SANTA CLARA — The 49ers’ missing pass rush came out from hiding Thursday night, allowing the defense to manhandle the Raiders in their 34-3 win in the Battle of the Bay.
The 49ers registered seven sacks of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, and added one more late in the game against backup A.J. McCarron. That was the first time the 49ers registered eight sacks in a game since 2010 when they faced the Rams.
Prior to the game, the 49ers had 16 sacks in their previous eight games combined.
The 49ers spread the wealth with five players registering sacks: Cassius Marsh (2.5), Dekoda Watson (1.5), Solomon Thomas (1.0), DeForest Buckner (1.0), Ronald Blair (1.0), team (1.0).
Buckner remarked that it was a team effort that helped everyone succeed.
“I think guys were just going out there and feeding off each other,” Buckner said. “I think everyone was just energized. We came out with a lot of energy.
"We had Dekoda back, and he had some action. It was fun just seeing him out there playing. He has been wanting to get out there all year. Ronnie had a couple, Cassius had a couple. Everyone was just feeding off each other and having fun out there.”
The defensive line beat up the Raiders’ struggling offensive line that lost its starting left tackle, Kolton Miller, to a knee injury in the opening drive of the game. The 49ers also hit Carr nine times and were able to pressure him on 14 of his 30 dropbacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
Coach Kyle Shanahan gave credit to defensive coordinator Robert Saleh when asked about the improved pass rush.
“I thought Saleh did a good job mixing up his calls,” Shanahan said. “I thought we did a good job mixing up our stunts. I thought our guys won the one-on-one battles.
“It’s not just the rush, I think our guys held up in coverage well, and when people aren’t open right away and you make that quarterback take a couple of hitches, it’s just tying both those guys together up front and in back.
"I think they had an all-around good game.”
Cornerback Richard Sherman happily joked about not being part of the pass rush this week after he registered a sack in Arizona.
“I didn’t get a chance to be a part of the pass rush this week,” Sherman said. “I am kind of upset about that, but I was happy with the way we performed.”
The 49ers held the Raiders to 242 total yards. Derek Carr mustered just 140 yards in the air — the fewest allowed by the 49ers since they held the Bears to 85 in December 2017.
Sherman also gave credit to fellow cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who has struggled in his second season.
“Obviously, this is his fourth good game in a row and he stacked them,” Sherman said. “A lot is made when he is having a bad game, but when he is locking guys down and not giving up a lot of catches and playing soundly, there is not a lot of noise being made.
"Obviously, corner is one of those positions that gets under-appreciated when you are playing great.”
The 49ers get some much-needed rest before they play their second prime-time game in a row. Their next game is a Monday night matchup with the New York Giants in Week 10.