Oakland Raiders Path To Victory: Stop Frank Gore!

Bill HintonCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 28:  Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs against Michael Huff #24 of the Oakland Raiders during an NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 28, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders face the San Fransisco 49ers this Sunday, and with a victory against their cross-bay rivals, the Raiders can even their record at 3-3.

For this to happen, one man must be stopped. That man is Frank Gore.

Gore is scary. He brings the ability to beat teams running or catching the ball. He can run through defenses or around them, and has the speed to take it to the house. It's that home run ability that makes him extremely dangerous against a Raider defense prone to giving up big plays.

Alex Smith is not Phillip Rivers. He's simply not going to be able to torch the Raiders secondary the way Rivers did last week.

I expect the 49ers gameplan to look a lot like what the Rams did in the first half against the Raiders in week 2. Run, screen, run, run, screen. Substitute Gore for Stephen Jackson, and there you have it.

The Raiders must force Alex Smith to make plays down the field. That's what Seattle and Kansas City did, and Smith proved he couldn't get it done, as both games turned into ugly losses for the 49ers.

If the Raiders are effective in stopping Gore, especially early in the game, beating the 49ers will be much easier. If they don't, this game turns into a dogfight.

So the plan, in theory, seems pretty simple. Stop Gore, and you stop the 49ers. Anyone see anything different? Am I missing something?

That's how I see it, and that's what I think happens. The Raiders make a statement this Sunday with an easy win. I'll say 34-13.