(CBSNewYork) — The New York Jets will try to avoid an 0-2 start at home this Sunday after an ugly loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. The Jets punted after three plays on their first three possessions and managed just one first down and 23 yards the first five times they had the ball. The score was already 21-0 midway through the second quarter, as Josh Allen had his way with the Jets secondary.
They host the San Francisco 49ers, who, fresh off their Super Bowl appearance, are also trying to avoid an 0-2 start. The 49ers let a fourth-quarter lead slip away to the Cardinals at home in Week 1. Cardinals second-year quarterback Kyler Murray passed for 230 yards, ran for another 91 yards and orchestrated two second-half scoring drives for the win. DeAndre Hopkins carved up the 49ers secondary, pulling 14 of his 16 targets for 151 yards.
As if those Week 1 results weren’t bad enough, both teams face a mounting injury count.
The Jets, who already can’t match the 49ers in talent, are banged up after their Week 1 face-plant. “[The Jets] are making a strong case [for being the worst team in the NFL],” says SportsLine senior NFL analyst Larry Hartstein. “The injuries… Le’Veon Bell already out (hamstring). Denzel Mims, one of the rookie wide receivers, he’s out (hamstring). And Jamison Crowder, basically their entire offense — seven catches, 115 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 — he did not practice on Thursday due to a hamstring injury. So you have to watch his status.”
That doesn’t leave a lot of options for Sam Darnold, who struggled in Week 1. Darnold completed 21-35 passes against the Bills for 215 yards. He also had a touchdown and an interception. The numbers were actually worse if you subtract out the final drive that included eight receptions for 58 yards. The running game was also anemic, with Bell and Frank Gore combining for 38 yards on 12 carries.
The Niners face injury concerns of their own. They will be without cornerback Richard Sherman, who will be out at least three weeks with a calf injury. He joins wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who will miss at least two more games while healing from a broken foot. Tight end George Kittle is dealing with a knee sprain and is uncertain for Week 2. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who missed Week 1 with a hamstring injury, could return, however.
The 49ers also recently signed free agent Mohamed Sanu Sr. to help shore up its depleted wide receiver corps. How effective he can be on this short notice is an open question. The ongoing wildfire situation on the west coast and the resulting air quality issues certainly haven’t helped San Francisco either.
There is a glimmer of hope for the Jets in all the gloom. According to Hartstein, “if there was ever a time for the Jets to show up and be competitive, it’s in Week 2 against the 49ers, who are just as banged up if not more. George Kittle did not practice all week for the 49ers. They’re totally depleted at wide receiver. And the Jets are good at stopping the run, which is what the Niners love to do. This is the spot where the Jets should show up and be competitive.”
So how does all this injury news shake out in terms of the betting numbers?
“The Jets couldn’t have looked worse in Week 1,” says Hartstein. “And they actually only lost by 10. But teams that lose by double-digits in Week 1, because there’s such an overreaction, actually cover the spread 63 percent of the time in Week 2. So there’s value on the Jets because of how bad they looked in Week 1.”
The Jets are currently seven-point underdogs to the 49ers.
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