How SF 49ers shook up their defense in Week 2 vs. Jets

K'Waun Williams #24 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
K'Waun Williams #24 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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SF 49ers, NY Jets
Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets in action against Kerry Hyder Jr. #92 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

A film breakdown of the four best plays that the SF 49ers defense made during their 31-13 win over the New York Jets, in Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season.

It felt like the SF 49ers had to make an unbalanced or unfair trade to win their Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets.

The Niners had to trade away quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running back Raheem Mostert, defensive end Solomon Thomas, running back Tevin Coleman and EDGE Nick Bosa to injury, just to get a win against the Jets of all teams.

This “trade” is just like when San Francisco traded back one pick in the 2017 NFL Draft with the Chicago Bears giving up more draft capital than many people thought they would have to swap picks with the 49ers. The Niners ended up drafting one of the players who was injured in Week 2, Thomas, the first draft pick of the Shanahan/Lynch era.

Thomas was also the first defensive player drafted for the SF 49ers defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh. Saleh was brought in to run the Cover 3 scheme head coach Pete Carroll made famous in Seattle with the Seahawks.

However, in the Week 2 win over the Jets, Saleh, mainly due to the injury to Bosa, changed things up.

The Niners defense was often seen crowding the line of scrimmage with more than just the four-down defensive linemen, then blitzing as well as mixing up the coverages played behind the blitz.

This is great news for San Francisco’s defense as it looks to add another dimension to its scheme, which will keep opposing offenses guessing as to who is blitzing and which side the blitz is coming from, or if the SF 49ers are blitzing at all.

Here are four plays that showcase the new pages that Saleh has added to his playbook.