last week, all streaks bit the dust in Minnesota in one fateful fourth quarter implosion. How tidy. 29 quarters without a turnover and 13 games without a Frank Gore fumble — erased when Frank coughed one up at midfield. Soon followed by 249 passes without an interception by Smith — splat, followed later by his first lost fumble since last Thanksgiving. Not to be excluded from the goof party, Donte Whitner contributed by dropping a sure pick six.
All in all, a fourth quarter from hell. But they’re clean now. Streak free. Unless they just started a new streak of shit poor football. In which case, we’ll be back here next week, armed to the teeth with hindsight brilliance, ripping them to shreds and predicting doom.
The last time the Niners played the Jets, Brett Farve was the QB and Rex Ryan was just an obscure DC doing foot porn videos with his wife. The 49ers beat up the aging wang wagging texter that day and sent him and the Jets on a downward spiral from playoff contenders to also rans. Farve shuffled off to Minnesota after the season, and in came Ryan, his mouth blazing a trail through the New York tabloids.
The Jets superstar CB, Darrelle Revis, is out for the year with a ripped ACL, which can’t help their chances against the 49ers Sunday. Or against the rest of the league. When Revis went down, so did a choice chunk of chance that the Jets could remain a playoff contender this year. Sometimes these tragedies galvanize a team, but let’s hope that stimulus doesn’t kick in this week.
After watching film of the Vikings game and seeing the 49ers struggle to contain Christian Ponder’s scrambles, Ryan might be tempted to unleash Tim Tebow this Sunday. Of course, Ponder brings more to the table than just running around dodging tacklers — he can actually throw forward passes with tremendous accuracy. Tebow might be a little rusty, too, since he has yet to throw a pass this season or register even one single offensive or defensive statistic, even though he’s appeared in all three Jets games.
Still, desperate coaches do desperate things and the Niners had better bring their A game Sunday. They sure didn’t pack it in their bags for the Vikings game last week. New York is a good place to remind the rest of the league just how good this 49er team is. A Statement Game. In the heart of the East Coast bias world.