October 8, 2000 at 12:00 AM
By Ben Squire
In front of a sold out crowd at 3Com Park, the Bay Area feud between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders resembled all out war rather than a Sunday afternoon football game. In a contest that provided more twists and turns than a mystery novel, the Raiders found themselves coming out on top with 4:15 remaining in overtime when Gannon fired a 31 yard pass down the sidelines to a streaking Tim Brown.
This was a very disappointing loss, not to mention a very bitter pill to swallow considering the opponent played. The two teams share a disliking for each other which is unmatched and with each game played comes bragging rights for the victor. In this instance, it was the Raiders who earned the rights.
A poor defensive and special teams effort overshadowed that of the offense. Garcia, who seems to be playing an unstoppable brand of football (dare we say 'Warner like'), was virtually flawless. His numbers for the afternoon were 28-41 for 336 yards, 4 TD's, 0 INT. A truly courageous performance.
Garcia's main target was an individual that only a week ago was chastised for tarnishing the 49ers 'holier than thou' image. In case you have been on another planet for the past two weeks, I am referring to none other than Terrell Owens. After an incident against the Dallas Cowboys where team and coaching officials believed Owens had crossed the line, Owens responded by not only crossing a line, but several on his way to the end zone - twice!
Owens had a career day against a porous Raiders secondary racking up 12 receptions for 176 yards. However, as I am sure the newly reformed and 'team orientated' Owens would agree, personal accomplishments come second place to overall team performance.
Garcia's counterpart, signal caller Rich Gannon, also had a solid outing and at times appeared to be untouchable. The 49ers pass rush could not contain a mobile Gannon who scrambled for a team leading 85 yards and a fourth quarter touchdown. Such elusiveness left Coach Marriuci pulling out his hair. "There were times when we had a spy, a defensive lineman, a looking for him, but we couldn't run him down," Mariucci said. "He's a fast guy."
Usually considered by many to be Mr. Reliable, Charlie Garner had a 'mixed bag' of a day. Despite the fact that he compiled more than 100 yards on the ground and one touchdown through the air, Garner committed two costly turnovers fumbling the ball twice. Both times the ball was scooped up by a hungry Raiders defender.
Obviously Garners mistakes contributed to the loss, but they were just two of many forgettable moments. Mistakes were aplenty, and in some instances, it became downright sloppy. Amongst the blocked punts, missed field goals, and numerous penalties, the fate of the 49ers was sealed when Wade Richey's game winning field goal was blocked by an unchecked Anthony Dorsett. The Raiders then promptly marched down the field and the rest is history.
Despite the fact that this was only the second time these two ball clubs have clashed since 1994, today's message delivered by 68,344 fans was loud and clear - the 'Battle of the Bay' is as strong as ever. Let's hope that regular season match ups are scheduled in the future so that we can earn back our right to brag.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
- No Comments