Nov 19, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; General view of the Bay Bridge and the downtown San Francisco skyline before the NFL game between the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

The Editor's Rant: Highlights and Lowlights From This Week in Bay Area Sports

It’s been a busy weekend in Bay Area sports that wrapped up with a busy Sunday. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and lowlights of the week:

Highlights

If any impending free agent wants advice on how to lock up a blockbuster contract in the offseason, they should ask Hunter Pence for advice. The Giants’ outfielder has homered in four consecutive games, including two homers Sunday afternoon to aid the team’s comeback against the Dodgers. He knocked in six runs on Saturday night in a 19-3 rout of Los Angeles, and is certainly getting hot at the right time.

Pence is hitting .407 with seven home runs in the month of September, including driving in 19 runs over his past six games. This surely must be one of the biggest highlights of what has been a miserable season for the Giants.

But you have to remember the last free agent outfielder that the Giants signed after he had a big season in his contract year: Aaron Rowand. That didn’t work out too well.

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A year ago on this date, the A’s were two games back of the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West, on the verge of making a furious rally in the dying stages of the season to capture the division crown.

This season, there will be no dramatic comeback needed. The A’s are 6.5 games up on the hapless Rangers, who have lost six in a row and are trending downwards, while the A’s have won 16 of their last 20 games after sweeping the Rangers this weekend.

Remember when the so-called “experts” picked the A’s to finish third in the division behind the Rangers and Angels? Yeah, go ask Albert Pujols how the season’s going down in Anaheim.

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The Raiders earned their first victory of the season, beating a team that may not win a single game this year in the Jaguars.

But nonetheless, they did their job and took care of business. They only scored one touchdown, but their defense was good enough to hold Jacksonville to just 248 yards of total offense.

Perhaps only the Jaguars are bad enough to make the Raiders’ defense look good.

Lowlights

It’s Sunday night, the whole country is tuned in to watch a football game, but the game is delayed for a quite a period of time.

Sound familiar?

Yes, except this time, the delay didn’t help the 49ers at all. After the lightning and rain cleared up, the 49ers were utterly destroyed by the Seahawks on the road. From dumb penalties to turnovers and injuries, it was a cruel twist of dejá vú, bringing back not-so-pleasant memories of the blowout in Week 16 last season.

Like last year, Colin Kaepernick and the offense was shut down by the Seahawks. Like last year, the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field affected the 49ers’ play-calling abilities. Like last year, the 49ers lost a key player in starting nosetackle Ian Williams, with Vernon Davis and Eric Reid also sustaining injuries and leaving the game early.

Like last year, the 49ers will fly back to San Francisco thinking, “What the hell went wrong?”

Oh, and one more thing: say goodbye to Kap’s eyebrow.

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Sebastian Janikowski was furious at reports claiming that he roots against the A’s and wants them to miss the playoffs so that the infield dirt can be taken off the Coliseum field, and he can kick on the grass.

Well, if the Raiders didn’t have to share a stadium with the A’s, this discussion wouldn’t even have to take place. Do people realize how ridiculous it looks when you’re watching a football game and there’s a freaking baseball diamond running through the field? This doesn’t happen anywhere else.

Even high school football teams play on fields designated for football only, and it’s ridiculous that professional baseball and football teams have to share a stadium.

Of course, these same thoughts have been echoed by many over the past few years, and nothing has been done.

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We’ll end with a lowlight from the America’s Cup, sailing in San Francisco Bay.

Team New Zealand leads 7-1 over Team USA in the best-of-17 series, but they nearly lost everything when their boat came close to capsizing on Saturday afternoon.

Fortunately, they were able to save it in time (fast forward to 0:22 of the video):

Tags: America's Cup Oakland Athletics Oakland Raiders San Francisco 49ers San Francisco Giants

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