San Francisco 49ers Vs. Oakland Raiders: More Than Just Another Game
This week, the Oakland Raiders travel across the bay to face the San Francisco 49ers.
For many fans, this game is merely an after-thought, as these two struggling teams aren't even in the same division, let alone the same conference.
But for the players and fans of these teams, it's much more than just another game. This is for pride and bragging rights.
This is the Battle of the Bay.
Here are some of the many reasons this is more than just another game.
Raiders 27, 49ers 10
The Raiders run away with the game early due to their stout running game and excellent field position thanks to 49ers turnovers.
In his best performance of the season, Jason Campbell solidifies himself as the starter, eliminating any doubt as to who should be the starting QB.
If you search for driving directions from the Oakland Coliseum to Candlestick park, Google maps calculates a 21.7 mile drive with a travel time of 31 minutes.
Even though the teams are a 21-mile drive away, they sit pretty much directly across the bay from each other and are barely 10 nautical miles away from each other.
There is little to nothing separating these two cities, aside from a bridge and a little water.
Because these two teams are so close to each other, it is not uncommon to find Raider fans living next door to 49er fans.
Trust me when your neighbor's team beats your team, you're bound to hear about it.
Preseason aside, unless these two teams meet in the Super Bowl, these two teams only face each other in a game that matters once every four years.
With that said, the fans of the losing team will have to hear about this game for years to come.
For Raiders fans it gets even worse. Just think about what the AFC West fans will say if the 0-5 49ers get their first win against the Raiders.
This is where we see once and for all which Bay Area team is better.
DHB Vs. Crabtree
Crabtree who? Oh, you mean Tom Crabtree, the backup tight end for the Green Bay Packers?
So what if DHB refuses to acknowledge any personal rivalry or connection between the two players? It's there and the rest of the world will continue to compare the two.
This week Michael Crabtree needs to do his best to show the Raiders that they made a mistake not drafting him.
Nnamdi Asomugha and the Raiders defense needs to prove that Crabtree is no more than just an over-hyped diva.
It also wouldn't hurt if DHB caught a few passes this week for a change.
This game will be Jason Campbell's first start since being benched in the second half against the St. Louis Rams.
Last week when Jason Campbell came in for an injured Bruce Gradkowski (big surprise), some Raider fans had the audacity to actually boo Campbell. But Campbell didn't let that affect him as he completed 13-of-18 passes for 159 yards and a TD, leading the Raiders to a victory over the Chargers.
This week Campbell will have to impress and prove he deserves to be on the field, and prove we traded for the right QB in order to win back many of the fans.
Earlier this year, the 49ers and Raiders played in preseason and things didn't go so great for the Oakland Raiders.
Travis Laboy beat Mario Henderson around the edge, which resulted in a sack as Laboy slammed Campbell into the turf, injuring his shoulder and knocking him out of the game.
Will Henderson prove he is worthy of blocking a quarterback's blind side, or will another Raider QB be carted off of the field?
Will these two players redeem themselves or will they crumble under the pressure?
The Fans Deserve a Win
It;s been seven, going on eight long years since either of these teams have posted a winning record, and the fans of both teams deserve better.
But let's face it, the 49ers fans deserve a win this week more than anyone. Despite having a worse record than the Raiders, they've sold out every game this year while the Raiders have struggled to reach half capacity. If the 49ers lose for the sixth consecutive week, expect that to change in a hurry.
The fans of both teams deserve a win this week, but unfortunately that can't happen and one of these teams will go home with another loss.
The Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers are two of the most storied franchises in the NFL. Between them they have eight Lombardi trophies, countless victories and numerous Hall of Famers.
In the last seven years though, these teams have had little to brag about.
Sure, this is just one small game in the bigger picture, but to most fans the present is more important than the past. One step in the right direction could be huge for either team.
Must Win Game For Both Sides
Earlier this week 49ers owner Jed York texted this to ESPN's Adam Schefter: "We will win the division."
That a pretty bold prediction coming from a team yet to win a single game this season.
If the 49ers seriously believe they have a shot at the division, this game, and every other game, is a must win for them.
The Raiders are currently second in their division and have a shot at improving to .500. If the Raiders want to contend for the AFC West, they have to win this game.
It now becomes a question of who wants it more.