KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 ET
TV: CBS, Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker
2006 RANKINGS: Raiders: offense 32nd (15th rush, 32nd pass); defense 9th (28th rush, 3rd pass). 49ers: offense 13th (12th rush, 14th pass); defense 24th (21st rush, 24th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME:
The 49ers have found a workhorse in RB Frank Gore, but the second-year player has also fumbled in every game this season. That has contributed to the team's slow starts -- San Francisco has been outscored 45-10 in the first quarter and 82-20 in the first half this season.
WR Antonio Bryant is the team's biggest weapon, and QB Alex Smith has to find a way to get him involved early on. However, defenses have been able to focus on slowing him down with few other dangerous threats at Smith's disposal, especially with rookie TE Vernon Davis injured.
The Raiders' passing game has far bigger issues with QB Andrew Walter struggling while playing behind a shaky offensive line. The Raiders like to use RB LaMont Jordan to set up the vertical passing game, but look for Walter to rely more on the short passing game this week to avoid the turnovers the Raiders simply can't afford at this point.
PREDICTION: 49ers 27-24
Raiders: Andrew Walter is being sacked once for every 5.6 pass plays called. Walter has a quarterback rating of 29.2, lower than that of WR Ronald Curry, who threw incomplete on his only pass and has a rating of 39.6.
Randy Moss has scored a touchdown in 47.4 percent of his games with the team after scoring in 76.5 percent with Minnesota.
Isaiah Ekijuiba, a special teams standout, said it is a tossup as to whether he will be ready to play against San Francisco due to a shoulder injury.
Justin Fargas, who has 90 yards on nine carries, has not had more than five carries in a game since carrying six times for 38 yards against Kansas City on Dec. 25, 2004.
49ers: Smith has more passing yards (906) than he had during his entire rookie season (875).
Gore is second in the NFL with 460 yards from scrimmage. Frank Gore, who has fumbled in four consecutive games to begin the season, said he is eager to return to action against the Raiders and end his streak. "I've made mistakes and now I just got to put it behind me and play ball and get back to being myself, you know?" Gore said. Gore has 331 yards and three touchdowns on 75 carries. He also leads the team with 16 receptions for 129 yards.
Larry Allen remains doubtful for Sunday's game against the Raiders with a left knee sprain. Allen has not played since the first drive of the season opener. He probably will not be available for this week's game, but could return Oct. 15 against the Chargers.
Mike Adams, who has started all four games, ranks second on the team with 27 tackles. He recently turned down a 49ers offer at a contract extension. Adams is scheduled to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
T.J. Slaughter saw his most extensive playing time in the 49ers' big nickel package. Slaughter has five tackles this season on defense, all of which came in the 41-0 loss to the Chiefs. Slaughter also has a team-leading five tackles on special teams.
Delanie Walker is expected to see his first action of the season Sunday against the Raiders. Walker is an exciting performer with the ball in his hand. He could see some action on special teams, as well as on offense as a backup to starter Eric Johnson.