NFL Wire News

Raiders change history, ruin 49ers’ season

on

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders bounced back and may have bounced their cross-bay rivals from the playoffs.

When the 2014 season is over, the Raiders will reflect on another season of double-digit losses — their 10th in the last 12 seasons since winning an AFC championship in 2002.

But instead of going quietly, the Raiders came off a 52-0 road loss to the St. Louis Rams and whacked the San Francisco 49ers 24-13 for their second win of the season and second in the past three games.

Before the Rams debacle, the Raiders knocked off the Kansas City Chiefs 24-20. The Raiders are back on the road against Kansas City in Week 14.

“We’re learning. We have a great mixture of old guys and young guys on this team, but we’re learning how to win together,” defensive end Justin Tuck said. “Those two games just happened to be two games where we put it together, so hopefully we can continue to grow here.

“Me, being the old guy that I am, the first thing that comes to mind is after a win against Kansas City we went to St. Louis and didn’t play anywhere near our style of football. Hopefully we learn from that and can go to Kansas City next and put out a good effort.”

Raiders interim coach Tony Sparano said at his Monday press conference the belief in his team never wavered despite the lopsided loss against St. Louis.

“Honestly, I get it, we lost by 52 points. It wasn’t like a two-point loss,” Sparano said. “All the losses hurt and all the wins don’t last very long. The losses leave scars, but they don’t define you. I just have this huge belief that our team is built differently. I know it doesn’t say it in wins and losses. I realize yesterday we didn’t play the Super Bowl. But it was about us going out there after a 52-0 game, and I think this team has been really resilient all along.”

Rookie quarterback Derek Carr completed 22 of 28 passes for 254 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He directed a pair of 80-yard touchdown drives in the second half that turned a 13-10 deficit to a 24-13 lead.

“It was nice, real nice,” Carr said. “I know the kind of team we have, the kind of talent we have. We haven’t put it together. I felt for the first time (today) there wasn’t the little detailed mistakes that just ruined it.”

Notes: Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack had his second and third sacks of the season and hurried 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick into an interception on the first play of the game. . . Safety Jonathan Dowling was placed on the injured reserve list with a back injury.

RAIDERS REPORT CARD VS. 49ERS

PASSING OFFENSE: A — Derek Carr (22 of 28, 254 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions) had his best game as a rookie NFL starter, completely outplaying the 49ers Colin Kaepernick with a passer rating of 140.2. Carr was especially efficient throwing to tight end Mychal Rivera and fullback Marcel Reece, going 14 for 14 for 173 yards, two TDs and a 157.3 passer rating. Protection was excellent, as Carr was sacked only once and had plenty of time to throw.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus — Yes, the Raiders averaged a meager 2.7 yards per attempt and gained just 85 yards on the ground, befitting the 32nd-ranked NFL running game. But sometimes simply attempting to run has its place, and the Raiders ran it a season-high 31 times — more than they threw it. Latavius Murray wasn’t the breakaway threat he was in his previous appearances but had 76 yards on 23 carries.

PASS DEFENSE: A-minus — Both starting safeties had bookend interceptions off 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — Brandian Ross on the first pass of the game and Charles Woodson late while the 49ers were trying to get back in it. The Raiders had only five interceptions all season coming in. The pass rush was excellent, with five sacks. Defensive tackle Antonio Smith had two, rookie linebacker Khalil Mack two and end Benson Mayowa one. Kaepernick missed the mark plenty, but Raiders defenders challenged receivers and covered well.

RUSH DEFENSE: C — Not sure what the 49ers were thinking, running Frank Gore only 12 times, because Gore averaged 5.3 yards per attempt and finished with 63 yards. Kaepernick had some effective scrambles but also got dumped for a 7-yard loss on a rushing play by Sio Moore on the first series. Late in the game, the Raiders were able to contain Kaepernick in the pocket, eliminating that issue.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C — Sebastian Janikowski’s 57-yard field goal opened the scoring, and punter Marquette King twice put the 49ers inside their own 10-yard line and had a net of 42.2 yards. Raiders returns continue to be non-existent, with T.J. Carrie gaining 6.3 yards on three punt returns and 17.7 yards on three kickoff returns. Bruce Ellington averaged 30.7 yards on three kickoff returns with an average of 30.7 for the 49ers and had a 23-yard punt return.

COACHING: A — Hard to believe this was a team with a 1-11 record that had been shellacked 52-0 the previous week, one of the most one-sided defeats in franchise history. The Raiders came out passionate and aggressive and with an excellent game plan that they executed at a high level on offense and defense. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson called a tackle-eligible play that resulted on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Carr to Donald Penn. Coordinator Jason Tarver’s defensive schemes had Kaepernick looking confused all day. Interim coach Tony Sparano has this team believing it can win.


About The Sports Xchange

Avatar

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business