Wow! The Oakland Raiders have just defeated the San Francisco 49er’s, likely ending the 49er’s playoff hopes for this year, and possibly ending the 49er’s coaching career of Jim Harbaugh. There is speculation that Harbaugh will leave San Francisco at the end of the season to take the head coaching job…in Oakland.
That’s a weird aspect of this win for the Raiders. More about that later.
First, the Raiders’ quarterback, Derek Carr, was outstanding today. He’s the reason they won the game.
Second, no one saw this coming. Not realistically, anyway. The Raiders lost last week in a blow-out. There was absolutely no reason to think that a team with one win this season would even be competitive against the 49ers. The Raiders had nothing to play for except pride.
This is what I love about sports. The intangible elements somehow come into play from time to time and dictate an unexpected outcome.
So, on the question of whether Harbaugh moves to the Raiders, I think this game made that unlikely. This game is a manifestation of Harbaugh’s recent problems controlling his team, as evidenced by unattributed reports from 49er players that he has lost the confidence of the players.
It would be interesting to see if Harbaugh could help turn around the Raiders, but I think it would be more interesting to witness the second coming of the last great Raiders coach, Jon Gruden. If I had a vote, I’d take Gruden over Harbaugh any day. He’s won a Super Bowl, knows the Raiders organization as well as anyone, and doesn’t carry the baggage of Harbaugh’s recent problems.
I sign off with a hopeful comment: Go Raiders!