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Savage: We saw the favorite dominate on TNF again in week 7. Now we have the Niners playing the first of two consecutive primetime home games, and likely favored in both (they get the Giants on MNF in week 10). I don't often say this, but it almost seemed like the Niners blew the game to the Cardinals on purpose. The Raiders, as we all know, have more or less been tanking since week 1. I bring that up because this game has some potentially huge implications on draft order. Does either team want to win this? Will anyone left on the Raiders roster by the time this game kicks off?
Rabbitt: I kinda want to wait here to see who is traded from either team before commenting too much. My guess is both squads have some losses before going in.
Rabbitt: Literally as I write this DRC retired.
Katz: I can't really envision a scenario where I back the Raiders in any game for as long as Jon Gruden is head coach. With Hue Jackson gone and Gregg Williams not qualifying, an argument can be made for Gruden as the worst head coach in the NFL. Add in the fact that Raiders don't have good players and are on the road on a short week and this is an easy call on SF for me.
Skol: I really like the Raiders here. Maybe B5 if it wasn’t a Thursday nighter. Disappointed the 3.5 went away so quickly. I don’t think the Raiders are tanking...they’ve been beat by good teams because they aren’t good but have had close battles with bad teams. I think we have an outright underdog win on TNF. Only “kind of” a road game since it’s a short bus ride and SF doesn’t have a great home field advantage.
Savage: Now I'm seeing some reports that CJ Beathards status is in doubt. If he's not able to go, we either see Nick Mullens or Tom Savage and the Raiders probably end up favored.
Rabbitt: nick mullens at qb? Give me the raiders and points please
Katz: Nick Mullens and Tom Savage. WOOF. We haven't seen a QB duo that bad since Nate Peterman and Josh Allen!
Rabbitt: Taking out a large bet on Oakland here now on CJ not being able to hold a ball and no Carr blockbuster
Katz: If Jon Gruden can't coach his team to victory over Nick Mullens, should the Raiders just fire him on the spot?
RC: Even with CJB playing all the way...why wouldn't we like the Raiders here in general? What have the 49ers done to deserve our respect (even against OAK)? Plus, SF has all their injuries and the potential CJB gets hit and this all falls apart with Mullens (although OAK has zero pass rush).
Can I advance this question...if the 49ers get whacked here, CJB or Mullens -- when do we pause making fun Gruden, but start pointing fingers at Kyle Shanahan?
The 49ers were awful all last season, terrible offense...but then they fall ass-backwards into Jimmy Garoppolo and then go on a field goal festival the rest of the season but win games with JG, but are terrible in the red zone. We give Kyle a 'pass' for that because of the bad roster...another year to prepare, change roster, and JG blows to start 2018...the FG fest again. He gets hurt and SF just keeps losing. Shanahan is 1-15 without Garoppolo. He's supposed to be an offensive guru and his big weapon is Robbie Gould and his QB plan is CJ Beathard Nick Mullens?
In addition, how about no-human-emotion/no-real-thoughts robot GM John Lynch? Nice trade for Solomon Thomas (barely playing) and so as NOT to draft Mitch Trubisky. That's on Lynch and Shanahan. And they did come together for the BIG Joe Williams trade. Jerick McKinnon gets hurt and you have no real depth and your big add is Alfred Morris?
I hope this game starts to bring some questions/heat on Shanahan-Lynch.
Rabbitt: I will GLADLY point the fingers at Shanahan. In hopes that others start, so that he can get fired and go coach the Broncos. We put too much on this team too fast in my opinion. It was and still is a dumpster fire. It is going to take some time. There are plenty of other teams out there that you can put in this situation who will sink just as fast. Take out Goff and Gurley and how good are the Rams? Just saying. Sean Mannion doesn't really put fear into the hearts of defenses.
Also this is the first time in recent memory I have a giant bet out in favor of the Raiders. I feel like I am going to get karma smacked on it pretty bad. Third biggest bet of the year next to KC vs Cincy last week, and Chi over GB week 1.
Katz: This is the same logic I used for why I liked the Cardinals last week - what have the 49ers done to justify being favored over anyone?
Savage: The comparison of Shanahan to Gruden is pretty appropriate, actually. They both haven't really proven that they can coach in today's NFL and they're heavily involved in the front office decisions. I still love Kyle the coach, but he deserves some criticism for the front office decisions RC mentioned. The evidence is mounting that he's yet another guy who knows X's and O's but doesn't understand player evaluation. We might not find out how good a coach he really is until his next job, assuming he gets paired with a real GM instead of an unqualified family friend.
As for Gruden the coach, he seems to get a good effort from his players but he's also shown an inability to make adjustments in the 2nd half. Believe it or not, they've had a halftime lead in 4 games and blew the lead every time. But his ability to coach almost doesn't matter right now... they're playing for 2020. He's traded his two highest profile players for a boatload of draft picks. His fate will be decided by what he does with those picks. All the people who predicted that Gruden would be a trainwreck in Oakland are taking a victory lap right now, but there's a chance they look pretty stupid in a few years. If Gruden plays his cards right, Oakland could be loaded with young talent when they open their new stadium in 2020. History has shown that, like Shanahan, Gruden probably isn't a great talent evaluator, but I'm at least going to reserve judgement until I see what he does in the 2019 draft.