OAKLAND -– The Raiders and 49ers aren’t rivals in the truest sense. With just 12 regular season meetings heading into Sunday, it’s hard to build up a true disdain for an opponent with so little face time.
The fans don’t agree with that. Sunday’s game was a turf war, an important for bragging rights in and around the Bay Area.
The players understood it. They wanted this win for Raider Nation. They got it, beating the 49ers 24-13 at O.co Coliseum.
It was the Raiders second victory of the season, and set the 49ers back in their push for the playoffs.
“We came into this game like we were facing our biggest rival,” receiver Andre Holmes said. “We were hyped for this one. We understood what a win would mean to the fans.
“We wanted people to go to work and school on Monday and be proud. We wanted to give them bragging rights. You could feel the energy in the stadium. The fans wanted this win pretty bad. So did we.”
Raiders fans haven’t had much to cheer about this season, which started with 10 straight losses. If they were only going to win a few games, beating the 49ers would certainly top the list.
“We’ve only won two games, but it was a big game for Raiders fans,” left tackle Donald Penn said. “I went to the barber shop on Friday, there were a lot of Raiders fans in there, they were telling me this is our Super Bowl Donald! This is our Super Bowl!’ I was like, I was joking with them, ‘it’s ours too!’
“I am happy we came out victorious. Raiders fans have been sticking with us through thick and thin. I think this is just a big exhale for them.”