Gameday: 49ers 21 – Raiders 20

The 49ers beat the Oakland Raiders 21-20 or their second victory during the preseason. A second half of more pounding the ball and turnovers sealed the deal.

Shaun Hill appears likely to be named the San Francisco’s starting quarterback after Alex Smith’s subpar performance Saturday night in the 49ers’ 21-20 win over the Oakland Raiders.

Smith completed just three of nine passes and threw an interception.

A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter last week that Smith was going to have to play very well to beat out Hill for the starting job.

Hill was 3-for-7 for 20 yards after taking over to start the second quarter, and the 49ers, behind the running of Michael Robinson, were in field-goal position on both of his full series.
Head coach Mike Singletary has said he would wait to decide on a starter until after the 49ers’ third preseason game, next Saturday at Dallas.

“I wanted to see both of them do more in the time they were in,” Singletary said.

Rookie Nate Davis led the Niners to three scores in the fourth quarter, with Kory Sheets’ 5-yard run giving San Francisco a 21-14 lead. Charlie Frye scored on a 14-yard run for Oakland but threw an incompletion on the 2-point conversion attempt with 3:30 to go.

The game came the same week that coach Tom Cable was accused of breaking assistant Randy Hanson’s jaw in an attack that is being investigated by the police and the NFL.
Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, is running out of time to convince Singletary that he should be the starter this season. Expected to be San Francisco’s franchise quarterback, Smith instead has struggled when healthy before missing much of 2007 and all of last season with an injured shoulder.

He completed a 15-yard pass to Vernon Davis on his first drive before it stalled and then made his best play on the second. On a reverse to Arnaz Battle, Smith lowered his surgically repaired right shoulder into defensive end Greg Ellis, knocking him to the turf. Battle lost 6 yards on the play, but Smith drew cheers for his block.

“It felt good,” he said. “As quarterbacks you don’t get to deliver many blows. It was nice to be able to do that.”

Two plays later, Smith threw high to Josh Morgan and the ball deflected into Ricky Brown’s hands. Brown returned the ball 47 yards before being tackled by Smith at the San Francisco 7.

Smith threw only one more pass before leaving after the first quarter.

“The numbers would say last week was better but I felt much better this week,” Smith said. “I think numbers can be deceiving.”

Hill didn’t get many chances to throw as the Niners relied heavily on rookie running back Glen Coffee.

Coffee, a third-round pick out of Alabama, gashed Oakland’s run defense, ripping off four runs of at least 10 yards, including a 35-yarder that led to a field goal by Joe Nedney. Coffee, who replaced Frank Gore after one series, finished with 129 yards on 16 carries.

“I think when you’re running it that successfully, why go away from it,” Hill said. “Sometimes that’s how it is.’

Cable was upset with his team’s discipline, especially on defense. The 49ers ran for 275 yards against a Raiders team that has spent much of training camp looking to improve a leaky run defense.

“I did not think we tackled real well on defense,” Cable said. “A couple of times we really had guys in the hole who had to just wrap up and they did not do that.”

Making the situation even worse for Oakland’s run defense was that middle linebacker Kirk Morrison left in the first quarter with a dislocated left elbow. Morrison is battling Brown for the starting spot and said he will miss a couple of weeks.

JaMarcus Russell started slowly for Oakland, missing an open Darrius Heyward-Bey on third down of his first drive and tripping over Darren McFadden’s feet on third down on the second drive. After Brown’s interception, Russell was unable to get Oakland in the end zone, throwing high to Murphy in the back of the end zone.

Russell found his groove on the next drive, starting with a 12-yard pass to Zach Miller. He completed an 11-yard swing pass to Justin Fargas and then got a 22-yard gain when Nate Clements was called for pass interference against Johnnie Lee Higgins.

After a pair of penalties backed Oakland up, Russell took advantage of a miscommunication between Clements and Mark Roman to find a wide open Murphy in the end zone on third-and-21 to end his night. That was Russell’s only completion to a wide receiver all night. He finished 7-for-11 for 76 yards.

The Pundit of 49ersNews. I do what I can to supply the Niner fans with their fix.
  • James

    Propz To Nate Davis .. After Mckillops Pick In The 4th Quarter .. Nate Davis Takes The 9ers To The Redzone .. When He Threw The Ball Away Instead Of Taking A Risk In The End Zone And We Come Out With 3 To Tie Up The Game .. Josh Morgan And Vernon Davis Both Pull Him To The Side And Whisper Something In His Ear .. All He Did Was Nod His Head And Stayed Humble .. We Need Leadership Like His On Our Team .. Players Who Want To Win .. They Look Like They Really Believe In Him ..

  • James

    Go Nate !!!!!!!!!!!

  • stilldiggin4gold510



    NATE DAVIS !!!

    NATE DAVIS !!!!

    NATE DAVIS !!!!!

    NATE DAVIS !!!!!!

  • dosia510


  • Msouza

    I think hill played better than Alex. Not by much, but enough to win the job. He will start the third preseason game and the first game of the season.

  • wickerman

    Sorry to say, but if Singletary picks Hill based on this game – he’s crazy! I want the best guy in there and I am not necessarily dying for it to be Smith, but c’mon. Hill looked horrible. Smith was 3 of 9 (not good!) with a pick, but Morgan should have caught that and there was another drop. That would have made him 5 of 9 (not great I know) and he threw 2 away in what were smart moves. I ay that’s 5 of 7. Hill just missed guys and took a sack.

    Neither guy looked good – hell Davis looked the best (tho against the 3rd string.) I think the 9ers need to give it at least 1 more game. Maybe I’m nuts, but I think Smith improved on last week and Hill slipped. Hill looked much more confident last week and much sharper. Smith didn;t look rattled this week. The pass to Morgan was a bit high, but, really, a WR needs to catch those.

    I say one more game and see who wants it more…

    • NinerPaul

      Alex is done!!!!!! That performance after getting all those reps in the last game !!!!!! Unacceptable!!!! 4.2 rating????? At least Hill move the offense 6 first downs compared to Alex's 4 and didn't have an interception. At least Hill got more snaps this time and took the drove the team into scoring position on his second posession. Alex through a pick on his second postion. Hill's third posession really didn't count with 29 seconds to go on 21st yardline. If we take both QB's body of work to this point, I think singletary knows who his starter is ……………

  • A True Niner Fan

    wow 275 rushing…props to the O Line and running backs & RB coach Tom Rathman for getting these guys ready to go… that was Outstanding….the Qbs didnt do to well but Alex looked absolutley awful….at Least Hill turned that one play that was nothing into something and managed the offense just fine down the field…. Alex just hasnt evolved hes the same ol kid from years ago…Shaun Hill is the Starter and even though he didnt get much action today due to the running attack going on hes still way ahead of Alex. Defense did really well too except that touchdown that the secondary gave up….I actually though it was more the safteys fault an not so much Nate Clements

  • stilldiggin4gold510

    Alex Is A Bust Player .. He Has Bus Cards For Sale .. 11 dollarz a pass .. Cut This Fooh Alex .. He Aint built for the nation .. Nate Davis Is A GP .. Watch Out For QB Nate Davis #7..

  • Lowrance

    The best part was how great the Offensive line played!!! I haven't said THAT in many years!!!

    Do we have an update on Snyder's injury yet?

    The O line and Coffee with Gore could be awesome (If we played the raiders every game, lol)

    QB performance was subpar. Maybe that's why Davis got so much play. Scrappy lil guy, though.

    I'm lovin' the aggressive play of Dre Bly!!!

  • Lowrance

    I will say this about Alex Smith….

    I've been hoping and hoping.

    In my mind I've thought injury, Nolan, bad O line, 5 OL coaches….

    But this offensive line was very good today. So he had time to make decisions. He's not looking very impressive for the first pick in the draft….

    Looks like Hill, though somewhat average will lead us….

    OK, watching the game as I type. AWESOME block on Ellis by Smith!!!!!!…how embarrassing is that?????? Lmaoooo

  • Cory

    Shaun Hill actually moves the offense…the offense doesnt go anywhere when Alex is QB

  • NinerPaul

    Let me through out there some food for thought. Alex has had 6 full posessions. He does get credit for a touchdown pass, But the defense set hit up hansomly with reggie's interception return all the way down to the opponents 3 yardline. So basically 3 and goal to go…. other than that 5 full posessions 0 points. Hill's has had only 2 full posessions, both times the team scored at least a field goal with some decent time consuming drives and no picks. So up to this point Alex has a 54.9 rating with 16 more attempts and 4 more posessions which incuded a pick. Hill has a 76.6 rating with less opportunity. With the little exposure my concern is that Hill isn't getting the reps to get in his rythm, but has been playing his game. Driving and getting a score. My observation is that this Forty Niner team (With Hill and the defensive sceme) is taking on the identy as if i were watching a NFL version of a heavy wieght boxing match. Run, Run, (body blows to wear the opponate down) A couple of crisp short and medium passes (A couple of jabs and head shots) and in the 4th qtr (Later Rounds) go for a strong finish for the win (either running or passing) Again this worked last year when we had the balanced attack and respectfully Hill did pretty good in Mike Martz's system when sing took over and we ran more to balance it out. My only hope in the new system we stay balanced because i beleve that was effective and that the reciever route scemes are as effective as martz's were. Remember we the 49ers just beat Jimmy Rayes offensive system just last year. Favre ended up with a 81.0 rating where Shaun ended up with a 87.5 rating.