EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.— The New York Jets were a delicious treat for the San Francisco 49ers.
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. That romp came a week after a loss at Minnesota in which the 49ers were just as outclassed as the Jets were Sunday.
"For sure, the whole week there was more of an edge; it was just a bad taste in your mouth," Alex Smith said. "I don't think that goes away in one day. We wanted to be 3-1 and got it done."
They got it done so emphatically that Jets coach Rex Ryan was visibly shaken by the lopsided defeat, so much so that he struggled to describe how poorly his Jets (2-2) performed.
"It's obviously unacceptable," Ryan said. "It starts with the coaches. The players ... they've got to dig deep, look down at the themselves."
Ryan took no solace from his team losing to one of the NFL's best. San Francisco (3-1) has everything Ryan wishes his team did.
The 49ers ran for 245 yards and Carlos Rogers returned a fumble 51 yards for a touchdown.
Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick — on a wildcat-like option — all ran for scores. The defense had an interception and three fumble recoveries, and special teams blocked Robert Malone's punt to set up the final touchdown.
Defensive end Aldon Smith called it a statement win.
"Yeah, that's right," he said. "After the last game, some people were questioning us and we knew what we were capable of. We played all together as a unit and proved what we are as a defense."
And as an offense. And on special teams.
Rather than head back to the West Coast after the Minnesota loss, coach Jim Harbaugh chose to have his team stay in eastern Ohio and practice at Youngstown State all week. Last season, the 49ers did the same thing and won both games, in Cincinnati and then at 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.
"This is more the way we are accustomed to playing," said Harbaugh, the 2011 Coach of the Year.
It was San Francisco's first shutout since beating the St. Louis Rams 26-0 last December.
Meanwhile, the Jets lost top wide receiver Santonio Holmes to what appeared to be a serious left 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.
Read all of the PD's fire coverage here