Raiders vs. 49ers

4 Winners, 4 Losers from Raiders vs. 49ers

The Las Vegas Raiders fell to the San Francisco 49ers, 37-34, in overtime on Sunday. However, it’s hard for any Raider fan to be too disappointed in the game. By benching Derek Carr, the Raiders appeared to have given up on the season. Nevertheless, the Raiders torched the Niners’ No. 1 defense for over 500 yards on offense and lost due to some bad luck. It’s hard to pick out losers from this game because both teams played extremely well, but it must be done. Who made a name for themselves, and who faded into obscurity?

4 Winners from 49ers vs. Raiders

Jarrett Stidham

It’s difficult to overstate just how well Stidham played in this game. With Carr gone from the team, it was reasonable to expect a half-*ssed performance from the Raiders’ offense. Instead, we got one of the best games the Raiders have played in years. Stidham made plays with his legs as well as his arms. He escaped pressure to roll out and make big throws or run for first downs. It was easy to watch the game and pinpoint where Carr would have taken a sack and Stidham did not, or where Carr might have overthrown a receiver, but Stidham threw a dart. The offense looked like it did in the preseason. Now, if you recall, that was when Stidham was running it. Needless to say, the team looked like it knew what it was doing on Sunday.

Stidham went 23 of 34 for 365 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions, both of which came under dubious circumstances rather than on poor throws. If Stidham can maintain this level of play, it might be a good idea for the Raiders to use their resources on improving the defense. That’d be better than chasing some long-in-the-tooth quarterback like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers this offseason. Let’s not forget that coming out of high school, Stidham was more highly regarded as a prospect than guys like Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow, so he’s not a scrub and he deserves a legitimate shot.

Davante Adams

There was plenty of handwringing in Raider Nation last week over the fact that without Carr at the helm, Davante Adams might want to leave town. It was a reasonable take. Nonetheless, Adams then went out and had one of the best games of his career. He caught seven passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, breaking the Raiders’ single-season receiving yards record in the process. Adams doesn’t seem like he’s going anywhere. If he can establish a rapport with Stidham (or whoever is the Raiders’ QB next year) like he did with Carr, he’ll continue to be one of the most potent weapons in the league. The front office did a great job acquiring Adams, who has put up one of the best individual seasons in Raiders’ franchise history.

Brock Purdy

A few weeks ago, the 49ers’ problem was being down to their third-string quarterback after both Trey Lance and Jimmy G got hurt this year. Now they have a different problem: what to do with Lance? Brock Purdy was an incredible college quarterback at Iowa State and deserved to be drafted higher than Mr. Irrelevant. Let’s face it, he’s shown that he is a quality NFL starter. He doesn’t make mistakes; he’s steady and is a solid leader. Against the Raiders, he went 22 of 35 for 284 yards, two touchdown passes, and one interception. San Francisco has won six straight games, and I would not be surprised if Purdy took the Niners to the Super Bowl this season. He’s made Lance and Jimmy highly expendable.

Christian McCaffrey

The 49ers spent a ton of draft capital to acquire McCaffrey from the Panthers, and so far, it’s proved to be a wise trade on both sides. McCaffrey is an elite offensive weapon, which is putting it mildly. He has made the Niners far more dangerous than they were before. With the Raiders down to what was more or less a third-string defense, McCaffrey was unstoppable, rushing 19 times for 121 yards and a score while catching six passes for 72 yards. He has the most receptions for a running back in NFL history through their first six years.

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4 Losers from 49ers vs. Raiders

49ers’ secondary

The 49ers have emerged as a major contender in the NFC this year on the strength of their defense. In fact, their secondary has excelled at holding opposing passing attacks at bay. That was not the case against the Raiders, as Stidham absolutely shredded their corners and safeties all game long. The Niners, like most teams, had no one who could match up with Davante Adams. Then, Mack Hollins started making plays late in the game when San Francisco adjusted their coverage.

Raiders’ linebackers

The Raiders have had plenty of injuries on defense, but nowhere has that been felt more than in the linebacker corps. Denzel Perryman was out for the game, and the team lost Darien Butler mid-game. The linebackers couldn’t cover anyone and consistently overran the 49ers’ running lanes, leading to big chunk plays for San Francisco. Lack of depth is a serious problem here, but maybe it wouldn’t be if the Raiders had drafted linebackers instead of relying on undrafted free agents and rookies off the street. The Raiders haven’t drafted a good linebacker since Thomas Howard, and that absolutely has to change.

Patrick Graham

As stated previously, the Raiders’ defense was without starters at many positions. So, considering the circumstances, it’s hard to ask too much of Patrick Graham. But the players who were out there consistently looked out of position against the 49ers’ passing game. Simply put, they weren’t able to scheme up any pressure against Purdy. Giving up 37 points at home is unacceptable when your offense isn’t punting on every drive. If the Raiders are going to roll with Graham going forward, they need to give him more talent, star power, and depth to work with for his scheme.

Robbie Gould

The normally reliable Gould missed a kick that could have ended the game in regulation, giving the Raiders a decent chance to win. It was unfortunate that Gould was given another chance in overtime. If the Niners want to go all the way, Gould can’t miss kicks like that.

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*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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