Raiders Show Glimpse of Future in Upset Win Over 49ers

The Oakland Raiders gave the Raider Nation a glimpse into a better future with a 24-13 upset win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers. It also restored hope that the Raiders aren’t too far away from turning things around, which is the best gift any bad team can give their fans this time of year.

The well-timed win came a week after a painful reminder of the present—a 52-0 beatdown by the St. Louis Rams. It also wasn’t a fool’s-gold performance, because the 49ers are still a good team despite their recent struggles and internal turmoil.

Rookie quarterback Derek Carr had his best performance of the season by a wide margin against a normally tough pass defense. Carr targeted second-year tight end Mychal Rivera seven times and completed every one for a total of 109 yards and a touchdown.

The defense also clamped down on Colin Kaepernick and sacked him five times—two by rookie outside linebacker Khalil Mack. Oakland’s young secondary that includes cornerback D.J. Hayden and T.J. Carrie also played well behind the fierce pass rush.

For the first time this season, the Raiders put it together on offense and defense while resembling the team the fans were hoping they could be this season. It was just one afternoon, but it could serve as a launchpad to better days ahead.

Of course, the story of the Raiders overcoming historic futility isn’t over, and we’ve heard this story before. Just two weeks ago, the Raiders got the monkey off their back with their first win in a full calendar year and then came back the following week with their worst loss since 1961.

Still, the Raiders seem to be slowly turning things around, even if it hasn’t been as fast as everyone wanted and the leadership made mistakes along the way. For the first time in years, the Raiders have defeated two teams with winning records.

In fact, the 2011 Raiders that w...

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