RAIDERS AT 49ERS: Who’s better?

Who’s better?

The players and coaches might come and go, and they might not even see it as a rivalry when they’re here, but when the 49ers and Raiders play, there are bragging rights at stake for fans around the Bay Area. No Super Bowl title is expected from either team this season, but one of them will claim the Bay Area title.

In the name of fueling the rivalry fire, The Chronicle’s Raiders and 49ers beat writers offer quick assessments of their respective teams in various regards, and then declare who’s better. Where Vittorio Tafur Raiders and David White 49ers disagreed, Sporting Green editors broke the tie.


Raiders: Jason Campbell loves to play it safe and throw short, which keeps interceptions down but also puts receivers to sleep.

49ers: Alex Smith isn’t half bad. But whatever fraction is bad is most-NFL-turnovers bad. Six years and still waiting.

Edge: Raiders

Raiders: Darren McFadden was off to a great start but got hurt, and inside runner Michael Bush has filled in ably.

49ers: Frank Gore is a 1,000-yard back with Pro Bowl experience. Don’t blame him for the faulty blocking.

Edge: 49ers

Raiders: Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey show flashes, but DHB has one catch for 2 yards in the past two games. Tight end Zach Miller is one of the best.

49ers: Vernon Davis is one of the best, too. Michael Crabtree is everything the Raiders should have drafted.

Edge: 49ers

Raiders: When these teams met in preseason, tackle Mario Henderson almost got Campbell killed.

49ers: Two rookie starters, a converted center and a struggling right guard add up to bad pass protection and worse run blocking. But at least they don’t get the quarterback killed.

Edge: 49ers

Raiders: They got steamrolled by Houston for 249 yards two weeks ago; rookie linebacker Rolando McClain is not making an impact.

49ers: Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin isn’t holding the point, but they’re still 10th best in terms of yards per carry.

Edge: 49ers

Raiders: What cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha taketh away, the other cornerbacks and safeties giveth back.

49ers: The coverage is too soft, and the pass rush gives the quarterback too much time.

Edge: Raiders

Raiders: With a great punter and kicker, two blocked punts last week and a developing return game, the Raiders might be the best in league.

49ers: Nothing special most days, though kick returner Ted Ginn Jr. has promise if healthy.

Edge: Raiders

Raiders: The players wanted Tom Cable back, and the team is definitely better, tougher and more resilient than last season.

49ers: Mike Singletary is supposed to be a motivational speaker, but he’s barely keeping this team together.

Edge: Raiders

Raiders: Old and pretty bad … until you go to the dump on the other side of the Bay Bridge.

49ers: Do they really think the Giants are coming back? Fill that empty space by the south end zone already.

Edge: Raiders

Raiders: The classic Silver and Black is a look all players and fans secretly want to pull off, if just for a day.

49ers: The gold-pants look has gone the way of the Gold Rush, but the red tops still work.

Edge: Raiders

Raiders: Raiders fans know where the writers park, so … no, you can’t question the dedication and fire of the Raider Nation.

49ers: Listen, Bill Walsh, Joe Montana and Steve Young aren’t coming back. Time to move on, people.

Edge: Raiders

Raiders: Offensively, Oakland is young and getting better, while defensively, the jury is still out on McClain.

49ers: This team is a quarterback and head coach away from greatness. The current two had better figure it out, before the next two get a chance.

Edge: 49ers