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49ers flaws were highlighted by Raiders in overtime win – and Nick Bosa is grateful

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the 49ers won a game in a playoff-like atmosphere, they’re in contention for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and they could even win the seed — and a bye — if they win next week’s final and the Eagles their losses.

And yet, their 37-34 victory in overtime against the Raiders also highlighted highlights, especially on defense, that playoff opponents are sure to study and seize later this month. Before the game, the only team that had cheated the 49ers this season was the Patrick Mahomes-directed Chiefswho gained 529 yards in a Week 7 blowout. The Raiders came close to that mark — 500 yards — behind a backup quarterback, Jarrett Stidhampremiering NFL start.

“Stidham can throw — he’s got a big arm and can throw all those throws,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game. “I thought we let him get a little too comfortable there, especially in the first half. (We) didn’t hit him much and let him move the chains with his legs. And that put them in a pretty good rhythm.

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Where were the team’s weak points on Sunday? Here are five, starting with the biggest.

1. Cornerback Demmodore Lenoir

When the 49ers faced the sea ​​hawks in week 15 they had their best ever cornerback, Charvarius DistrictSeattle’s best weapon, the catcher DK Metcalf, wherever he lined up. They did not follow this plan with Davante Adamswhich led Adams to oppose Demodore Lenoir throughout the competition. That included a late 45-yard sideline reception that set up the Raiders’ touchdown that sent the game into overtime.

Lenoir had a good position on the game and it was a terrific hold on a low ball from Adams. But Lenoir was also in cover on a 27-yard gain by Adams — who finished with 153 receiving yards and two touchdowns — in the first quarter and on a big tight end catch. Foster Moreau in the fourth trimester. Lenoir was also reported for holding and struggled to gain an advantage on some early runs by Josh Jacobsalthough he was better at it in the second half.

2. The Short Quarterback

The Raiders were the first team to rush for more than 100 yards against San Francisco since the Chiefs, and Stidham gained 34 of their 135 rushing yards. Quarterback runs have been a constant problem for the 49ers over the years, with their aggressive pass rush creating wide running lanes for quarterbacks when the pass rush doesn’t hit home.

Against Stidham, those lanes were wider than normal, especially in the first half. Stidham also made the 49ers pay with his arm when the defensive line failed to circle him. The 49ers recorded no sacks.

“The pathways we gave him – anyone could have walked through them”, Nick Bosa said. “Tom Brady could have gone through them. This is one of the things that a D-line, even a dominant D-line, cannot have. Good quarterbacks are going to come out of the pocket and create (plays) on the field. And that disadvantages our background.

The 49ers’ potential playoff opponents include the giants, cowboys and Eagles, all of whom have mobile quarterbacks. the New York one Daniel Jonesfor example, led his team with 49 rushing yards when the Giants and 49ers played in 2020. Jalen hurtsMeanwhile, he had 82 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown against San Francisco in Week 2 last year.

3. Back-end errors

Some eyebrows raised when Talanoa Hufanga was elected to the Pro Bowl last month. Yes, he’s leading the NFL’s best defense in the takeaways and it looks like he’ll be a high school mainstay for years to come.

But he also made mistakes in coverage that any young, aggressive safety would, including on Sunday’s first practice when he bit on a fake Raiders play and had to catch up. Darren Waller24 yard touchdown. Hufanga made back-end mistakes against the dolphins and Commanders as well, and his inexperience promises to be something future opponents will try to exploit.

To his credit, Hufanga wasn’t fooled by a similar fake goal-line action play in the Raiders’ ensuing practice, and Las Vegas had to settle for a field goal. 20 yards.

4. Wrong tackle

As noted above, Lenoir struggled early on to bring down Jacobs on the perimeter while Fred Warner felt so bad trying to knock it down Renfrow Hunter that he reached out and snagged the receiver’s face mask, giving the Raiders a 15-yard offense and new life on a stalled third-quarter drive. They scored on a 60-yard throw to Adams two plays later.

As strong as they have been overall, Hufanga and Warner have had plenty of missed tackles this season. Hufanga leads the team with 16, per Pro Football Focus, followed by Warner with 13.

5. Brock Purdy

This ranks last on the list because Brock Purdy had another promising outing and did so under the toughest circumstances since becoming the starter. However, he missed George Kittle In midfield at the start of the game and the streak seemed to do the same with another tight end, Tyler Croftalong the goal line on a late drive on which the 49ers had to settle for a field goal.

His interception in the third quarter, just his third since taking office Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13, it was also a dud for Kittle. The 49ers were on a roll at the time, and Shanahan called it a bread-and-butter game, in which the quarterback comes out of the pocket one way and a wide receiver goes free deep to the other side. It’s the game that Trey Lance successfully executed with Trent Sherfield for an 80-yard touchdown in Lance’s 2021 preseason debut.

On Sunday, however, Purdy saw Kittle open up but left the ball so short that the Raiders cornerback Amik Robertson caught up and made the interception.

“When I threw it to George I thought there was nobody else there and all I had to do was give him a ball to catch and he’d have a big win,” said Purdy. But the turn came a bit late and I didn’t put in enough to get it out. I just have to direct it, and that’s something I have to watch and learn.”

Of course, Purdy then led the 49ers on three straight drives and set the team up for a potentially game-winning field goal — miss, wide right, par Robbie Gould — because the settlement has expired.

And although the defensive line didn’t register a sack on Stidham, it did force two interceptions, one early in the fourth quarter when Kerry Hyder Jr. deflected a pass drake jackson caught and one in overtime when Bosa pushed the left tackle Colton Miller into the quarterback as he threw, resulting in a floating pass that was intercepted by safety Tashaun Gipson Sr.

After the game, Bosa saw something positive in the defense’s second-worst performance of the season: it will force this unit to work through their problems, perhaps in the same way they did after the loss to the Chiefs.

“I think we needed it as a defence,” Bosa said. They’re a very good team, the best ball carrier I’ve played against in my career, there’s no doubt about it. This guy is a beast. … The NFL will humiliate you 100% of the time.

(Photo: John Locher/Associated Press)

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