49ers can dash their former coordinator's playoff hopes with Week 1 victory

The Niners will aim to make an old friend's 2024 campaign start off on the wrong foot.
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The 49ers will host Robert Saleh and the Jets in Week 1 on Monday night, and nothing would be sweeter than a Niners victory over their former coordinator.

There's a reasonable chance New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh is on the hot seat entering 2024.

Since taking over head-coaching duties in 2021, the former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator has posted an 18-33 record and failed to reach the .500 mark in each of his three seasons there so far.

Granted, many of Saleh's challenges have centered around not having a quality quarterback on the field, highlighted by last year's Week 1 injury to future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers. And, while his defense significantly improved in 2023, it's safe to say Saleh will be on the hot seat if Gang Green fails to make the playoffs again in 2024.

And the Niners, like it or not, could play an opening role in that scenario.

49ers can derail Robert Saleh, Jets in Week 1 Monday Night Football opener

The full 2024 regular-season schedule will be officially announced on Wednesday, May 14 at 8 p.m. ET.

But we already know, thanks to the league's announcement, that Week 1's installment of Monday Night Football will feature the Jets visiting San Francisco for a primetime showdown.

While Rodgers versus 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy will be a matchup worth watching, as will be some other reunions with former Niners like defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, watching head coach Kyle Shanahan trying to outsmart Saleh should be an excellent focal point.

New York owned the league's third-best defense a year ago, in terms of yards allowed (4,969), whereas San Francisco gained 6,773 yards of its own, second best.

Of course, the 49ers' efforts to thwart Rodgers will translate into putting more pressure on Saleh's defense to contain Purdy and his vast array of weaponry that'll test that Jets defense.

Sure, no Niners fan wants to see a beloved former coordinator like Saleh on the hot seat.

But, if San Francisco ends up pulling off a Week 1 victory in front of a national audience, Saleh's future might just be one step closer to a disappointing finish.

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