For the 49ers, this season brings hopes for stability, particularly at the quarterback position. The 2022 campaign was a turbulent one, with Trey Lance opening the year, Jimmy Garoppolo holding the middle ground, and Brock Purdy closing it out – a sequence likened to a pitching rotation in baseball. Naturally, this was far from ideal in football, and now Brock Purdy is in the process of recovering from a severe elbow injury he sustained in the Conference Championship game, with aspirations of playing a full season this year.
In contrast, the Raiders are ushering in a new era, with Derek Carr having moved to New Orleans and Jimmy Garoppolo stepping in to replace him. With Josh Jacobs still not close to returning, there is a growing concern that the Raiders need to resolve their internal issues before they escalate into a major distraction for the regular season.
San Francisco 49ers vs Las Vegas Raiders Preview
|Date||Sunday 13th August|
|Time||4:00 PM EST|
|TV Channel||NFL Network|
|Live Stream||NFL+ (US), DAZN (UK & other)|
Focus on Trey Lance
Before Brock Purdy’s rise as an exceptional seventh-round quarterback, the 49ers had named the first-round draft pick Trey Lance as the starter for the season. After starting only two games before a season-ending ankle injury, there is still uncertainty about Lance’s true potential. With Purdy’s stellar performance and playoff run, the long-term quarterback situation for the 49ers has become somewhat convoluted.
Now in his third season, Lance’s rookie contract is running out quickly, posing a significant decision for the front office. With Purdy being much cheaper and performing at a high level, the situation offers an opportunity for other investments.
As the season approaches, Trey Lance is expected to receive substantial playing time during these preseason games. The 49ers have also added Sam Darnold to the roster, leaving no room for risks following last season’s injury troubles. While Darnold may see some action, all eyes will be on Trey Lance, with high stakes involved.
49ers’ New Additions
San Francisco has bolstered its wide receiver corps over the summer, with the inclusion of Chris Conley, who had short stints with Jacksonville and Tennessee last season. There is keen interest in former Michigan Wolverine Ronnie Bell’s potential as a slot receiver.
Defensively, the safety battle will be intriguing. Talanoa Hufanga emerged as one of football’s most underrated strong safeties last season, and the Niners have added veteran Tashaun Gipson and rookie Ji’Ayir Brown. Observers are eager to see some of Brown’s gameplay in the preseason.
Raiders’ Running Backs and Secondary
As of early August, there are no signs that Josh Jacobs’s situation will be resolved. The Raiders have scheduled a few days of joint practice with the 49ers this week, but Jacobs’s absence continues due to contract disputes. This leaves veterans Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden, and second-year Zamir White, to shoulder the load.
Keep an eye on the Raiders’ secondary against the complex 49ers’ offense. Marcus Epps was a stealthy acquisition from the Philadelphia Eagles, and fourth-round draft pick Jakorian Bennett has been impressive in camp. The signings of veterans Marcus Peters and David Long Jr. add to the intrigue.
Three Players to Watch
Trey Lance – 49ers Quarterback
This one is obvious, but Trey Lance absolutely has to perform in the reps he gets during the preseason. If he looks bad, that could be the end of the conversation for him as a challenger to Brock Purdy’s starting role.
On the flipside, if Trey Lance is immaculate, the 49ers have a very difficult yet very privileged problem on their hands. Being the early first round draft pick, you’d except Lance to be good, but he’s fighting for his career right now against Mr. Irrelevant.
Cameron Latu – 49ers Tight End
Cameron Latu has struggled in practice so far this year, dropping a couple of very catchable balls. That said, he’s a very exciting young tight end prospect, who could learn a serious amount from George Kittle.
Latu is versatile. He can do everything you want him to do in the passing game, and shows a lot of explosiveness for the position. He’s a willing blocker and has no problem getting his hands dirty, so one worth watching in 49ers camp this year.
Isaiah Pola-Mao – Raiders Safety
The Raiders were excited about this guy last year, but he only ended up taking on minimal work during the regular season. This year the camp battle will likely result in free agency signing Marcus Epps starting at strong safety, but Pola-Mao could be right behind the starters in a much increased role in 2023.
The second year safety is six foot four and has made a couple of impact plays in training camp already this year. He’s certainly one to look out for in the Raiders preseason games.
The preseason matchup between the 49ers and Raiders is more than an exhibition game; it’s a preview of the season’s dynamics, a showcase of talent, and a crucible for players fighting for their place. With intriguing quarterback scenarios, promising new additions, and unresolved internal issues, both teams are at crossroads. How they navigate these challenges will define their season and perhaps their future direction.
Fans should tune in not just for the spectacle but for the narratives, strategies, and personal dramas that will unfold on the field. It’s a glimpse into the future of these storied franchises, a teaser of the drama, excitement, and brilliance that the new season promises to bring.
The 49ers have seen Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Brock Purdy at the helm in the past season. With Lance recovering from an injury and Purdy proving his worth, the quarterback situation is complex. For the Raiders, Derek Carr has moved on, and Jimmy Garoppolo has taken his place. These changes signify a new direction for both teams, and their success will heavily depend on how well the quarterbacks adapt to their new roles and systems.
For the 49ers, Trey Lance’s performance as quarterback and Cameron Latu’s development as a tight end are significant areas to watch. The Raiders will be looking closely at their running back situation with the absence of Josh Jacobs, especially the performance of young Zamir White. In defense, rookies like Ji’Ayir Brown and Jakorian Bennett offer exciting prospects for both teams. The preseason will be a crucial time for these players to prove themselves.
The game is scheduled for Sunday, 13th August, at 4:00 PM EST and will be televised on the NFL Network. For live streaming options, fans in the US can use NFL+ and viewers in the UK and other regions can tune in via DAZN. It’s a highly anticipated match that offers insights into both teams’ strategies and player developments for the upcoming season.