ReFo: 49ers @ Raiders, Week 14
The battle of the Bay Area was supposed to be a lopsided affair, but the Oakland Raiders showed up to play and put a serious dent in the San Francisco 49ers’ playoff hopes in the process. The week’s storyline surrounded the quarterbacks for both teams as the hypothetical question was posed as to whether 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick or Raiders QB Derek Carr was the better long-term option. While it’s too early to tell on Carr, Kaepernick’s lack of development is alarming and it was on display for much of the game while Carr put together perhaps his best game as a pro.
The win puts the Raiders at 2-11 and right in the middle of a heated battle for “on-the-clock” status in next year’s draft while the 49ers are now in an uphill battle to make the playoffs as their six losses may be too much to overcome in a division and conference that features a number of teams that appear to be headed toward 11-win seasons.
Here’s a look at the key performances from the Bay Area showdown.
San Francisco 49ers – Performances of Note
Colin Kaepernick, QB: -5.7
Breakdown: It was a rough afternoon for Kaepernick who kicked it off with an interception on an overthrow on his first pass and finished it with an interception that ended the 49ers’ comeback attempt late in the fourth quarter. Beyond the poor decision making, Kaepernick missed on a number of throws, some of which weren’t really even close. As mentioned, his lack of development has to be concerning for the 49ers as he sits at -13.5 overall for the season.
Signature Plays: While the two interceptions were quite poor, it was some of the overthrows that stood out. He airmailed WR Michael Crabtree on a corner route with 5:35 to go in the game and he missed WR Anquan Boldin in the end zone at the 9:08 mark of the third quarter. Throw in three delay of game penalties and it was just a subpar overall display from Kaepernick.
Chris Borland, ILB: +2.6
Breakdown: While the overall grade looks good for Borland, his best work came in the running game (+4.6) while he struggled at times in coverage (-1.9). He was excellent at diagnosing runs and shedding blocks on his way to eight run stops and a Run Stop Percentage of 26.7% that tied for the lead among inside linebackers this week. The issues in coverage generally came on crossing routes as he got lost a couple times on his way to surrendering all five passes thrown his way for 77 yards.
Signature Plays: Borland continued to show why he’s one of the league’s best at taking on blocks when he discarded left guard Gabe Jackson at the second level to get in on the tackle at the 14:16 mark of the fourth quarter. In coverage, the Raiders targeted Borland in the middle of the field and TE Michal Rivera lost him on a deep crossing route a couple of times, particularly the 6:12 mark of the third quarter when Borland over-pursued and Rivera hooked up for an easy 27-yard completion.
Marcus Martin, C: -3.9
Breakdown: Before going down to injury late in the game, Martin was having his struggles, particularly in pass protection. He gave up a sack, hit, and two hurries on 39 attempts, and one of the hurries easily could have been a sack had Kaepernick not broken from LB Sio Moore’s tackle.
Signature Plays: Moore was by Martin in 2.5 seconds for his near-sack at the 4:09 mark of the second quarter and it was Antonio Smith who bullrushed and spun off Martin’s block with 5:30 to go in the fourth to notch the sack on the play in which Martin got hurt.
Oakland Raiders – Performances of Note
Derek Carr, QB: +2.3
Breakdown: While it wasn’t a flashy performance for Carr, he was very efficient and didn’t miss on many throws throughout the game. He generally found the open man and he took advantage of the extra tick of time in the pocket given to him from the offensive line. He did most of his damage at the intermediate (11-20 yard) level where he finished 7-for-8 for 122 yards and a +2.7 grade on those throws.
Signature Stat: Carr ranked second in the league in Accuracy Percentage this week as he was on target on 85% of his passes (22-of-26).
Antonio Smith, DE: -0.5
Breakdown: Despite a three-sack performance, it was an up-and-down day for Smith. He finished at +1.1 as a pass rusher as he added one hurry to go with the three sacks on 36 rushes. He struggled in the run game, however, as he was kept off the stat sheet and was moved at times on his way to a -1.8 grade in that department.
Signature Plays: Smith’s bullrush and shed of Martin was the most impressive of the three sacks while the other two were less dominant. He cleaned up Moore’s mess late in the second quarter to notch his first sack and his third and final sack came on the last play of the game in garbage time.
Mychal Rivera, TE: +0.9
Breakdown: Like Carr, Rivera put together his best performance of the season as he caught all seven of his targets for 109 yards and a touchdown. He and Carr were on the same page when he adjusted his route to find the open spot for the 27-yard gain against Borland and his touchdown came on a well-executed back shoulder throw at the 10:43 mark of the fourth quarter.
Signature Stat: The 109 yards set a career-high for Rivera who broke the 100-yard mark for the first time in his two years in the league. His 4.95 yards per route run led all tight ends in Week 14.
PFF Game Ball
Rookie QB Derek Carr was poised and in control for most of the game and his mistake-free effort led the charge for the Raiders.
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