The Rebirth of Bay Area Football


For nearly a decade professional football fans in The Bay Area have been
waiting to see their teams emerge from dormancy. The San Francisco
49ers are currently leading The NFC West while this is the latest in the
season that The Oakland Raiders have been over .500 since 2002. Both
teams have first year head coaches in Jim Harbaugh (49ers) and Hue
Jackson (Raiders) who have brought energy back to the region.

The Raiders lead The National Football League in rushing with 1115 yards
and the combination of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush has become one
of the best running back tandems in the league. McFadden provides the
explosiveness to break long runs while Bush makes defenders think about
what is most important to them as he runs over and through them. The
Oakland Coliseum is a tough place for opponents to play at any point,
especially when The Raiders are relevant.

The Raiders won their home opener against The New York Jets and “The
Black Hole” was raucous. The Coliseum was even tougher for The Cleveland
Browns who were the first visiting team to play in Oakland following
the death of team owner Al Davis. In that game starting quarterback
Jason Campbell suffered a broken collarbone which put the season in
jeopardy. In typical Raider fashion, they pulled off a last minute trade
just before the deadline. The Raiders acquired quarterback Carson
Palmer from The Cincinnati Bengals. Palmer became disgruntled with The
Bengal organization and he will now look to revitalize himself in

The Niners have shocked everyone with their hot start which includes two
road comebacks against The Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions. If
San Francisco did not have a fourth quarter collapse in week 2 versus
The Dallas Cowboys, then I would be writing about this team being
undefeated. For the last few seasons The 49ers have had a good defense
led by middle linebacker Patrick Willis who is possibly the heir
apparent to Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis as the best linebacker in the
game. Willis now has help on the outside in the form rookie outside
linebacker Aldon Smith. Through the team’s first six games Smith has 5.5
sacks and has made a living in the opponents backfield harassing

Offensively a ton of credit must be directed in the direction of
Harbaugh. After leaving Stanford University, Harbaugh decided to stay in
Northern California and become head coach of The 49ers. Harbaugh has
been able to do what many have failed to do before him, develop
quarterback Alex Smith. Smith has seen his fair share of head coaches
and offensive coordinators come and go in San Francisco. Harbaugh has
restored the confidence of the former number one overall pick and Smith
is turning into a decent NFL quarterback. Smith has only thrown eight
touchdowns but more importantly Smith isn’t losing the game for The
Niners. Since Smith has been in San Francisco, he has received a heavy
dose of criticism from the fans and the media who have questioned his
toughness and ability. Now Smith is showing character and ability that
some though that he didn’t have.

Smith can’t do it all by himself as The 49ers have a quality offense for
the first time since the days of Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens. San
Francisco is able to spread opposing defenses out with tight end Vernon
Davis and wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Michael Crabtree. This trio
has been causing mismatches all seasons and week by week they are
starting to gel into a good unit of receivers.

The 49ers and Raiders are now winning games the fans have become
accustomed to seeing them lose. Now both teams have their sights set on
the postseason and it is a very good possibility that they both can make
the playoffs.

The Pac-12 is better than The NFC West this year as The 49ers have a
stranglehold on the division with a 5-1 record. Seven wins won the
division last season and San Francisco can accomplish that by showing up
for the next few games and doing the tootsie roll. The win over Detroit
was also big as it could be the difference in The Lions making the trip
to The West Coast if these two meet in the playoffs. A rematch with The
Lions could also be on the under card of Harbaugh-Schwartz II as
Harbaugh and Lion head coach Jim Schwartz clashed after Schwartz took
offense to Harbaugh’s post game reactions after The 49er victory. 

The Raiders are in the thick of things in The AFC West. Oakland is only a
half a game behind the division leading San Diego Chargers who they
swept last season. These teams meet for the first time next month with
the division lead more than likely at stake. The Raiders also hold
tie-breakers  over The Jets, Browns, and Houston Texans due to defeating
these teams this season which could loom large down the stretch in
regards to The AFC Wild Card picture.

Raider Nation has always been supportive of their Raiders and now that
loyalty is paying off as the team is competitive once again. For The
49ers, they struck gold 32 years ago when they made another Stanford
head coach Bill Walsh the head coach of The Niners. Walsh went on to
build a dynasty in leading San Francisco to three Super Bowl Titles. The
script is not finished for either team, but they way that it is playing
out, both teams are back on track for success.

By | 2014-08-01T02:21:08+00:00 October 26th, 2011|Categories: National Football League|0 Comments

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