It goes without saying the Raiders are fuming after their performance last Sunday in a 52-0 drubbing in St. Louis. A day later, they are trying to channel that anger away from the sting of loss and onto the rivalry game against the 49ers that awaits them this Sunday.
"I think the best thing for us now is to turn all of our attention and our focus to what lies ahead, and that's this bloodbath that I think we're about to have against the 49ers," said Tuck. "Big rivalry game. Everybody in this area has been waiting for this game for a long time. I think that's the best thing that could have happened after a loss like that, is to have this type of game where all of your attention has to be focused on the 49ers going forward."
Justin Tuck has a unique understanding of rivalries from the same area. He was with the Giants for the past nine years; a team that not only shares a city, but shares a stadium with the Jets. He just joined the Raiders this season and in his short time in Oakland, he has come to understand what this rivalry means.
Though, if Tuck understood the most recent history between the fans of these two teams meeting, he may have chosen his words a bit more carefully -- i.e. "bloodbath". These two area rivals used to meet annually in the preseason. But fan violence at their last preseason match-up in 2011 put a stop to it. And that was for a 'meaningless' preseason game.
That makes this the first time they have faced each other in almost four years. Far from meaningless this time.
"The only thing I know of it is what people have told me," said Tuck. "Charles Woodson came to me today and the first thing he said to me was, ‘Let's get this one.' That was enough for me. I've played in some rivalry games as far as same city, same backyard type rivalries playing the Jets and things like that. You know that it's going to be a game that you're going to come out of it very sore."
It's not a division rivalry. The 49ers aren't even in their conference. This one is more of the pride variety. And being that the Raiders have been playing for nothing more than pride for the greater portion of this season, there is no greater motivation for these players than that.
For the fans, it is about pride and a host of other things that matter to them on a daily basis.
With these two teams no longer play each other regularly, the winner gets to hang onto the bragging rights for a while. That's important considering these two sets of fans are disbursed across the Bay Area pretty evenly. They are friends, neighbors, coworkers, and sometimes even family.
Someone who absolutely understands this rivalry is James Jones, who grew up in San Jose and returned to the Bay Area to join the Raiders last off-season.
"Buckle up, man," said Jones. "Get ready for this week. Put [the loss to the Rams] behind you. We went over the corrections just now, so that one's behind us. Get ready for the [San Francisco] 49ers and hopefully we can go out there and put together a better game than we did last week and hopefully we pull one out."
For the 49ers, it's about more than pride. In fact, pride is probably the last thing on their minds. They're thinking playoffs and the Raiders stand in their way. They put just three points on the board in a loss to the Seahawks at home last week, dropping them to 7-5 on the season with their game in Seattle coming next week.
The Raiders would like nothing more than to play spoiler. It's a role they have been setting up for the past few weeks. When you are out of it as the Raiders are, playing against all winning clubs - with the exception of the Rams by whom they were just spanked - that's the only card they have to play.
They knocked the Chiefs out of first place in the AFC West and now they look to try and bury the 49ers in the tough NFC West.