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The Morning After: Raiders at 49ers

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Oakland Raiders v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

This was a nationally televised catastrophe of a game, and NFL fans across the country knew it would be before the game even played. It was literally laughed at and ridiculed as the worst mid-season nationally televised match up anybody could remember and it played out even worse than that.

The hope was that two bad teams would have been able to be competitive with each other, but there is a bad team with the 49ers and something much worse with the Oakland Raiders. What this team put out on that football field last night was nothing short of pathetic. It was embarrassing to even watch, I can’t even imagine how the players must feel about it.

There was absolutely no heart in this team at all, they looked like they quit before they even stepped on the field. This was as bad of a trouncing as you will ever see in the NFL, and it came at the hands of a fellow 1 win team starting their 3rd string quarterback nobody had even heard of.

Nick Mullens came out of this game looking like Joe Montana 2.0 against this monstrosity of an Oakland Raiders defense. He had 263 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 16 of 22 passes. After the Raiders just gave up 42 points against the Colts last Sunday and having to turn around and play again 4 days later you knew it had the chance to get ugly, but this was worst than even the biggest pessimist had expected.

It does go to show how awful these Thursday Night Football games have been though and how the NFL absolutely has to do something to figure it out. This is not a product that the NFL wants to see in a nationally televised game, this isn’t even the product they’d want to show in a blacked out game that only a tiny bit of the country would have seen. They should consider only having teams play on Thursday’s that are coming off of a bye week because this 4 days rest bullshit often leaves at least one of the teams completely drained.

There really wasn’t much of a question that the team that went into this game completely drained was going to be the Raiders though. The offense last week just completely played their hearts out and still ended up losing by 2 touchdowns and the defense had gotten decimated by the Colts. It would have taken an epic coaching job to get them ready for a 4 day turnover, and this current roster is not likely to be enjoying Jon Gruden’s coaching enough for that to have been possible.

Still, they needed to show some semblance of an NFL roster at the very least. Whatever this was it wasn’t that. If you had no idea about where these two teams were coming into this game you would have thought the 49ers were the Super Bowl favorites with how this game played out, not one of the few teams in serious consideration for the 1st overall pick in next year’s draft.

The offensive line was absolutely terrible, but what the hell is Derek Carr thinking when the pocket starts collapsing? It’s like his only instinct is to run forward directly into the collapsing pocket and would be tacklers. He doesn’t seem to even consider the possibility of running outside of the pocket, he just runs straight into the mouth of the beast that is swallowing him whole.

To give up 7 sacks is atrocious no matter which way you slice it though. If Carr is going to be the QB for future Raiders teams then he needs to spend the entire off-season watching Aaron Rodgers and how he avoids sacks with his footwork. It’s not all on Derek Carr for those sacks by any means though, he had no time to throw the ball the entire night. The offensive line seemed more like bull fighters than offensive linemen in this one with how quickly the defenders got past them. Ole!

In another terrible performance of the Raiders to point out, how can rookie punter Johnny Townsend possibly still have a job with this team? He had one good punt that went 48 yards and still managed to only average 37.5 yards per punt. His worst punt was from the San Francisco 47 yard line and only went 23 yards before being downed at the 24. There is no way he deserves to still have a job in Oakland, he needs to have been let go weeks ago.

This game isn’t even worth continuing to point out anything from though because it was just that bad. This is the type of game that some coaches would just burn the tape and not even bother showing the players because it’s just so bad that there really isn’t much to even say about it. Every aspect of the team was terrible, if Jon Gruden was a normal first year coach he’d have been fired Lane Kiffin style directly after this monstrosity had ended.

However, Gruden is not a normal first year coach and we are in it for the long haul with him. He isn’t playing for this year, he is doing everything with this team for the future that he envisions and that future will not have most of these players in it. The players know that too, which is why they had no heart at all in a 4 day turnaround from their last game played.

At least now they have 10 days before they have to get on the field again so they can ice up their physical ailments and their mental ones for a little bit longer than normal now. Their next game is a divisional rivalry game against the Chargers at home so it doesn’t get any easier.

This season might go down as the worst of all of these horrible seasons since Gruden left the first time, and it’s probably the last that these Oakland fans will get to see. They deserve better than this, so hopefully they at least get the competitive version of this awful Raiders team next week against Los Angeles.

The good news is that it truly does not get worse than the game they just played at Levi Stadium. The bad news is that they can play much better than this and still be completely humiliated. It’s going to be a long season folks, but at least we have next year’s draft to be happy for.