OAKLAND -– The Raiders found a soft spot in the 49ers defense and exploited it throughout Sunday’s 24-13 victory at O.co Coliseum.
It was right out there in the middle of the field.
Tight end Mychal Rivera and fullback Marcel Reece carved the 49ers up between the numbers, most notably on consecutive touchdown drives in the second half.
Rivera hit triple digits for the first time in his career, recording seven catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. Reece also had seven catches for 64 yards a TD.
That was something identified early in the week and schemed well by offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who has taken significant flak over the Raiders’ struggles this season.
“Olson deserves a lot of credit for what went on today,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “That’s just our chemistry building,” Carr said.
Rivera and Reece were frequently covered by linebackers who couldn’t blanket them well enough. That was a big-time advantage as the game wore on.
“We felt like, coming into the game, we could get Rivera and Marcel going a little bit in that way,” interim head coach Tony Sparano said. “In the pass game, those kind of match-ups there was a lot of base personnel groupings that Marcel was in and getting Marcel extended a little bit and doing a few of those things. But really also with Rivera, getting him involved in that way in some of those match-ups and on the linebacker type of plays.”