This game presents a lot of intriguing matchups. There are some that favor each team, some that pit strength against strength and some that find weakness going against weakness.
We are going to look at some of these matchups from both sides of the Bay.
I am going to start with one the Raiders should look to exploit.
Raiders RBs vs 49ers Pass Defense
Football Outsiders ranks the 49ers dead last in pass defense against the backs. This should play right into Jason I-love-me-some-checkdowns Campbell’s hands.
Darren McFadden’s status for the game is up in the air, but even without the excellent pass catching and route running back, the Raiders backs are excellent in the pass game.
Marcel Reece is a matchup nightmare coming out of the backfield from the FB position and Michael Bush has capable hands. The Raiders feature a much improved screen game, get the ball to the backs on dump-offs and even send them downfield.
If McFadden and Bush both are able to go it could free the Raiders up to get even more creative with the backs in the passing game.
On the year McFadden and Bush have combined for 21 catches for 209 yards and one touchdown. Marcel Reece has seven catches for 43 yards and one touchdown and he was a quarter of a foot width away from hauling in a long pass down the sideline last week.