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17 quick observations from the 49ers win in Las Vegas

Marc Adams
Jan 2, 2023 at 8:36 AM

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It was ugly. At times, it was really ugly. But the San Francisco 49ers pulled out a victory in overtime against the Las Vegas Raiders 37-34.

A win is a win, especially on the road, against a team fighting for their playoff lives. But this win unfolded differently than anyone expected, where the league's best defense struggled against a quarterback making his first career start.

But the win is all that matters. Here's what jumped out to me:

  • It's feast or famine with Talanoa Hufanga. Sometimes he makes big plays, sometimes he makes big mistakes.
  • This wasn't the best of starts for the 49ers' defense.
  • I wish we could bubble-wrap the 49ers until the playoffs. Aaron Banks (knee) and Dre Greenlaw (back) were the most recently injured players.
  • George Kittle has five touchdowns in the last three games. He has 10 on the season. He was good early in this game, but not as much as the game went on.
  • By the way, that Brock Purdy touchdown pass to Kittle was impressive.
  • Brandon Aiyuk is the best receiver on the team.
  • T.Y. McGill was a nice pickup for the 49ers.
  • Different team. Different season. But the 49ers still haven't figured out how to stop Davante Adams.
  • Mitch Wishnowsky's bad punt toward the end of the 2nd quarter allowed the Raiders to get that halftime lead. He made up for it later in the game.
  • The defense gave up drives of 6, 10, 10, and 8 plays in the first half. That's not good.
  • The defense started the second half even worse than the first half. Was this an anomaly, or should fans be concerned?
  • Penalties were a problem for the 49ers in this game. The 49ers committed nine of them, some of which wiped out big plays.
  • Kerry Hyder, Jr. had some impactful plays in this game.
  • Ray-Ray McCloud needs to change his name to "Big Play Ray-Ray."
  • Christian McCaffrey. So good! He had almost 200 yards from scrimmage.
  • Two things that you can normally count on with the 49ers let them down on Sunday—the defense & kicker Robbie Gould. Unreal. Your rookie QB gives you the lead, then the defense folds. Then, the rookie QB gets you in a spot to win the game, and you miss the field goal.
  • But in the end, the defense came up with the play to win the game. And Gould redeemed himself.

The 49ers close out the regular season next Sunday at home against the Arizona Cardinals. With a victory over the Cardinals and an Eagles loss to the Giants, the 49ers would earn the NFC top overall seed—and an all-important first-round bye.

Go Giants!
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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