October 31 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Nearly everywhere you turn in the Bay Area this week the talk is 49ers vs Raiders, and the battle of the bay. The game is crucial to both teams, as the 49ers can jump to 6-2, and the Raiders can avoid falling to 4-4. But at stake this week is more than standings, it goes deeper that division leads, at stake this week is bragging rights.
Judging by the feeling in the Bay Area this week, one would think that this weeks game, against the Raiders is more important to the 49ers standings and playoff chances than last weeks game for first place in the NFC West against the Cardinals. Of course, this isnít so, but try telling that to the fans of either team.
A win this week, gives one rival city the ability to rub it in the face of the other, possibly for an entire season. A 49ers win, which of course is my preference would send Raiders fans back to their black whole, leaving them in place to whine and complain, but they certainly couldnít claim to be the better team. A Raiders win, of course would have equal but opposite negative effects.
Neither team has an extreme advantage this week. Both teams are beat up. Both teams have explosive offenses, and defenses that can get the job done. This game is up for grabs, as are bragging rights in the Bay Area.