There will be no love lost in the Battle of the Bay Area.
The 49ers and Raiders currently are on different ends of the NFL spectrum; one team is fighting for a playoff spot, the other is the favorite for the No. 1 overall draft pick. You could probably guess which is which.
Justin Tuck, like many of his teammates, is aiming to avenge Oakland’s 52-0 shellacking by the Rams in Week 13. He believes Sunday’s tilt will allow them to do just that.
“I think the best thing for us now is to turn all of our attention and our focus to what lies ahead, and that’s this bloodbath that I think we’re about to have against the 49ers,” the Raiders’ veteran defensive end said, via CSNBayArea.com. “Big rivalry game. Everybody in this area has been waiting for this game for a long time. I think that’s the best thing that could have happened after a loss like that, is to have this type of game where all of your attention has to be focused on the 49ers going forward.”
Tuck has been a disappointment for the Raiders — he’s notched just three sacks this season — but has rivalry game experience, having been part of them in New York. It’s an intangible quality that he’s hoping will help his team.
“I’ve played in some rivalry games as far as same city, same backyard-type rivalries playing the New York Jets and things like that,” said Tuck, a longtime New York Giant. “You know that it’s going to be a game that you’re going to come out of it very sore. You’re going to come out of it very banged up, but it brings the best out of you.”
Since Tuck and the Raiders are simply playing for pride at this point, nothing would be sweeter than spoiling their interstate rivals’ postseason hopes in front of their home crowd.
Easier said than done.
(Photo credit: Raiders.com)
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