This San Francisco 49ers vs. Las Vegas Raiders preseason matchup promises to be intriguing for a number of reasons. San Francisco is expected to play all of its healthy starters in what is an interesting turn for the team.
As for the Raiders, they need to prepare themselves for what will be a difficult start to the regular season. Below, we preview this game between the two former Northern California rivals.
San Francisco 49ers vs Las Vegas Raiders: What you need to know
- The 49ers host Las Vegas at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Sunday Aug. 29 at 4:00 PM EST on NFL Network.
- Sportsnaut forecasts the San Francisco 49ers will beat the Las Vegas Raiders, 24-21.
- Odds: The 49ers are 3.5-point favorites with the over/under set at 35.5.
Trey Lance vs Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo did not show too much in last week’s preseason win over the Los Angeles Chargers, ending his only drive with an ugly interception. After some early struggles, Trey Lance led the 49ers to two long touchdown-scoring drives.
Despite previous suggestions that there was no quarterback competition, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan still has not named a Week 1 starter.
- Trey Lance’s chance to shine: After a pretty solid preseason debut, Lance picked it up even more this past week. That included two beautiful touchdown passes. He’s now firmly in the conversation to start Week 1.
- Same old Jimmy Garoppolo: Fans around the NFL world were prematurely calling for Garoppolo’s benching after he threw an ugly interception in the 49ers’ opening drive last week. It’s the same old story. A lack of accuracy on the part of the veteran quarterback. Slated to play some come Sunday, Jimmy GQ must show out. If not, he could get an early hook once the regular year opens up.
Advantage: Trey Lance
San Francisco 49ers wide receivers vs Las Vegas Raiders defensive backs
We focused on 49ers quarterbacks throwing multiple interceptions last week. With this said, top receivers in that of Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel didn’t do the signal callers many favors. These two must step up moving forward.
The situation is a bit different in Las Vegas. Its young core group of corners have played extremely well in the preseason. In what will be their final shot ahead of the team’s Week 1 outing against the Baltimore Ravens, it’s important that these youngsters continue improving.
- San Francisco 49ers wide receiver issues: It was a surprise that San Francisco largely avoided wide receiver during free agency while ignoring that position in the NFL Draft. Could this come home to roost heading into the regular year? It’s definitely a storyline for the 49ers’ preseason finale.
- Young Raiders cornerbacks: Second-year slot guy Amik Robertson has performed well during the exhibition slate. He’s expected to be the lead guy at that position. While starter Travyon Mullen has not seen preseason action, he’s also expected to play a big role. Perhaps, Las Vegas decides to give him run against San Francisco’s starters here.
Advantage: Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden vs Kyle Shanahan
We can’t call this a make-or-break season for either Gruden or Shanahan. The former is in the midst of a 10-year contract with the Raiders. Meanwhile, Shanahan just signed another six-year extension in San Francisco.
With that said, there’s a ton of pressure on both of these head coaches for different reasons.
- Jon Gruden’s tenure with the Raiders: Ugly. That’s the best way to describe what we’ve seen from the Raiders in the three years since Chucky’s return. The team boasts a 19-29 record and has seen some major organizational drama. Can Gruden turn things around in his team’s second season in Las Vegas?
- Jury still out on Kyle Shanahan: In his first four seasons with the 49ers, Shanahan has posted a 29-35 record. He’s missed the playoffs three years out of four with the only outlier being the Super Bowl appearance following the 2019 season. Sure last year was a mirage with injuries. However, Shanahan clearly has to be feeling the pressure right now.
Advantage: Kyle Shanahan
Bottom line: These former Northern California rivals have not played a preseason game in eons due to violence among fans. But this 49ers vs Raiders matchup should be a whole heck of a lot of fun. On the field, we’re mostly intrigued to see what the 49ers’ quarterback competition will look like.