Oakland, CA (KTVU) - BY: CAMERON CLEVELAND
*Carson Wentz is legit. The rookie QB has no interceptions through three weeks. While the 1st overall pick, Jared Goff, continues to view his rookie season from the Rams’ bench.
*Eagles (led by Wentz), Vikings (who lost Bridgewater, & Peterson among others), Patriots (all during Tom Brady’s mini-vacation), and Broncos (same old defense with a much younger inexperienced QB) are all undefeated.
*Browns, Jaguars, Bears, and Saints are all 0-3. Really the only surprise there are the Saints.
*The LA Rams are in 1st place in the NFL West standings. YES! The LA Rams! First place! Even after their 28-0 loss to the 49ers in week 1. Their best start for them since 2006. And to think they didn’t score a single touchdown until their third game.
*Cowboys shouldn’t rush Tony Romo back. Dak Prescott is doing just fine.
*The National Anthem peaceful protest is growing and not going anywhere anytime soon.
Raiders: 2-1 (T-2nd in AFC West)
Positives: 2nd in the NFL in yards per game. 8th in the league for points per game (26.7). And the Raiders are +4 in takeaways, proving that their turnover woes of recent years have improved.
Negatives: For a team that has Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and to only have 3 sacks through 3 games is dreadful, ranking 28th in the league out of 32. If you haven’t seen any of their games the stat that they are 22nd in the league for points against is an obvious indication their defense has some work to do.
My take: Before the season started, “experts” panicked that Derek Carr was too much like the gun-slinging quarterback, from whom he chose his number from (Bret Favre), would be a turnover maniac. Simply put, that hasn’t been the case. Like most people said during training camp, this team just has a different feel than past years. Jack Del Rio has sold most bay area sports fans on a change of culture, and thus far it has shown. There is, of course, room for improvement. Through both of the first two games the defense was torched from the opposing quarterbacks and receivers. The silver (and black) lining, however, is that in their third game, the Raiders defense forced three turnovers, a sack, and eventually a game winning play on defense to beat the Titans, after giving up the most yards in their franchises’ history since 1940 through the first two games. Enjoy the rejuvenation of the Raiders’ commitment to excellence, while we still sit in purgatory of unease if the Raiders will relocate to Las Vegas.
Next week: Raiders @ Ravens; 10am – LOSS… Those early East Coast games, man.
49ers: 1-2 (T-3rd in NFC West)
Positives: This was difficult, to be quite honest. But my mom always taught me to find good in everything, and I did my best. The 49ers are 5th in the league with four interceptions. Even though it has only been three games, to see that the 49ers defense has a nose for the ball is a positive, and potentially could prevent them from getting blown out every weekend. Carlos Hyde rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns versus the Seahawks, which is the first time since week 11 of 2014 that their defense allowed a 100-yard rusher (24 games).
Negatives/straight-up confused: San Francisco (Santa Clara) 49ers are ranked 29th in the NFL in yards per game, and 4th in time of possession. But, wait. Isn’t the Chip Kelly offense branded as a fast-paced, big yardage, high scoring type of football? Yes, it’s supposed to work like that. So why is the offense holding the ball the 4th most in the league, but only moving the ball the 29th most? Obvious answer is Blaine Gabbert isn’t the appropriate quarterback to run Kelly-ball.
My take: After their walkover win at home in the first week versus the Rams, the 49ers have been blown off of the field in the last two games. Their last two losses have been by 19 points each, and even at that they scored two garbage-time touchdowns vs the Seahawks to make it look like less of a beat down. Anthony Davis retired for the second time of his career at the age of 26, and the team’s identity is still not apparent to anyone, at least outside of the locker room. Gabbert has struggled trying to take the helm of the offense, going 8-29 on third-down conversion over the past two games. His accuracy is off, only completing 55.2% of his passes. Colin Kaepernick will be the 49ers’ starting quarterback by week 9, which is right after the team’s bye week. Even then it’s anyone’s guess as to how well the big play offense will work. At least there aren’t multiple delay of game penalties that plagued the offense last year.
Next week: Cowboys @ 49ers; 1:25pm – Loss… Let’s see if they can improve their third down conversions. Then maybe I’ll have faith they can win another game.
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