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A tale of two Bay Area teams Three short years ago, 49ers fans so inclined could gaze eastward across San Francisco Bay and point and laugh at Raiders fans in Oakland.
The Niners in 2013 fielded an NFL juggernaut for the third consecutive season one terrifying on defence, punishing on offence. They won their last six games of to finish 12 4. Then they knocked off Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs for the second straight year, then advanced to the NFC title game for the third straight year. The Raiders, in contrast, were regarded as a joke in 2013, both on the field and off. They lost their last six games and, for the second straight season, finished with a 4 12 record, one of the NFL worst. It got so bad that doomed head coach Dennis Allen couldn decide between unproductive quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor and undrafted rookie Matt McGloin. The Raiders missed the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season, since reaching Super Bowl XXXVII in 2002. That was then. Fast forward to this week. Guess who laughing and pointing now westward across the bay? Raiders fans. Oakland this week shares the best record in the AFC with New England, at 8 2, while San Francisco alone owns the worst record in the NFC, at 1 9. The cross bay teeter totter has swung fast and fully in the opposite directions, with the Raiders sitting high and giddy, and the Niners squirming uncomfortably on sore rumps after thudding to the ground. How had this unlikely swap of roles happen so suddenly? The top four reasons for each team: OAKLAND RISE 1. Derek Carr fast, steady improvement The third year quarterback has improved markedly since struggling through much of his rookie season. And Carr has offered few reasons to doubt he won continue blossoming into one of the league elite throwers for years to come. As a rookie in 2014 Carr completed just 58% of his throws for 5.46 yards per attempt, and his 12 interceptions depressed his passer kate spade tote sale rating to 76.6 30th in the league. The Raiders stumbled to a 3 13 record. Last year, behind a better O line and with first round rookie draft pick Amari Cooper leading a much improved Raiders receiving corps, Carr raised his game: 61% completions, 7.00 yards per attempt and 32 TDs against 13 interceptions for a 91.1 passer rating 19th in the league. The Raiders finished 7 9 and flirted with a playoff berth into December. This season, through 10 games, Carr has been even more dynamic: 66% completions, 7.30 yards per attempt and 20 TDs against just four interceptions, for a 100.6 passer rating sixth in the league. This week Carr acknowledged he and his teammates have started to hear the buzz. doesn change how I prepare, the 25 year old kate spade outlet near me said. never going to change who I am. more, Carr has grabbed a leadership role on this team, as much with his demeanour as with his play. Coaches and teammates call him unflappable. And it an improvement catalyst. don think anything switches with him, that probably the key, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said Thursday. steady, he even keeled. game you going to have your ups and downs, and he stays steady throughout. I think that allows him to accumulate information as the game goes on Derek gathers this information throughout kate spade boutique the game and he continues to improve once we get into the second half. Culture created by head coach Jack Del Rio Del Rio swagger and game day aggressiveness have become infectious on the Raiders, a team he followed while growing up a short drive down the east side of San Francisco Bay. Del Rio might not have pressed kate spade large tote sale many of the right buttons as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 11, but since taking over the Raiders last year he has done little wrong. Through his outsized personality and confidence, Del Rio has willed the Raiders to just win, baby. Sound familiar? Right, same as long time owner/GM Al Davis did in the 1970s and the heyday of this AFC franchise. Davis died in 2011, and one reads all the time about how the old man would have loved everything about Del Rio and his expectation of domination. coach Del Rio says, have to expect great things, Carr said. then, if you expect it, when it happens it normal. So, that everybody on this team. Everybody expects great things and so when good things come our way, we know how to be humble and accept those things. Reggie McKenzie quiet, effective rebuild McKenzie took this job in 2012 after apprenticing in the Green Bay Packers football office. For two years he couldn lure marquee free agents to Oakland, thus couldn spend anywhere close to the team salary cap. The 2014 draft proved pivotal. It accelerated the turnaround. McKenzie selected uber talented outside linebacker Khalil Mack with the No. 5 overall pick, then one evening later took Carr in the second round, 36th overall the fourth quarterback taken after Blake Bortles (third overall), Johnny Manziel (22nd) and Teddy Bridgewater (32nd). Few would now argue that Carr, in the second round, was the steal of that draft. Since then, McKenzie has upgraded both lines, as well as other unit groups, with little notice or fanfare.
For instance, WR Michael Crabtree free agent signing last year proved a master stroke, and former underachieving Seattle edge rusher Bruce Irvin, a 2016 free agent signee, is having a breakout year. There still a ways to go on defence, but that probably be McKenzie off season focus. think Reggie and coach Del Rio have done a great job in our front office of bringing players in that can do a lot of different things, Carr said.
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