49ers defense pitches first half shutout

Getty Images

It wasn’t hard to find people who thought the 49ers defense would devour the Jets offense in Week Four, so you’re likely to see some smug smiles after the first half of play.

The 49ers lead 10-0 after the first 30 minutes thanks in large part to the efforts of their defense. They forced a pair of turnovers, sacked Mark Sanchez three times and held the Jets to just 83 total yards. The first turnover came after Tim Tebow completed his first pass attempt of the season to tight end Dedrick Epps and the second ended the only promising offensive drive of the day for the home team.

An Anthony Davis personal foul pushed the 49ers back before a punt that wound up giving the Jets the ball near midfield. They moved into field goal range, with a lot of help from another personal foul, but the drive imploded when Sanchez was stripped of the ball while scrambling by Aldon Smith. The 49ers linebacker was the one penalized a few plays before, so it seems the flag provided good motivation for getting back into the team’s good graces. Alex Smith drove the team into range for a David Akers field goal as time expired in the second quarter.

Smith went 4-for-4 on that drive, improving what had been a somewhat erratic day to that point. He overthrew a wide-open Michael Crabtree on what would have been a big gainer and the 49ers offense seemed to stall whenever they chose to pass instead of run. While that makes sense against a Darrelle Revis-less secondary, the 49ers have run for 119 yards on 17 carries and you’d expect to see more of that as they try to make their lead hold up.