49ers Clubhouse 

Solid Performance Sends Conflicting Messages 

October 04, 2001

by James Parrott
Clubhouse Staff Writer

Monday nights 19-17 victory over the New York Jets came after a performance in which the 49ers were solid in all areas of the game without being spectacular at any of them.

Of course the success of the running attack was as close to spectacular as the game got. The team piled up 233 yards rushing off the back of excellent games for Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow. The offensive line created big holes in a defence designed to stop the pass, and the two tailbacks took advantage to chew up nearly two thirds of the clock. 

The defence allowed the Jets to keep the ball for the first nine minutes of the game and then held them to twelve minutes possession for the rest of the game. 

Special teams were very good. One blocked field goal, four made and some good returns from Vinny Sutherland were the end results of a pretty good performance from those units.

On the downside, the team only produced one TD despite holding the ball for nearly forty minutes.

Despite reducing the Jets offence to impotency for large chunks of the game, the defence showed a worrying tendency to give up big gains. 
Laverenues Coles proved to be the big threat at wide receiver as he had several big gains on passes from Vinny Testaverde. And the first drive of the game took nine minutes of the clock with New York moving the ball seemingly as it pleased. 

The defence played well for the remainder though, and Ahmed Plummer showed on several occasions that he is a smart cornerback with a big future. Derek Smith proved Vinny Cerrato (ex 49ers/Redskins front office) utterly wrong as he again recorded double digits in tackles. 

Andre Carter recorded his first sack, coming up against tight end Anthony Becht and overcoming being held, he took down Testaverde on third and long. 
Even though Becht is a tight end it should be pointed out that he outweighs Carter by twenty pounds. 
Comparisons to Jevon Kearse were slightly unrealistic, considering that Carter is a rookie. The coaching staff maybe should have bit their lips on this one. Every tackle he faces now expects the best, and plays up accordingly. 

So after three games we have seen learned that the defence is improved over last year. There is no doubt. 

On the other side of the ball, the offence has some ground to make up on their 2000 performance.

If they manage that, and the defence continues to improve further then the playoffs is not and unreasonable goal. Not at all.

Tell us what you think on the new 49ers Clubhouse message board