San Francisco 49ers vs. Oakland Raiders: Hyde vs. Murray

1 of 4

Dec 20, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; General view of fireworks during the playing of the national anthem before the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers at Levi

The Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers seem like two teams on very different paths. The Raiders’ arrow seems to be pointing up with a retooling of their defense in free agency, the arrival of rookie wide receiver, Amari Cooper, and an overall youth movement. The 49ers’ arrow is pointing down with the sudden retirements of defensive stop gaps such as Justin Smith and Chris Borland along with offensive lineman, Anthony Davis. The team has those issues coupled with a new coaching regime lead by first year head coach Jim Tomsula.

One thing the teams do have in common is a promising young running back entering their first year as the no-doubt starting back.

For the Raiders it is Latavius Murray. Originally drafted in the sixth round, Murray has always shown the talent to succeed, but he was never given the opportunity to prove it. Now with the departures of Darren McFadden to Dallas and Maurice Jones-Drew to retirement, Murray should be given all the chances to start right out of the gate.

For the 49ers, Carlos Hyde is leading the ship. A second rounder out of Ohio State, Hyde has also shown the ability to succeed but always played backup to longtime 49er running back, Frank Gore. With Gore now in Indianapolis, Hyde will be the starter and will be able to showcase what made him one of the top running backs in the 2014 draft.

Murray and Hyde are two totally different runners. Murray is more of a speed back who ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at his combine. Speed is something every running back needs, and Murray brings that to the table. Hyde is more of a power back. He runs between that tackles and uses his big 6’0″, 236 pound frame as a battering ram.

While both running backs bring different running styles, they both reside in the Bay. They will also both be extremely influential on their respective team’s offensive and how they play their game.

Since both players play in the Bay Area, a question must be brought up: Who is the best running back in the Bay?

In this Battle of the Bay, we will be judging Murray and Hyde to determine who is the best. Both players have only one pro season under their belt, so college stats may come into play when determining a winner. The most deciding factor will be their future outlook down the road, and who will turn out to be the better player.

Both players are young studs and will most likely end up being superstars. But only one can be the best, and we will determine a winner in this edition of Battle of the Bay.

Next: Latavius Murray