The San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders are two of probably the most storied franchises within the NFL, with an extended and heated rivalry relationship again to the early days of the league. As the 2 groups put together to sq. off within the 2021 season, there isn’t any scarcity of storylines and subplots to comply with.
For the 49ers, the principle focus might be on the well being of their franchise quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo has struggled with accidents in current seasons, and his availability might be essential for the 49ers’ success in 2021. If he can keep wholesome, Garoppolo has the potential to be one of many prime quarterbacks within the league, and the 49ers will depend on him to guide the offense.
The 49ers may even be trying to bounce again from a disappointing 2020 season by which they missed the playoffs. Regardless of excessive expectations getting into the 12 months, the 49ers struggled with accidents and inconsistency, ending with a 6-10 report. Head coach Kyle Shanahan might be in search of a stronger efficiency from his workforce in 2021, and the 49ers might want to enhance on each side of the ball so as to return to playoff rivalry.
For the Raiders, the main focus might be on the event of their younger quarterback, Derek Carr. Carr has been a strong starter for the Raiders over the previous a number of seasons, however he has but to take the subsequent step and develop into a real franchise quarterback. With the Raiders drafting Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the primary general choose within the 2021 NFL Draft, the strain might be on Carr to carry out at a excessive stage so as to preserve his beginning job.
The Raiders may even be trying to construct on their strong 2020 marketing campaign by which they completed 8-8 and narrowly missed the playoffs. Head coach Jon Gruden might be hoping to guide the Raiders again to the postseason for the primary time since 2016, and the workforce might want to enhance on each side of the ball so as to obtain that aim.
As the 2 groups put together to satisfy on the sector, there are a number of key matchups to observe. The 49ers’ offensive line could have its palms full making an attempt to decelerate the Raiders’ go rush, which is led by defensive finish Maxx Crosby. On the opposite facet of the ball, the Raiders’ secondary should be on prime of their sport to include the 49ers’ harmful receiving corps, which incorporates All-Professional tight finish George Kittle and wideouts Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.
One other key matchup to observe would be the battle within the trenches between the 49ers’ line of defense and the Raiders’ offensive line. The 49ers boast a formidable entrance seven, led by defensive finish Nick Bosa and linebacker Fred Warner, and they are going to be trying to disrupt the Raiders’ offense and strain Carr into making errors. On the opposite facet, the Raiders might want to maintain their very own up entrance so as to give Carr time to throw and open up working lanes for his or her backs.
Ultimately, the end result of this matchup will doubtless come right down to which workforce could make extra performs and keep away from pricey errors. Each the 49ers and Raiders have the expertise and training to compete within the robust AFC West, and this matchup might go a good distance in figuring out the path of every workforce’s season. Regardless of the end result, it’s certain to be an thrilling and aggressive sport between two bitter rivals.