November 4 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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It wasnít a game full of fire works, but the 23 points the 49ers needed to win, barely tell the story. They donít tell the story of how the offense looked alive, of how Jeff Garcia took it upon himself to win a gut wrenching game, against a tough road opponent who was not only hungry for victory, but playing in front of one of the toughest home crowds in the NFL. The 23 points, they really donít give the 49ers justice for how well they played on offense.
Of course, the team missed two field goals in regulation, meaning the 49ers could have scored 26 points (the game winning three points came in over time). And while the 49ers may have struggled inside the 20, they had no problem moving the ball down the field. The 49ers were so efficient towards the end of the game, they ran 30 consecutive offensive plays including over time.
The 49ers offensive line gave Garcia a fair bit of time to pass, which says a lot considering the Raiders were very careful not to let Garcia out of the pocket. Still Garcia did get hit a fair bit and running lanes really werenít there for Hearst and Barlow like they have been in the past. Just Swift did do a fairly good job blocking with the line in place of Eric Johnson.
Quarterback Jeff Garcia had an inspiring performance. His 282 yards and two touchdowns included 17 of 19 completions after half time. Garcia was awesome at keeping the team moving down field. The 49ers punted just once, though they did fumble once, and ms two field goals.
Running back Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow were not on top of their games like they have been in past weeks. Hearst fumbled early in the game, which of course is a rarity for him. Neither running back excelled at the game, but the 49ers were able to keep the ball moving and Mariucciís commitment to the run was a big help on to long drives at the end of the game.
The 49ers receivers brought their ĎAí games on Sunday. Terrell Owens went over 100 yards on four receptions in the first half alone. Owens finished the day with 12 receptions for 191 yards, Owens was hampered for most of the second half with leg cramps. Tai Streets added 8 receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown, and Cederick Wilson came through for the third strait week with a key grab, this one for a touchdown. JJ Stokes saw very limited action but made no catches.