49er And Raiders PreSeason Analysis

San Francisco 49ers

 

TheSan Francisco49ers is coming off a 3-1 preseason record, as they enter into the 2012 season. Quarterback Alex Smith has had a sold performance completing 13 of 19 pass attempts, for 134 yards and a QB rating of 123.6. He has also thrown two TD’s with zero INT’s. Although these are not Pro Bowl caliber stats, they are consistent with the performance that he is known for. Managing the game, not turning the ball over and allowing the defense to be the catalyst for the team success.  This year should be no different. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. The 49ers are primed to be back in the hunt this year, assuming they can stay healthy.

 

What works in the 49ers favor is they have depth in key positions. They are stocked at receiver, running back and bringing back their entire defense from last year. As the saying goes, “Defense Wins Championships” and the 49ers have plenty of it. It’s proven that you don’t need exceptional QB play to win a Super Bowl. We can look to the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, or the 2002 Tampa Bay Buc’s for proof. Behind Alex Smith there is a big question mark at the QB position. Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien have flashed playmaking ability during the preseason, but who’s to say how they will handle the role of being a full time starter in the NFL.

 

The 49ers do have a tough schedule outside of their division, as they must face teams like The Patriots, Lions, Bears, Saints, Giants, Jets, plus they open up their schedule against the Green Bay Packers. However, barring any significant injuries I fully expect to see the 49ers back in the playoff hunt come in December.

 

Oakland Raiders

 

The Oakland Raiders are entering their first full season without General Manager/Owner Al Davis. This is a new era for the team, which is still very much in transition. Team owner Mark Davis has hired ex-Raider Reggie Mckenzie take over General Manager responsibilities, and Dennis Allen as the new Head Coach. The Raiders boast an underwhelming 1-3 2012 preseason record. Also, there has been much speculation regarding the consistency of their quarterback play, from team starter Carson Palmer. What has hindered the team thus far is the string of injuries, which has decimated their receiving group for much of the preseason. Palmer has gotten very little work in with projected starter Denarius Moore and slot receiver Jacoby Ford. Instead,Oaklandhas given the majority of the work to Darrius Heyward-Bey, undrafted rookie Rod Streater, and 5th round pick Juron Criner.

 

What works in Oakland’s favor is they’re getting their starting running back Darren McFadden back, who is 100% healthy. McFadden has a history of being injured and has never completed a full 16 game season with the Raiders. However, when healthy he is considered one of the best running backs in the league and is a dynamic, versatile playmaker. Oakland’s defense has also looked better at stopping the run, but their defensive backs are suspect. During the offseason the Raiders cut former starters Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt. They have been replaced with former 49er starter Shawntae Spencer and ex Rams starter Ron Bartell, who has looked serviceable at best. Oaklandalso released their 2011 3rd round pick DeMarcus Van Dyke (DVD) and signed Joselio Hanson in his place.Oakland is installing a more West Coast friendly offense, along with a new defensive scheme. We should expect to see a lot more blitz packages, mixed in with more zone coverage.Oakland has a tough schedule ahead of them as they must face teams like the Steelers, Falcons, Ravens, Saints, Bangles, Panthers, not to mention a improved Browns and Broncos team. In order forOakland to be in the playoff hunt, they will need to try to keep McFadden healthy. McFadden is a critical cog inOakland’s offense. Not to mention the lack of depth at RB behind him. They will also need better QB play from starter Carson Palmer. A better offensive output, allowing them to move the chains, and accumulate first downs. This will preserve their defense to late in the games when it will be crucial to take a stand.

 

About Brian Mims

Brian Mims is an the Executive Writer for Brickhouse Talk. He is well known for his straight forward perspective on sports and all it's aspects. An avid sport fan himself, Brian is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the sports world.

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  1. Thursday, September 13, 2012, 7 pm-10:30pm
    SaveOaklandSports Celebration & Inaugural Fundraiser
    Ricky’s Sports Theatre and Grill, 15028 Hesperian Boulevard, San Leandro. Fundraiser for stadium construction and/or community projects for Oakland sports teams. Tickets and information:www.saveoaklandsports.org.

    Former Raiders John Vella, Kenny Shedd, & Sam Williams will be in attendence. Raffle Prizes include Raiders & A’s game tickets, rounds of golf @ Lake Chabot, Metero, & Sequoia golf courses in Oakland, wines, free meals @ Oakland & San Leandro restrants, Free night stay & 7 days of parking @ Hotels near the Oakland Air Port & lots of Raiders Gear! Guest Speakers & a DJ. Watch Thursday Night Football & support Save Oakland Sports @ Ricky’s Sports Theatre and Grill (Ranked 2nd Best Sports Bar in U.S by Sports Illustrated) tomorrow night!

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