Raiders send 49er's across bridge with loss

After an ugly 52-0 loss in St. Louis last week, the Raiders returned home to take on Bay Area rivals San Francisco 49er’s in the Battle of the Bay.

The Raiders defense once again set the tone after the Raiders won the coin toss but chose to defer and give the ball to the Niners instead.

On the very first play from scrimmage, 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick scrambled and overthrew wide receiver Michael Crabtree to be interception by Raiders safety Brandian Ross. Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack also did a nice job to come up and prevent the scramble from Kaepernick. The quick turnover gave the ball to the Raiders on the 49 yard line.

The Raiders looked to have an upcoming 3rd and 6, but starting guard Austin Howard hit a San Francisco cornerback late to receive an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to make it 3rd and 21. The Raiders would play it conservative, and settle for a 57-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski for the early 3-0 lead. It was the longest field goal make of the year for Janikowski.

After forcing a niners punt on the next drive, the defense would struggle to contain Kaepernick and the 49er’s offense and they drove down the field, with a big pass to tight end Vernon Davis. The Niners capitalized on the drive with an eight-yard touchdown to fullback Bruce Miller, who was left wide open.

Carr and the Raiders would answer right back with a beautiful drive of their own that started with a nice third-down conversion when Carr found wide receiver Vincent Brown for a 20-yard gain. On a third and goal from the three yard line, offensive coordinator Greg Olson dialed up some trickery when Carr found left tackle Donald Penn for the touchdown catch. Penn proceeded to celebrate with a leap into the Black Hole.

The Niners would drive at the end of the second quarter to score a field goal to tie it up, heading into the locker room at halftime 10 to 10.

The beginning of the second half looked similar to so many other Raiders games when the offense came out stuttering and the Niners drove down the field. Luckily, the Raiders defense did not break and forced a field goal that put San Francisco up 13-10.

But this game was different. Carr and the offense did something they haven’t seen much of this year, scoring touchdowns on back-to-back plays.

The first drive was started with another great pass to tight end Mychal Rivera for 27 yards. After getting the ball back to the Niners’ five-yard line, Olson called a beautiful play to find fullback Marcel Reece underneath to scamper in for the nine-yard touchdown thanks to a nice block from wide receiver Brice Butler.

After another defensive stop, Carr got back to work against a 49er’s defense that just didn’t have an answer for Rivera. On 3rd and 8, he did a great job stepping up into the pocket and found Rivera for a gain of 27 again. Then on 3rd and goal, the young quarterback went back to his man, who made a great leaping catch in the end zone for the touchdown to put the Raiders up 24-13.

Rivera had his first-career 100-yard game, going for 109 receiving yards and one touchdown on seven receptions.

With 10:39 remaining in the game and up 11, it was time for the Raiders defense to get some stops. The Niners were able to drive the ball but defensive tackle Antonio Smith sacked Kaepernick to force a 47-yard field goal attempt. The score would have put the Niners in range with needing just another touchdown and a two-point conversion, but Phil Dawson hooked it left to keep the Raiders up 11.

It was only fitting that it would be safety Charles Woodson who would lock up the game, making a diving interception on a Kaepernick pass. The veteran safety’s 59th career interception would secure the Raiders win in the Battle of the Bay, as they successfully ran the time out.

Carr had arguably his best game as a Raiders, completing 22 of 28 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns.

Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack continued his dominating career, tallying his first-career multi-sack game with two. The first one created a long fourth down, while the last one sealed the win by running the clock out.

The Raiders will head back out on the road to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs, who they beat just a couple of weeks ago for their first win of the season.

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