The Las Vegas Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers‘ opponents in Week 17, have been having a horrendous season considering the talent they possess.
They have lost a number of close games and blown multiple fourth-quarter leads, and with a 6-9 record, they have virtually nothing to play for right now.
But the 49ers seem focused and motivated, and head coach Kyle Shanahan made sure his men don’t get complacent by reminding everyone of the talent the Raiders have.
“I see some great players who can beat you,” Shanahan said. “That’s why I think they’ve had a chance in so many games this year and they have been close. … they also got three big time weapons there on offense. Their defensive end in [Maxx] Crosby is playing as probably the second-best defense player in the league.”
Starting quarterback Derek Carr has been benched for the rest of the season by Las Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels, and Jarrett Stidham, who has previously started just 11 games, will take over under center.
But the Raiders are still a potent bunch, and they would surely love to spoil the Niners’ efforts to get one of the top two seeds in the NFC.
Las Vegas Is Still Packed
Davante Adams is still arguably the best wide receiver in the league, even if this season has put a dent in that argument, and he has collected 1,290 yards and 12 touchdowns so far this year.
Running back Josh Jacobs is having a breakout season with 1,539 rushing yards through 15 games, which is nearly 400 yards over his previous career high, which came in his rookie year.
Although the Raiders’ defense has been poor, Crosby is still a monster who has registered 11.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and 33 quarterback hits in 2022.
How fast is Maxx Crosby? Lol sheeesh pic.twitter.com/qhjIZQzlLa
— CROCKPOT🤴🏾 (@eric_crocker) September 14, 2021
Plus, there are always the remnants of the Bay Area rivalry the Raiders and 49ers used to have when the former was based in Oakland.
A team like San Francisco can easily get bored at this point of the season with the NFC West title wrapped up, but it is very important for a team to be playing its best ball heading into the playoffs.
With an eight-game winning streak, the 49ers have done exactly that, and they need to continue doing so in order to give themselves a great shot at their sixth Super Bowl championship.