The burden to predict the outcome of this extremely important game has been placed on me (and two distinguished prognosticators who will weigh in shortly) as this week's (Co-) Damas, Jr. My methods are not occult, as are those of the amazing and renowned Raiderdamus (our own RDreamer). Mine are more western, a blend of statistical and circumstantial analysis percolated in my gut until a decisive outcome forms in my mind.
Statistically, we hold the advantage in almost every major category:
Record (2-3 to 0-5)
1st Downs (104 to SF 87)
Rushing Yards (671 to SF 389)
Passing Yards (1,025 to SF 1,168)
Sacks (10 to 10)
Touchdowns (11 to SF 9)
TOP (31:17 to SF 29:14)
Field Goals (11 to SF 9)
Turnover Ratio (0 to SF -10)!!!
Back-to-Back Wins (0 to 0)
Wins on the Road (0 to 0)
Circumstantially, we would be at a slight disadvantage but for one important 'intangible'
A team projected to take its division is winless (losing by a thin 2 or 3 pts in games with good teams: New Orleans, Atlanta and Philadelphia, is playing at home against its loathed neighbor, and desperate to end its shame.
WRs who are very much involved and a running back with all the tools.
A team coming off a win, with a history of losing after a win (and StD was a HUGH win), struggling with pass defense (facing a world-class TE, Vernon Davis), with several key players out: Bruce Gradkowski, John Henderson, Darren McFadden.... But, with a coaching staff finally demonstrating "The Will to Win" whatever it takes and doing this by replacing established (and exhausted) conventions and formulas with creative sets and innovative personnel arrangements.
This renewed attitude that puts winning ahead of any and all values is embraced by the players (we saw that last Sunday and rejoiced). This is Now The Raider Nation's Zeitgeist for this New Decade and this spirit is what will make the decisive difference in Sunday's outcome. Listen to Hugh Jackson's press conference today if you have any doubts about that.
Raiders will win
Oakland 27 S.F. 24