Alex Smith looked good in the 2nd half while Jason Campbell looked slightly less prepared for rainfall than the Wicked Witch of the West, and the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Oakland Raiders 17-9 in a game that hopefully will not be viewed by any future generations or possible inhabitants of planet Earth.
The game began and played out under leaky skies, and, this being California, affected the game more than it seemingly should have. Conventional logic says that people unaccustomed to certain conditions will not be able to perform up to their ability in them, and that was the case as the Raiders offense never got things going and the 49ers didn’t until late- pumping in two touchdowns through the air to give an otherwise criminally boring game a bit of excitement.
Smith said afterwards that he expected to be booed- and he was- as the 49ers amassed only 57 yards of offense on their first five possessions, all of which ended in Andy Lee punts (two of which pinned Oakland inside its own 10-yard-line).
For the entire first half the game was there for the Raiders taking, but the ferocious and efficient team that beat San Diego a week ago was nowhere to be found. Oakland could do no better than 6 total points after two huge, time-consuming drives to start the game. Campbell managed those drives well, but it was evident all day by the play calling that no one on Oakland’s staff had any confidence in the former Auburn star taking the game into his own hands. Campbell finished an anemic 8-23 for 83 yards while exuding his unique and bizarre blend of confusion and nonchalance both on the field and the sidelines.
The game itself quickly descended into something that was reminiscent of watching seals play basketball- you can’t expect the greatness you would see on a normal NBA court, so you lower your standards to the point where if one damn seal can somehow make one damn basket then the day is deemed a success. The 49ers finally ‘made a basket’ when Smith connected on a 32-yard touchdown pass to Crabtree over the middle of a surprised Oakland secondary. This happened the play after Smith may have become the first qb in league history to miss a targeted receiver so badly that intentional grounding was called.
Smith later hooked up with Vernon Davis on a 17-yard touchdown strike immediately after an Anthony Dixon touchdown run was nullified because of a holding call. The 49ers found themselves up by 8 points with just over 8 minutes left and the defense- which sacked Campbell twice and intercepted him twice on the day- took care of the rest.
Frank Gore was a splash of flavor on an otherwise bland day, rushing for 149 yards on 25 carries as the team got its long-awaited first victory of 2010.