There were a lot of bad performances in this game. So many that it would have been impossible to pin the bulk of the blame on the players. This team is lost. That falls on the head coach. Every single facet of this team is utterly incompetent. These guys are beaten down mentally and physically with still eight games left and nothing but pride to play for. This is the kind of performance you get with a team that has no direction and inspiration.
Brandon Parker, Gabe Jackson
The left side of the line was a tire fire with Kolton Miller injuring himself on the first drive, replaced by Ian Silberman, who was working as the reserve center just last week, then Miller trying to play through it (unsuccessfully), then left guard Kelechi Osemele moving over to play tackle. While all this was going on, the Raiders at least needed the right side to be solid. And yet somehow they may have actually been even worse.
The line gave up six sacks in this game. Five of those came from the right side of the line.
Parker got the ugly day started by being called for three penalties in the first quarter. On the first drive alone, he was flagged for a false start and a holding which ultimately stalled the drive and the Raiders settled for a field goal.
The second possession, he and Gabe Jackson tried a double team and were both beat for the sack. The next drive Ian Silberman came out at right tackle and Miller came back at left tackle to try and give it a go. And Silberman gave up a sack too, so the next drive, Parker was back in the game.
The next drive, Gabe Jackson and Miller were both beaten to sandwich Carr for the sack.
Late in the third quarter, the game was out of hand at 31-3, but Carr was still in the game. Parker gave up a pressure and Carr stepped up to elude it only to have Jackson give up the sack. Carr was replaced by AJ McCarron in the fourth quarter, but he wasn’t immune to being sacked. Parker got McCarron sacked for the seventh of the game by the 49ers. In case you’re curious, the Raiders have 7 sacks… on the season.
Tahir Whitehead, Reggie Nelson, Marcus Gilchrist, Erik Harris
I don’t even know where to go with these guys. As Gruden pointed out Friday, the 49ers gained 240 of their yards on six plays. All of these guys in some combination were responsible for those huge plays.
The first play for the 49ers offense, neither Whitehead nor Gilchrist got over to cover Marquis Goodwin so Nick Mullens threw to him and he picked up an easy 11 yards. Two plays later, Whitehead was blocked on a 14-yard run. Three plays after that, Pierre Garcon came across the formation from left to right and Reggie Nelson bit so hard on the fake, that Garcon was completely wide open for a simple 24-yard pitch and catch touchdown. That’s how Mullens started his CAREER going 3 for 3 for 41 yards and a TD.
The following drive, the 49ers would drive right back down the field. they were at the 12-yard-line where Gilchrist gave up an 8-yard catch and a 4-yard touchdown catch. At that point, Mullens was 9 of 10 for 103 yards and 2 TD’s. Raiders: The cure for what ails you.
Before the half, the 49ers went on one more drive. Whitehead was out of position on a 6-yard run to start it off. Two plays later, Richie James got a step on Leon Hall inside and what should have been a 10-15-yard catch turned into a 53-yard catch because Nelson bit outside instead. That set the 49ers up at the 23-yard-line and they added a field goal to take a 17-3 lead at the half.
Whitehead had four tackles for loss in the game. Which makes it all the more disappointing that he was beaten on the George Kittle 71-yard catch which set up the 49ers’ third touchdown of the game. That put them up 24-3 early in the third and basically was all she wrote.
Erik Harris could have stopped that Kittle catch. He could even have knocked the ball down. He was coming in quick as Kittle was reaching to make the one-handed grab, but somehow not only did he not disrupt the catch, but he didn’t make the stop either.
The 49ers would have one more touchdown in the game. It was on their next possession when Raheem Mostert took the handoff out right. The team looked like their heart wasn’t into it by that point, but Gruden insisted it was two men in the same gap. The culprit in this case was Harris, who should have gone outside but instead was in the same gap as Whitehead. Mostert went outside and no one was there. Whitehead didn’t get there in time and Gilchrist was being blocked down the field by right tackle Mike McGlinchey all the way to the end zone.
And that’s why I couldn’t separate these guys.
What Guenther is not doing is screwing up a talented roster. He was given scraps and asked to make a feast out of it. But what is also not doing is taking those scraps and making anything even edible. Even that may be asking a bit much with this roster, but that’s part of his job. And right now, he is not utilizing his roster to the best of their limited abilities. Bruce Irvin is their best pass rusher and he saw nine snaps against the 49ers. He’s seen a total of 33 snaps the past two weeks. The result is zero sacks and 3 QB hits. Two of those hits came from DB’s on a blitz.
You get no pressure, you have no chance. Irvin isn’t great, but there’s no question he’s the best pass rusher on the team. The result is wasting a somewhat talented group of corners. His use of safeties is also puzzling. He is of the mind that there is no hard fast free safety and strong safety. That you can swap them out and rotate guys at will. The result has been complete confusion among the safeties and opposing offenses taking advantage of mismatches when they spot them. And they have seen a LOT of them. Saying the defense has been good except for a few plays doesn’t sound any better. He basically has a break but don’t bend defense right now. They make a couple stops and then have monumental collapses.
And for the love of God, play the young guys. Get Nick Nelson in the slot and Erik Harris and Karl Joseph at safety. See what you have in them. They can’t make things worse than we’ve seen them already.
On six punts in this game, Townsend averaged 37.5 per punt with a net of 36.5. Among those he had a 40-yard punt with a 34-yard net and a 23-yard punt (that’s right, 23 yards) and a 36-yard punt. That 23-yard punt actually gives him a new season low after punts of 25, 27, and 28 in the previous two weeks. His average for the season is now 41.9 yards per punt, which sits at 33rd in the league and is the worst average of any punter with at least 12 punts this season. Good news? He had two punts inside the 20 (one was actually right at the 20) to bring his season total to 6 punts inside the 20 which is 29th in the league.