49ers key matchup No. 1: Crabtree vs. Cromartie

49ers key matchup No. 1: Crabtree vs. Cromartie
September 29, 2012, 5:34 pm
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This is the final part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Jets matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (FOX-TV), at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

Matchup No. 3: Ricky Jean Francois vs. Nick Mangold
Matchup No. 2: Carlos Rogers vs. Santonio Holmes
49ers WR Michael Crabtree vs. Jets CB Antonio CromartieTale of the tape
Crabtree (15): 6-foot-1, 214 pounds, fourth season, Texas Tech
Cromartie (31): 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, seventh season, Florida StateThe New York Jets were hit hard with a season-ending knee injury to Darrelle Revis, who was regarded as not only the team's best player but as the top cornerback in the NFL.If you ask Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie -- and the New York Daily News did -- who is now the best cornerback in the league, the answer is another Jets player."I have said that I'm the second-best corner in the NFL," Cromartie said this week. "I'm not backing off what I said. I don't care what anyone else believes. . . It's my confidence in myself. I know what I'm capable of when I'm at the top of my game."This is Revis' team. He's been a consistent corner every single year. I haven't been."Cromartie was a first-team All-Pro while with the San Diego Chargers in 2007. He has been up-and-down since the Jets acquired him in 2010. He must show a greater level of consistency, now that a lot more is expected from him.If he is assigned to shadow the 49ers' top receiver, he will be matched primarily against Michael Crabtree, who has 19 catches for 183 yards in three games.Crabtree has been at his best in working with quarterback Alex Smith on third downs. With six receptions for third-down conversions, Crabtree ranks behind only Danny Amendola (St. Louis), Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City) and Victor Cruz (New York Giants), each of whom has seven, for best in the NFL.With Revis out for the season, Cromartie becomes the Jets' No. 1 cornerback, while third-year player Kyle Wilson moves into the starting lineup."My job is not to be like Revis," Cromartie said. "My job is to be Antonio Cromartie. I'm supposed to be me. And I'm going to continue to be me. Here's a list of which 49ers Smith targeted in the first three games (receptions-yards-touchdowns):WR Michael Crabtree 24 (19-183-0)
TE Vernon Davis 20 (13-169-4)
WR Mario Manningham 13 (12-113-0)
WR Randy Moss 11 (8-88-1)
RB Frank Gore 7 (4-26-0)
TE Delanie Walker 6 (2-8-0)
WR Kyle Williams 5 (2-16-0)
RB Kendall Hunter 4 (3-23-0)
FB Bruce Miller 2 (1-15-0)

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