Raiders need for win goes beyond bragging rights

Fans of both the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers are focused on "bragging rights" for their desire to see their teams win Sunday's matchup at the Oakland Coliseum against each other. Oakland's need to win Sunday's game, however, goes far beyond bragging rights.

 

Fans of both the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers are focused on "bragging rights" for their desire to see their teams win Sunday's matchup at the Oakland Coliseum against each other.

            Oakland's need to win Sunday's game, however, goes far beyond bragging rights. For San Francisco, Sunday's game is important to win like any other but for Oakland it is a must win. The Raiders (4-3) have lost three straight after a 4-0 start. Oakland has also fallen behind San Diego (6-1) and Denver (5-2).

The Raiders are 0-2 in the division and they have not even played Denver yet. If Losing to San Francisco Sunday could send Oakland to an even bigger tailspin. By no means is Sunday's contest a throwaway game for the 49ers but it's not a disaster if they lose. San Francisco (5-2) leads Arizona (4-3) for the top spot in the NFC West and is 3-0 against division opponents. Unless the 49ers totally flop, they will assuredly be a playoff team.

Oakland players seem to second the notion of Sunday's game being a must win – but not for the same reason their fans think. In the parity driven NFL, many times the more desperate team wins:

 

Wide receiver Jerry Porter: "We put a lot of emphasis into every game but we have to stop the bleeding somewhere."

 

Defensive tackle Sam Adams: "We need to win to make the living environment easier. We need to get back on track because we feel like we've been beating ourselves."

 

Tight end Roland Williams: "We need a victory. We'll be coming out ready to play. Since we see a lot of those guys in the supermarket, we don't want to lose to somebody who might talk smack at you."

 

Defensive tackle John Parrella: "Every game from here on out is important. The 49ers are a talented team and they're playing good ball."

 

Quarterback Rich Gannon: "It would definitely be nice to get a win this week. The 49ers are a very good football team. They've got the most speed of any team we've faced so far. They're generating a lot of turnovers and getting guys to rally to the ball."

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