The lesson from the 49ers loss in Atlanta is that even when a cornerback makes an end-of-game interception, the play is far from over. But when Michael Crabtree tried to make a Roddy White-like play at the end of Sunday's game against the Eagles, he was hit with a $2,500 fine. The NFL ruled that he hit cornerback Tervard Lindley late. He also was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play.
Crabtree today said that he planned to appeal the fine. "Nobody touched him," he said. "I was just trying to make a play. I didn't see nobody touch him, so I was just trying to hit him." Indeed, Lindley goes to the ground on his own before Crabtree lowers his shoulder and actually dislodges the ball before Lindley recovers it on his own. Here's a video of the play in question:
Meanwhile, Crabtree - for the first time - will suit up against the team that passed him over in the 2009 draft. Ironically, even though it was the Raiders that snubbed him, the 49ers to this point paid the price with Crabtree's 71-day contract dispute. "You think about," Crabtree said of being passed over. "You think about it. It's in my mind. I'm thinking about it. It's probably just more motivation to go against them. I'm just ready to go out there.
Tight end Vernon Davis is a big fan of the way the Raiders play defense. Most teams tend to use zone coverage against Davis. Indeed, they're high-low tactics against him mostly have prevented the 49ers from going with the deep seam route that was successful last season. The Raiders like man to man coverage. Chargers tight end Antonio Gates had five catches for 92 yards Sunday, and Davis noticed.
"They went man-to-man on him a lot with 34 (safety Mike Mitchell)," Davis said. "... There's a lot of opportunities. If we get man to man, you're going to see some good stuff."
I also asked Davis who was faster, him or college teammate Darrius Heyward-Bey. As you know by now, Davis has no shortage of self confidence (Davis is to self-confidence as China is to people), so you might be a bit surprised by his answer. "Me, for the first 40," he said. "But he'll probably get me in the long run."
As expected Delanie Walker (ankle) and Curtis Taylor (thigh) are out for Sunday. Joe Staley (shoulder) - he went through a full practice Friday, Adam Snyder (thigh) and Troy Smith (abdomen) are probable.
For Oakland, both QB Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder) and RB Darren McFadden (hamstring) are questionable, and it's unlikely either will play.
-- Matt Barrows