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Several Zohn readers have written comments wanting to know why I am more gentle in my comments about the Raiders than the 49ers. This is a correct and astute observation which I am obliged to address. I’ll do my best.

The Raiders are starting over. They are trying to emerge from decades of doing things a certain way, a way that no longer works. The degree of difficulty Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen face is astonishing. I have no idea if they are up to it, but I want to give them a chance. That seems fair. It is what any fair-minded person would do, as opposed to kicking them when they are down.

The 49ers are not starting over. They are a championship contender and I hold them to a higher standard, to the highest standard. That also seems fair and I’m sure the Niners want it that way — to be held to the highest standard by writers, fans, themselves.

This specifically relates to AJ Jenkins. Readers said I was hard on the Niners for drafting him where they did and hard on him. I am hard on the 49ers for drafting him. They were saying they are so good they don’t need draft choices who will contribute this season. We’ll see about that. It’s certainly a roll of the dice, one I’m certainly allowed to point out.

Anyway, I give the Raiders a huge benefit of the doubt. With the 49ers, they must at least win the NFC championship or you must question their direction for this season and beyond.

I’ve laid my cards on the table. The ball’s in your court, as they say.

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