EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The San Francisco 49ers are everything Rex Ryan wishes his New York Jets were.
San Francisco used a solid running game, a smothering defense, a little bit of the wildcat-style offense and even blocked a punt to cruise to a 34-0 victory Sunday.
That's exactly the type of team the Jets coach was hoping to build. Instead, Ryan had to watch it from the other sideline as the 49ers ran for more than 200 yards and Carlos Rogers returned a fumble 51 yards for a touchdown.
Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick — on a wildcat-style option — all ran for scores as the 49ers (3-1) bounced back from a disappointing loss last week at Minnesota. Rather than head back to the West Coast after that defeat, coach Jim Harbaugh chose to have his team stay in eastern Ohio and practice at Youngstown State all week.
It apparently helped, just as it did last season when the 49ers did the same thing.
San Francisco won in Cincinnati last year, stayed on the road and then rallied from a 20-0 deficit to stun the Eagles 24-23 in Philadelphia. The 49ers wound up going to the NFC championship that season, and if they play anything like they did against the Jets, they could very well find themselves advancing deep into the postseason again.
It was San Francisco's first shutout since beating the St. Louis Rams 26-0 last December.
Meanwhile, the Jets (2-2) couldn't get anything going on offense and lost top wide receiver Santonio Holmes to what appeared to be a serious foot injury. It was the first time New York was shut out since losing 9-0 to Green Bay on Oct. 31, 2010, and the Jets' biggest shutout home loss since falling 37-0 to Buffalo in 1989.
If Holmes misses significant time, the Jets would be without their two biggest playmakers after All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis was likely lost for the season with a torn ligament in his left knee last week at Miami.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Holmes caught a pass from Mark Sanchez for 4 yards, but his left leg appeared to go out on him. The ball flew out of his hands, and Rogers picked it up and returned it for a score.
A replay review confirmed that Holmes had fumbled. Trainers helped him off, and he was not putting any weight on the leg. Holmes was then was carted to the locker room.
Ryan said Friday that the Jets would wait to put Revis on injured reserve until he has surgery in a few weeks, keeping him available in case New York goes to the Super Bowl.
If the Jets play like this the rest of the way, getting to the playoffs will be a tall task.
Alex Smith was efficient, going 12 of 21 for 143 yards and no touchdowns, but more importantly, no interceptions. The 49ers rolled up 245 yards on the ground.
"I've never given up that many yards in my life," an angry Ryan said after the game.
Sanchez had another poor game for the Jets, going 13 of 29 for 103 yards and an interception. New York also finished with just 45 yards rushing.
The wildcat-style offense worked early — but for the 49ers and not Tim Tebow and the Jets.
Kaepernick put the 49ers up 7-0 early in the second quarter, taking a direct snap and running untouched off left end for a 7-yard touchdown. Kaepernick also had a 17-yard run earlier in the game.
On the Jets' next possession, Tebow threw his first pass with New York, a short throw over the middle to tight end Dedrick Epps, who was upended immediately by Dashon Goldson as the ball came loose. Rogers recovered it, and the fumble call was upheld by video review. Epps injured his right knee on the play.
With just over a minute left in the first half, the 49ers were aggressive despite starting the drive at their 26. A 23-yard catch by Vernon Davis on first down got things rolling, and San Francisco ended the half on David Akers' 36-yard field goal.
Boos and some chants of "Tee-boww! Tee-boww!" rang out as the Jets went three-and-out for the second straight possession in the second half.