Week 9 of the NFL season kicks off with the Battle of the Bay Area. Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders (1-6) visit the San Francisco 49ers (1-7) in a game that pits a pair of one-win teams against each other.
The Raiders are coming off a 42-28 thrashing against the Indianapolis Colts. Meanwhile, the Niners lost a heartbreaker 18-15 in the closing minute against the Arizona Cardinals. Should be interesting to see what happens when they clash.
Oakland Raiders (1-6) at San Francisco 49ers (1-7)
Kick-off: 5:20pm PT
Location: Levi Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Point Spread: SF -3
Bay Area Bowl
The Oakland Raiders will not be in Oakland for much longer, which makes this Thursday Night Football match up a little more special. Who cares that these teams only have two combined wins and thirteen losses. There’s pride on the line and local bragging rights.
If there’s a game either team will show up for, it will be in this one. When you’re a one-win team midway through the season, you get fired up for any remote chance at a win. This is the exact scenario for both teams.
Are the Raiders looking to tank the rest of the season? Before Week 1, Jon Gruden traded one of the best defensive players in the league when he shipped Kahlil Mack off to the Chicago Bears. Following an ugly loss in a London game, Gruden dealt WR Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a number one draft pick. During the bye week, every players was paranoid that they would be the next player shipped out of Oakland.
Curious Case of Keeping Derek Carr
Quarterback Derek Carr was one of those players who had no idea if he would even still be with the Raiders by the time the trade deadline passes. There were rumors that he was on the trading block with the Jacksonville Jaguars struggling for competence on offense and the New York Giants falling out of love with Eli Manning.
The Raiders reassured Carr that he was not going anywhere and that he was the current and future quarterback of the Raiders.
Despite the loss to the Colts, Carr had one of his best games of the season with three touchdown passes
Six-Game Losing Streak
The Niners lost six games in a row after losing their star QB Jimmy Garoppolo to a knee injury. Head coach Kyle Shanahan would love nothing more than to snap their losing streak with a win over the Raiders.
The Raiders are 0-3 on the road this year, which is not saying much consider the Niners are 1-3 at home.
Close Shaves for SF
The Niners blew a fourth-quarter lead against the Arizona Cardinals. Josh Rosen engineered a comeback and found rookie Christian Kirk in the end zone to seal a win for the Cards. The Niners were swept by their division rival this year.
The three-point marked another close game for the Niners, which marked the fourth game this season that was decided by three points are less. The Niners are 1-3 in those games.
Tank City, California
Both teams are competing for the overall #1 pick in next year’s NFL draft. After trading Mack and Cooper, the Raiders have multiple first round picks in June.
With bragging rights on the line in this game, both teams could theoretically tank the remainder of the season with the sole purpose of landing the top pick.