This weekend the San Francisco 49ers will face the Las Vegas Raiders. In this 49ers vs Raiders matchup, the Niners are in the hunt for a higher seed in the playoffs, while Las Vegas has made a switch at quarterback. These two teams have a history of not being a fan of one another, but this year the 49ers should get the win. The Raiders will be starting Jerrett Stidham at quarterback this weekend, an interesting change. Here are three players to watch in the 49ers vs Raiders game this Sunday.
49ers vs Raiders: Jimmie Ward
Safety, and this season Nickel, Jimmie Ward has done a great job for San Francisco. He has played strong all season, but now going against a quarterback who has not played often, Ward may be a fun player to watch in the 49ers vs Raiders game. The safety did not play a lot in the first half of the season due to a broken hand; however, it has been like he never left since he came back.
This season, Ward has had a total of 40 combined tackles, 29 of which have been solo, according to ESPN. While he has had no sacks, nor any fumble recoveries, forcing turnovers has been a strength of his this year. So far this season, Ward has forced one fumble and had three interceptions. His three interceptions in one season is a career-high for Ward. All that he has missed this year so far is a touchdown, and hopefully, for Ward, he can get one to make his stats even more impressive. Ward has only played in ten games this season, and it will be exciting to see what he can do this week.
49ers vs Raiders: Tashaun Gipson
Safety Tashaun Gipson has been extremely underrated on this 49ers’ defense. Gipson came in as a solid veteran but has done so well that the team put Ward in the Nickel position, so the two can be on the field at the same time. Although he may not always be talked about, Gipson has been solid, and it will be fun to see what he can do in this 49ers vs Raiders game.
Gipson has played in 15 games this season and is a big factor in why this 49ers’ defense has been so strong. So far this year, the safety has had a total of 55 combined tackles, 40 of which have been solo, according to ESPN. The safety also has 0.5 sacks this season, which is not a lot but still strong for safety in his 11th year. Gipson also has had two interceptions this season and five pass deflections. While the 49ers have already clinched the NFC West, they are still fighting for better seeding in playoffs. Gipson can be a great player to watch as a veteran vs an inexperienced quarterback.
49ers vs Raiders: Deommodore Lenoir
Second-year cornerback Deommodore Lenoir is a player that has shown a great amount of improvement this season. He may still be learning, but this can be a game where Lenoir shows how much he has grown as a player. Lenoir can definitely be a player people will want to watch in the 49ers vs Raiders matchup. Lenoir is not the top cornerback on the team but has done well. If things go well for the 49ers, they will want to rotate their players.
Lenoir has played in 15 games this year and may get a good amount of snaps this week in the 49ers vs Raiders matchup. This season, Lenoir has had a total of 65 combined tackles, 44 of which have been solo, according to ESPN. The cornerback also has had one sack as well as one interception, both the first of his career. Lenoir has been a player who is slowly growing but is still overshadowed by playing for such a strong defense. Lenoir may have a chance this weekend to be a big-time player if Stidham has a difficult time adjusting to this powerful defense.
Usually in the players to watch there is a mixture of offensive and defensive players. In a game with questions about the Las Vegas offense. Be sure to watch all three of these players in the 49ers vs Raiders matchup this Sunday.
For more NFL and College Football content:
Check out my most article on Rutgers Signing Day. Also, be sure to check out this article explaining Michael Dixon’s transfer to Rutgers. Read here for Penn State’s top players who have already declared for the NFL Draft. As well as the top 5 Rutgers games for the season.
Be sure to check out this week’s, Underestimated Player Spotlight to see who I chose. Also, check out my most recent article on the 49ers here, and this article on the 49ers here. Read here for if it is time for running back Jordan Mason to get more playing time.