The Las Vegas Raiders took on the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, and for the fourth time this season, the Raiders and their opponent went to overtime. QB Jarrett Stidham made his first NFL career start after QB Derek Carr was benched for the last two games of the season. Carr was inactive for the first time in his nine-season career for something non-injury related.
The Raiders opened the game with a great drive by the offense led by Stidham. Stidham and the Raiders offense looked sharp on the first drive and the Raiders struck first with a 24-yard touchdown toss to TE Darren Waller after Stidham extended the play with his legs.
Head coach Josh McDaniels seemed to open the playbook a little more all throughout the game with Stidham’s mobility and understanding of the offense, starting with the first drive.
“I thought Jarrett put in a great week of work… I thought he executed. His best football is ahead of him.” McDaniels said when asked about his quarterback.
The first half was full of offensive firepower from both sides. After the Raiders touchdown, the 49ers answered with a heavy dose of RB Christian McCaffrey. QB Brock Purdy capped off the opening drive with a touchdown pass to WR Brandon Aiyuk. The two offenses would then trade scores with a Carlson field goal followed by a touchdown pass to TE George Kittle.
Before the half and with limited time, the Raiders made their way down a short field and ended the drive with a tip toe touchdown by WR Davante Adams.
Raiders forced the 49ers to a three and out after halftime. The Raiders offense responded to the stop after a face mask penalty on Hunter Renfrow extended the drive. A few plays later, Stidham hit Adams after a scramble out of the pocket for a 60-yard touchdown. Stidham had been using his legs all game and it paid off for him on that possession.
The 49ers responded with more McCaffery on their next possession and the running back finished the drive with a touchdown to cut the Raiders lead to three points.
The Raiders offense was stopped for the first time of the night and had to punt the ball.
With 2:33 left in the third quarter, CB Amik Robertson picked off Purdy, his second of the season to give the ball back to the Raiders offense. The Raiders were making their way down field, but a tipped ball from Stidham went high into the air and was intercepted by the 49ers. The Raiders defense held and forced the 49ers to a field goal, tying the game at 24.
A few back and forth possessions later, K Daniel Carlson tied the game up with a 57-yard field goal with 4:08 left in the game.
The 49ers didn’t waste time. After a very impressive 38-yard run by McCaffrey, the 49ers punched it in on the next play with a 14-yard run by RB Jordan Mason.
Stidham hit Adams for a 45-yard catch after the 2:00 minute timeout. On the next play, pass interference was called on a pass to Waller in the end zone, setting the Raiders up at the one-yard line. The next play was a walk-in touchdown by RB Josh Jacobs, tying the game at 34.
The 49ers had their way with the Raiders defense and marched down the field, setting up a 41-yard game-winning field goal with two seconds on the clock, but the kick was wide right, forcing the game into overtime. The Raiders won the toss and elected to receive the ball.
The Raiders chose to give Jacobs the first few carries of the drive, then on the first pass attempt of overtime, Stidham was hit as he threw and the pass was picked off by the 49ers. DE Nick Bosa walked LT Kolton Miller into Stidham as he threw, giving the ball to the 49ers on a long run back and ending the game after Robbie Gould drilled a 23-yard attempt.
Despite the effort, the Raiders could not come up with the win, eliminating them from playoff contention. McDaniels will get his team ready for the Kansas City Chiefs, but after the Chiefs game, the Raiders will focus their attention toward making changes to their team for the next season, and one of the most important questions they need to answer is who the quarterback will be. Jarrett Stidham was impressive in his first start and earned consideration for the role.
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