Saturday, August 20, 2011

49ers vs. Raiders In-Game Notes

With the annual Battle of the Bay preseason match-up of the 49ers vs. the Raiders here, and so much to talk about with each team, I wanted to do a little something unique here. We'll bring you in-game notes from the game as they happen as a semi in-game post type deal. We'll have periodic notes pertaining to key plays, players and happenings as well as a recap of the game at the end.

As far as pregame notes, real briefly, the 49ers offense will be largely under the microscope. Especially the quarterbacks and offensive line, which both looked bad in the preseason opener last week. I would expect to see Alex Smith play at least the whole 1st quarter and much of the 2nd before giving way to Colin Kaepernick, and it's going to be key for Smith to play well in order to secure his spot atop the depth chart and fend off any potential free agent/trade acquisition... On the Raiders side, things are looking a little better. They're set at QB and just need to get their new guys in synch (McFadden won't play though). They lost their best receiving option and best cover man this summer but have the young guys to step up and fill their shoes. I'm interested in seeing how touted rookie wideout Denarious More does... 5 minutes till kickoff!

First Half

*49ers first drive went very well until they got inside the 10. I would have liked to see Harbough go to the air a bit more, instead he ran all 3 downs inside the 10 and the 49ers were kept out of the endzone. The fumble on the field goal attempt was a fluke, mishandle by Lee, but still not happy they couldn't put points on the board. Braylon Edwards made a nice catch after dropping one and Alex Smith and Frank Gore each excelled as the 49ers held the ball for 9 minutes.

*After the Raiders went 3 and out, the 49ers started off another drive strong, but it ended with Smith making a bad decision. It reminds me why Harbough chose to run 3 consecutive times inside the 10 last possession. Since the Raiders have gotten the ball back, they marched right down the field behind the arm of Jason Campbell and hands of Denarious Moore, but Parys Haralson got to Campbell on a 4th and Goal to keep the Raiders scoreless. We're looking at a couple of offenses why are having trouble getting in the end zone here!

*Another strong 49ers drive, highlighted by a nice toss and catch from Smith to Edwards for 35 yards, and a nice run by Kendal Hunter, ends in a field goal attempt inside the 10 yard line. The 49ers again fail to put it in the end zone, though they were able to put some points on the board. They're outplaying Oakland right now in this first half, on pure time of possession alone. The clock is winding down and it looks like it will be 3-0 heading into the half. Decent half for Alex Smith, good half for Braylon Edwards and the 49ers Defense and O-Line.

2nd Half

*Colin Kaepernick starts the 2nd half behind center as most 2nd-teamers have made their way into the game for both sides. The star of the day continues to be rookie running back Kendal Hunter, who broke off a big 53-yard touchdown run early in the 3rd quarter. The Raiders just haven't responded well offensively, as the 49ers have shut them down in every facet of the game.

*Just like that the game comes to a close. Kaepernick was very pedestrian, finishing 5-8 with 54 yards with no picks or TD's. He got sacked 2 more times as he's still not making quick enough decisions in the pocket, but that will come. The 49ers really played well defensively. Tarrell Brown, who's having a fine preseason, came up with a big interception, as did new safety Madeiu Williams. 49ers complete the victory 17-3 without doing very much at all offensively.

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