Preseason football is never a thing of beauty. That being said the 2011 edition of Battle of the Bay was ugly in a way not even a mother can defend like the kid from that Cher flick. We’re talking ugly in every way.
Here is your snapshot of this game: At halftime the Raiders and 49ers combined for as many points as turnovers (3)
The Niners overcame a comedy of special teams errors to send Oakland to 0-2 in the preseason thanks to a listless 17-3 loss.
So far during Hue Jackson’s bully construction he seems to have forgotten about his tools to reconstruct last season’s offense. Injuries play a hand in how out of sync Oakland’s O’s is but that excuse along with preseason jitters is getting old already.
To be sure there were a few flashes from the up and coming Silver and Black talent that’s got to make Al Davis feel vindicated. But overall this team as a whole is still looking very listless with only two more tune-ups left.
Jobs are on the line. Time is running short. Injuries are becoming more troubling. Strap yourself in tight Nation, this is looking like a bumpy ride. Here are my game notes for take two of Coach Jackson’s directorial debut
- The Red Zone is still a dead zone for Oakland. Jason Campbell is the symbol of Oakland’s out of sync offense. At this point play-action is the only thing that works. His receivers (including Darrius Heyward-Bey) are bailing out his bad throws. Plus he’s still gun shy, doing the sensible yet maddening thing by playing it safe and not throwing across his body when Kevin Boss is more open than a Denny’s next to a bar at 2:00am on a Saturday morning.
- Campbell’s performance is not his only issue as JC went down late in the first half with what we hope is not a head or neck injury of the serious or mandatory inactivity variety.
- If JC is in danger of missing time Trent Edwards did himself no favors with his few token snaps in the first half. His what were you thinking INT was an underthrown toss into double coverage. Kyle Boller started after halftime and took every snap in the second half. At this point the QB position is pretty irrelevant. Just One TD in two games.
- David Ausberry is still the only Raider to put his feet in the end zone holding pigskin. His transition to tight end will be an up and down journey. Last week he makes the best catch. This week he has the worst drop. Boller put one in the worst place for the big target, right between the 8 and the 6. Ausberry has a Teyo Johnson feel in terms of talent not attitude.
- How out of sync were the Raiders on offense? On one possession they broke huddle on the wrong hash mark. Brandon Myers kicked the balled while lining up without even realizing it. The refs had to blow the play dead and reset.
- The officials are in preseason form too. The 49ers O-line was holding more than Salma Hayek’s bra yet went unflagged somehow and the zebras blew a blatant PI call on Sterling Moore just to show there wasn’t a total San Francisco bias.
- As bad as the officials and Raiders’ offense is the 9er special teams is much worse. The San Fran unit filled up the low light reel with a botched hold on a field goal that led to a Rolando McClain INT, a blocked punt and giving up a big return to the infamous Denarius Moore. Good luck with that, Jim Harbaugh.
- To quote Coach Jackson, “momma there goes that man again.” D-Moore is proving Jason Campbell’s Jacoby Ford Part 2 title accurate. Thanks to injuries Moore got his first start and made the most by making a couple catches and yet another nice kick return.
- On the receiving camp battle I think Derek Hagan has a job in his hands to lose. He makes a couple nice grabs including a very good run after catch in which he tip toed the sideline lone enough to move the chains. Oh and he threw a beautiful block on Moore’s big return.
- DHB continues to show improve. His hard work is playing off as he made two very good grabs highlighted by a beautiful adjustment to a ball thrown behind him by Campbell. He’s still letting the ball get to his body but at least he’s holding on. Baby steps.
- Chuck Bresnahan has already put his finger print on Al’s defense. He’s blitzing his safeties an awful lot and makes some nice change of pace calls. His genius call of fooling Alex Smith with a dime package blitz that surprisingly dropped Matt Shaughnessy into coverage was a great example. Smith never saw Shaughnessy who showed good hands on a nice pick. Still this defense has a bend but don’t break quality, giving up big runs on simple cut backs but standing stout in the red zone.
- Shaughnessy’s pick came on the heels of him pulling a Lamarr Houston by making a big stop on the goal line in the first quarter. Houston accomplished the same feat last week against Arizona and just to one-up his potentially Pro Bowl bound teammate Lamarr got another versus the 9ers. Houston is the bully Coach Jackson talks of, he takes on blockers bringing the fight to opposing O-linemen. Gotta love the front four, you can already tell this is going to be an MVP by committee unit week in and week out.
- While we’re talking trenches Desmond Bryant and Jarvis Moss are looking very valuable in helping to keep the D-line fresh during the season. Both had sacks with Bryant’s coming despite being held in the most blatant way. As you’d expect there was no flag.
- Bruce Campbell was eager to make his 2011 debut. He was out there mixing it up with the 9er D-line in his first series. He got plenty of PT and had some very hit or miss moments.
Stefen Wisniewski is still trailing Samson Satele for the center job. That being said the rookie is going to be a very good center in the NFL. He looked very comfortable in space on a screen pass to Rock Cartwright that went for a nice gain.
- News flash. No matter who seems to play deep safety there is one trait in common – the inability to make an open field tackle. Michael Huff did his usual with Jerome Boyd looking worst of all on a whiff that produced a highlight reel 53-yard rushing TD by Okie State rookie Kendall Hunter. For what it’s worth Stevie Brown is the best tackling safety not named Tyvon Branch. However unlike Branch Brown makes his stop well beyond the line of scrimmage.
- Overall the 49ers abused the Raiders’ run D. Some things never change.
- It’s early but DeMarcus Van Dyke is reminding me of Phillip Buchanon minus the big play ability and the motor mouth. DVD’s coverage has real potential but he won’t be much help at all against the run.
- For your young corner scorecard it might be time to elevate Sterling Moore ahead of both Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware. Moore’s PI was a blown call but he showed great instincts, ball skills and closing speed. All qualities of a Raider corner.
- As for McFadden, when is he going to stop face guarding? Braylon Edwards gets props for a Fitzgerald-esque one handed grab but all McFadden is doing is running stride for stride looking at whoever he’s checking dead in the grill. Could be time to take this broken record out of the jukebox.
- Chimdi Chekwa’s score sheet gets a minus for drawing a flag but his debut was pretty positive. I’ll say this much, the best combo of corners tonight was Chekwa and Moore.
- For whatever its worth, Colin Kaepernick looked every bit the part of a rookie QB adjusting to the NFL. The 9ers saved the Raiders the trouble of developing a young QB by trading up on draft day. But after Terrelle Pryor’s eye-popping 40-time today we could see another project on its way to the East Bay.
Topics: Al Davis, Alex Smith, Battle Of The Bay, Brandon Myers, Braylon Edwards, Bruce Campbell, Chimdi Chekwa, Chuck Bresnahan, Colin Kaepernick, Darrius Heyward-Bey, David Ausberry, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Denarius Moore, Derek Hagan, Desmond Bryant, Hue Jackson, Jacoby Ford, Jarvis Moss, Jason Campbell, Jeremy Ware, Jerome Boyd, Jim Harbaugh, Kendall Hunter, Kevin Boss, Kyle Boller, Lamarr Houston, Matt Shaughnessy, Michael Huff, Oakland Raiders, Phillip Buchanon, Rolando McClain, Salma Hayek, Samson Satele, San Francisco 49ers, Stefen Wisniewski, Sterling Moore, Stevie Brown, Terrelle Pryor, Teyo Johnson, Trent Edwards, Tyvon Branch, Walter McFadden