By Kerry J. Byrne, coldhardfootballfacts.com
The brutal bottom-line life of the NFL inevitably delivers Epic Failures every Sunday.
One team and one unit went below and beyond in Week 4 of the 2012 season. And, naturally, it was the one unit the Cold, Hard Football Facts and fans everywhere could have not counted on to deliver at the start of the season.
Epic Fail: The New York Jets offense
You’ve heard of the hot new trend in plastic surgery out of Japan? It’s called bageling. Folks have silicone injected in their foreheads and then make an imprint in the fat mess in the shape of a huge bagel.
You know, like a giant zero?
Well, that’s what Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers did to Rex Ryan’s fat mess called the New York Jets on Sunday.
They imprinted a hideously disfiguring goose egg on the team's forehead with a 34-0 victory that could be seen all the way back in San Francisco.
It’s hard to score fewer points than 0. But if were able to deduct style points in the NFL, the Jets would have earned the sub-zero dishonor for their "performance" here in Week 4.
Mark Sanchez and the Jets are the the first NFL team to be blanked during the 2012 season. And that was only tip of the massive iceberg of statistical lowlights.
- Sanchez completed just 13 of 29 passes, a success rate of 44.8 percent
- The Jets fumbled three times, and lost all three.
- The Jets averaged just 2.9 yards per offensive play.
- The Jets convrted just 2 of 15 third-down attempts (15.4%).
- The Jets netted just 100 passing yards on 33 dropbacks – an average of 3.0 Real Passing YPA, the stat we use at Cold, Hard Football Facts that gives a true measure of passing effectiveness.
Other than that, how was the game Mrs. Ryan?
The contest began with a sense of promise for the Jets, too. They were playing at home with a 2-1 record against a 49ers team that was 3,000 miles from home, coming off a loss and playing on the road for the second week in a row.
The Jets promptly stuffed San Francisco on the opening drive, and took over at their own 25.
It was going to be New York’s day!
On their first possession, Sanchez & Co. mounted a 7 play, 30-yard drive before punting.
It was New York’s longest drive of the entire day.
On the bright side, America’s most famous second-string quarterback, Tim Tebow, was a perfect 1 for 1 passing on the day.
Tebow connected for a 9-yard gain with receiver Dedrick Epps – who was left so exposed over the middle of the field that he nearly had has leg bent back the wrong way at the knee, and fumbled the ball.
San Francisco’s Carlos Rogers recovered.
The Jets still had a fighting chance late in the first half, trailing just 7-0. They took over the ball in San Francisco territory, at the 47, and gallantly marched all the way to the 25.
Then Sanchez was strip sacked by Aldon Smith, ending the drive in field goal range.
The 49ers quickly marched into Jets territory and kicked a field goal with 2 seconds left to take a 10-0 lead into the break.
The Jets got the ball back to open the second half, and successfully executed four thrilling offensive snaps before Sanchez threw a pass that was tipped into the hands of 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, ending yet another impotent drive.
The comedy of errors continued in the fourth quarter when Sanchez connected with Santonio Holmes, the team’s most talented offensive player and top target on this day (four receptions).
Naturally, Holmes fumbled away the ball. Even worse, he was carted off the field with a knee injury.
Oh, yes, that one play provided yet more lowlights for Jets fans: Rogers recovered his second fumble of the day, and this time raced 51 yards for a score and a 24-0 49ers lead.
The Jets responded to the adversity in the way you might imagine out of a team that’s just been bageled: the folded up into a nice round fetal ball.
Sanchez completed 3 of 8 passes in the final quarter, and was sacked once, netting 5 yards in the passing game in crunch time.
New York's starting offense famously failed to score a single touchdown in four pre-season games this year. We were lulled into a false sense of security about their 2012 offensive prospects when the Jets exploded for 48 points in a Week 1 win over the Bills.
But as we saw in Buffalo's 52-28 loss to the Patriots this week, the Bills defense is not exactly built for primetime.
Since then, the Jets offense has mustered just 33 points in three games, an Epic Fail by any measure in this day and age of record-setting offense.