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49ers vs Raiders preview: Vegas baby!! Vegas!

Let’s keep an eye on these 4 things during Sunday’s game

Kansas City Chiefs v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The 49ers head to the Nevada desert to ring in the new year with a showdown against their former Bay Area neighbors. The Raiders have all but punted on this season after benching long-time starter Derek Carr in favor of fourth-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who will be making his first career start against the league's number on defense.

DraftKings Sportsbook currently has the 49ers as a 9.5-point favorite, with the over-under set at 42. Here are some things to keep an eye on in this matchup:

Rivalry renewed

No matter where the Raiders make their home, there will always be added stakes whenever they face off with the 49ers. Any matchup between these long-time Bay Area neighbors will always create excitement amongst their respective fanbases, regardless of where either team might currently fall in the standings.

This will be the 15th all-time meeting between these two teams, and the all-time series is currently tied at 7-7, with the 49ers winning four of the last five. The last matchup was a memorable one, a 34-3 drubbing in favor of the 49ers to close out the final “Battle of the Bay,” also known as the Nick Mullens getting verified at halftime game.

Slowing down the Josh Jacobs

The Raiders likely would have leaned on their dynamic running back regardless, but that looks to increase even more with a quarterback change to a younger, less experienced option in Stidham. Jacobs is the leagues leading rusher at 1,539 yards this season, with an average of 5.0 yards per carry.

Jacobs leads the NFL in scrimmage yards this season with 1,908 and is also only one of two players in the entire league to have recorded 50+ scrimmage yards in all 15 games this season. If the Raiders are to have any shot at pulling off the upset, they’ll need to get Jacobs involved early and often, a task that is much easier said than done against this vaunted 49ers defense.

More history for Nick Bosa

Bosa has a chance to etch his name in a couple more exclusive clubs, something that is happening so often that it feels like it’s turning into a weekly occurrence at this point.

With a sack on Sunday against the Raiders, Bosa would become just the third player since 1982 (when the individual sack became an official stat) to record a sack in 30 of their first 50 career games in the NFL.

The only other players who have accomplished that feat are Von Miller (32) and Reggie White (31).

The Iowa connection

Brock Purdy and George Kittle have developed quite the rapport, with the duo connecting for multiple touchdowns in each of the last two games. Both have the opportunity to make their own history on New Year's Day in Las Vegas.

Purdy can become just the fifth rookie quarterback in NFL history to win each of their first four starts and the seventh rookie in the Super Bowl era to throw at least two touchdown passes in five consecutive games.

Kittle can become the first tight end in NFL history to record at least two touchdown receptions in three consecutive games within the same season.

Key numbers for both teams

Where both teams currently rank league-wide in some key categories:

49ers' offense Raiders’ defense

Total yards - 9th Total yards allowed - 25th

Points for - 8th Points allowed - 23rd

3rd down % - 6th 3rd down % - 22nd

Red Zone % - 25th Red zone % - 27th

Now for the other side of the ball for each side:

49ers’ defense Raiders’ offense

Total yards allowed - 1st Total Yards - 14th

Points allowed - 1st Points scored - 12th

3rd down % - 15th 3rd down % - 18th

Red zone % - 19th Red zone % - 27th