The 49ers got back to their winning ways on Sunday, shutting out the Jets 34-0 on the road to wrap up their 10-day trip from the Bay Area to Minnesota, Ohio, New York and back again. All 46 players contributed to the dominating victory, but it was backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick who stole the spotlight with his dynamic performance.
The second-year signal-caller provided a spark to the 49ers offense and was commended by his coaches and teammates on both side of the ball. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com passed along the comments of starter Alex Smith, who was excited to see Kaepernick contribute on Sunday.
“Colin Kaepernick got his first extensive playing time of his NFL career on Sunday, as the 49ers sprinkled him into the game against the New York Jets,” Maiocco wrote. “And Kaepernick delivered with the first touchdown in the 49ers’ 34-0 victory over the New York Jets.”
Today’s Morning Tailgate features more headlines from the Week 4 victory in the Meadowlands after the jump.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com broke down video of Kaepernick’s big day. Jeremiah: “We thought we might see an unleashing of an athletic backup quarterback. Of course, we did. Colin Kaepernick was the guy and not Tim Tebow.”
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee noted how Jets Coach Rex Ryan expressed previous interest in Kaepernick. Barrows: “Ryan’s observation was amplified Sunday after Kaepernick made only a cameo appearance but managed to pick up 50 yards on five carries, including a seven-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. That total includes two knee-downs for minus-4 yards at the end of the game.”
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle discussed the dominant day of work by the 49ers defense. Branch: “For the fourth time in four opportunities during the Jim Harbaugh era, the 49ers rebounded victoriously from a defeat, thanks to a suffocating defensive performance.”
Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group features Aldon Smith in his Sunday notebook. Inman also passed along images of the New York sports sections. Inman: “Smith nearly had his first career game with three sacks, but that fourth-quarter effort against Mark Sanchez was wiped out by a downfield holding penalty. Added Smith: ‘We knew Mark held the ball a little longer. We keyed on that.’”
Branch discussed Aldon Smith’s “double windmill” celebration that he unveiled after his first sack on Sunday afternoon. Branch: “Smith, who has 4.5 sacks this season, helped set the tone for the rout when he ended the Jets’ first drive with a five-yard sack of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. He capped the sack by running around the field with his long arms rotating like windmills, a celebration inspired by a video soccer game he was recently playing with rookie linebackers Cam Johnson and Darius Fleming.”
Monte Poole of the Bay Area News Group commended Jim Harbaugh for leading the 49ers to a 3-1 start to the season. Poole: “Harbaugh doesn’t care what you or I or anybody else cares to call it. He doesn’t care what you or I or anybody outside his locker room thinks about his game plan.”
Branch talked about the impact of the 49ers staying in Youngstown, Ohio, for a week of preparation. Branch: “Sunday’s game started at 10 a.m. on the West Coast, but it didn’t feel like mid-morning for a team that had acclimated to another time zone. Quarterback Alex Smith cited the stay in Ohio as a reason for a fired-up pregame vibe.”
Maiocco also discussed the team’s success in the Eastern time zone. Maiocco: “The 49ers’ energy was particularly obvious on defense. The 49ers allowed the Jets only nine first downs — and three of them were courtesy of penalties. All three of the 49ers’ sacks of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez came on third downs.”
Barrows shared the mood from the 49ers locker room, where players said they were fueled by last week’s loss in Minnesota. Barrows: “Rogers and others cited a weak energy level in their surprise loss to the Vikings, a team that had won only three games the year before. There was no power outage in the Meadowlands. The locker room was alive and abuzz before and after the game, and the defense, a half-step behind Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder last week, smothered Jets Sanchez on Sunday.”
Maiocco provided a breakdown of the 49ers playing time on Sunday. Maiocco: “The 49ers did a good job of spreading the ball around in the run game, and it all began with backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s early entry into the action.”
Jon Marks of the Bay Area News Group spoke to Mario Manningham about returning to play in New York. Marks: “The 49ers appear to be liking Manningham, too. Coach Jim Harbaugh has unofficially designated him the team’s No. 2 receiver, behind Michael Crabtree but ahead of Randy Moss. With 21 career touchdowns, counting the postseason, over his four-plus seasons, the 6-foot, 185-pound Manningham has shown a knack for making the big play.”
49ers.com provided complete coverage of the 34-0 shutout victory (video/story/photos). Scott Kegley and Taylor Price broke down the matchup in their latest Cover 2 presented by AAA, and we also discussed the bounce-back win, Kaepernick’s big day in The Big Apple, the defensive domination and featured press conferences with Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith.
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Tags: Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Jets, Jim Harbaugh, Youngstown
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