Raiders vs 49ers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media


New FSM Game Preview: Raiders vs 49ers – Week 17

Las Vegas Raiders (6-9) | San Francisco 49ers (11-4)

Franchise Sports Media


Raiders vs 49ers
Photo Credit: The Atheltic

Growing up in the Bay Area during the 1990s and 2000s, 49ers-Raiders was always amongst the most divisive of Northern California topics. Despite playing in separate conferences, the then-geographical rivals (and their respective fan bases) developed a loathing for one another that runs deep. So much so that their once-annual preseason meeting had to be discontinued back in 2011 for an entire decade due to rampant fan violence.

Fast-forward to now, and the Raiders and 49ers have only faced off twice (splitting the two contests) since 2011: Once in Oakland and once in Santa Clara. All-time, the two cornerstone NFL franchises have competed head-to-head 14 times in the regular season, with each side winning seven games a piece. Sure, the 49ers are currently poised to make a run at the Lombardi trophy while Raider Nation is on the brink of elimination, but this game will still stand for bragging rights over the next four years.

Of course, Las Vegas is returning home to Allegiant Stadium after the Grinch (aka Kenny Pickett) stole their Christmas last Saturday in Pittsburgh. Even more recently, HC Josh McDaniels announced on Wednesday of Week 17 that franchise QB Derek Carr would be benched in lieu of QB2 Jarrett Stidham (making his first career start); Undrafted rookie from UC Berkeley, Chase Garbers, will serve as the primary backup. Transparently, that move does not bode well for Carr’s chances of returning to the Raiders next year.

San Francisco is in the midst of the season’s longest winning streak, besting their opponents in eight consecutive games. Naturally, the 49ers’ defense has anchored much of their success. QB Jarrett Stidham and Vegas‘ offensive line will undoubtedly have their hands full come Sunday afternoon.

The Raiders may be out of postseason contention in 2022, but there is still plenty of pride to play for, especially against S.F. How can the Silver & Black shock the world and upset the 49ers? Let’s dive in.

Previous contests


HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13

PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6

WK1: Chargers 24 – Raiders 19 (L)
WK2: Cardinals 29 – Raiders 23 (OT)/(L)
WK3: Titans 24 – Raiders 22 (L)
WK4: Raiders 32 – Broncos 23 (W)
WK5: Chiefs 30 – Raiders 29 (L)
WK7: Raiders 38 – Texans 20 (W)

WK8: Saints 24 – Raiders 0 (L)
WK9: Jaguars 27 – Raiders 20 (L)
WK10: Colts 25 – Raiders 20 (L)
WK11: Raiders 22 – Broncos 16 (OT)/(W)
WK12: Raiders 40 – Seahawks 34 (OT)/(W)
WK13: Raiders 27 – Chargers 20 (W)
WK14: Rams 17 – Raiders 16 (L)
WK15: Raiders 30 – Patriots 24 (W)
WK16: Steelers 13 – Raiders 10 (L)




Get creative on O


Raiders vs 49ers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Taking on San Francisco’s top-ranked defense, Stidham and the offense have a tall task ahead. It’s even taller once you consider the Raiders’ issues scoring the ball in the second half (when the 49ers’ defense plays their best ball). Additionally, S.F. has not given up more than 20 points in a game since before Halloween; This is primarily thanks to their fierce front seven led by All-Pros DE Nick Bosa and LB Fred Warner. With speed all over the field, McDaniels and the Raiders need to get into their bag.

All things considered, Las Vegas does have a few areas where they can exploit matchups. If there is a weak spot on the 49er defense, it lies on the outside at cornerback. In all likelihood, CB Charvarius Ward will shadow WR Davante Adams, leaving dynamic S Jimmie Ward to match up with either WR Hunter Renfrow or TE Darren Waller. If the offensive line can provide Stidham enough time to operate in the pocket, expect Adams and Waller to find their open spots. Of course, running the ball against S.F. has not been incredibly effective this season. They are currently allowing a mere 3.3 yards per carry, which is the best in the NFL.


Expect the unexpected

What makes this current edition of the 49ers particularly dangerous is their offensive toolbox. Whether you’re looking for a drill (speedsters), a hammer (bruisers), or a screwdriver (shifty playmakers), San Francisco has them all. With HC Kyle Shanahan orchestrating the schemes, utilizing multi-faceted players like RB Christian McCaffrey, TE George Kittle, WR Deebo Samuel (when healthy), and FB Kyle Juszczyk, Shanahan is like a kid in a candy store. Literally, the action and the ball could come from anywhere and everywhere. Of course, this decorated skill cast is one of the biggest reasons the 49ers have been able to transition from QB Jimmy Garoppolo to rookie Brock Purdy. This leads me to my next key.


Remind the rookie that he’s a rookie

Since taking over for the injured Jimmy G. against the Dolphins earlier in December, QB Brock Purdy has won every game he’s played. Over those four contests (three starts), Purdy is sporting an 8-2 TD-INT ratio while completing 67% of his passes. Although the 2022 “Mr. Irrelevant” rookie from Iowa State has shown considerable poise since getting the keys to the car, he has yet to face real NFL adversity. It should be the Raiders‘ utmost goal to score first and get ahead early, causing Purdy to play from behind. If guys like DEs Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell can get physical with Purdy in the opening period, Las Vegas may be able to put S.F. into an offensive funk. Of course, it sure would help to have DE Chandler Jones (elbow) and LB Denzel Perryman (shoulder) out there, but it is likely we don’t see those two return this season.


Coaching matchup


Raiders vs 49ers
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

McDaniels versus Shanahan may sound like two rough-n-tough Irishmen ready to throw down over rights to the local Belfast watering hole, but in the modern-day NFL, it is actually an interesting meeting of offensive minds. Naturally, both men here come from extensive coaching families and trees. Football is literally in their blood. Of course, we know McDaniels has not exactly lit the league on fire in his head coaching tenures (17-26/.395 career record between Vegas and Denver). Still, perhaps his offense picks up production under QB Jarrett Stidham: A player that already has continuity with McDaniels’ system. On the other hand, Shanahan has made a couple of deep playoff runs in his HC career, but his overall record is not vastly superior (50-46/.521 career record).

Still, as of late, Shanahan seems to be pulling all the right strings with his All-Star offensive cast–The 49ers have scored 28.75 points per game over their current eight-game winning streak. On the other side of the ball, San Francisco DC DeMeco Ryans has done such a fantastic job with his unit that his name is already being mentioned on the short list of upcoming head coaching candidates. For Vegas, DC Patrick Graham has not enjoyed that same success. All things considered, the coaching edge here has to go to S.F.



Below are Thursday’s (Dec. 29) practice participation sheets for the Raiders and 49ers:

Las Vegas – G Alex Bars (Full – Knee), T Jackson Barton (Limited – Back), CB Nate Hobbs (Full – Quad), RB Zamir White (Limited – Ankle), CB Rock Ya-Sin (DNP, moved to IR – Knee).

San Francisco – DE Nick Bosa (Illness – Full), DL Kevin Givens (DNP – Knee), DT Javon Kinlaw (Limited – Knee), WR Deebo Samuel (Limited – Ankle/knee), P Mitch Wishnowsky (Full – Illness), DL Arik Armstead (Limited – Foot/ankle), DL Kerry Hyder (Limited – Ankle), RB Jordan Mason (Limited – Hamstring), RB Christian McCaffrey (Limited – Knee), CB Ambry Thomas (DNP – Knee), QB Brock Purdy (Full – Oblique/rib).


The Death Star (aka Allegiant Stadium) is a covered venue and climate controlled. Outside on the streets of Paradise, Nevada, Sunday’s weather will bring in the new year with scattered showers and temperatures in the mid-50s.


In Week 17, the Raiders return home to welcome the San Francisco 49ers to Allegiant Stadium for the first time. Restoring the old “Battle of the Bay” rivalry, kickoff is scheduled for New Year’s Day (Sunday, Jan. 1) at 1:05 pm PST and will be televised on Fox 5 (local radio play-by-play on RNR AM920).                


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-Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Gabe on Twitter & Instagram at @gps_onthemic

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