Thursday Night Football, Week 9. We begin the second half of the 2018 NFL season with the Battle of the Bay as the Oakland Raiders take the short trip to San Francisco to take on the San Francisco 49ers.
This can’t be what the NFL envisioned when they scheduled this game. These two teams come into the game with the dubious distinction of being two of only three teams with but a single win on the year. The Raiders come into the game having lost three straight, their only win on the season an overtime victory over the hapless Cleveland Browns. Ranking in the bottom six in the NFL in both points scored and points allowed, traders of many of their best players in exchange for future draft picks, the Raiders may be setting themselves up for glory three or four years hence, but their chances of finding success under head coach Jon Gruden in the present have been severely compromised. The Raiders turn the ball over too much on offense and turn it over far too little on defense. They can neither run the ball nor stop the run. This is a mess of a franchise playing mainly for draft position.
The Raiders opponent, the 49ers, came into the season with high hopes of competing for a playoff spot. However, they lost starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to injury for the season, and their playoff hopes vanished with his loss. The 49ers have lost six straight games, including two to their division rivals, the Arizona Cardinals, the only two Cardinals wins of the season. Like the Raiders the 49ers turn the ball over too much on offense and not nearly enough on defense. Unlike the Raiders the 49ers run the ball and stop the run fairly well, but they can neither pass the ball nor stop the pass. Tight end George Kittle is just about the 49ers only credible weapon in the passing game. Like the Raiders the 49ers are playing only for pride and draft position at this point.
It’s the Raiders and the 49ers in a matchup of the dregs of the NFL in tonight’s Thursday Night Football action.
Enjoy the game everybody.