Raiders vs Bears
Photo Credit: Allegiant Stadium


FSM Game Preview: Raiders vs Bears – Week 5

Franchise Sports Media


The Las Vegas Raiders are looking to bounce back and defend their home turf as they welcome the Chicago Bears to Sin City.


Raiders vs Bears
Photo Credit: Steve Flynn/USA TODAY Sports

After suffering their first defeat on the season, the Raiders are looking to get back in the winner’s circle and get back on track as they return to Allegiant stadium to face the Chicago Bears. Chicago is coming off a victory themselves over their division rivals, the Detroit Lions on Sunday, and hope to make it two in a row.

The Raiders didn’t have the best of showings this past Monday night as they got beatdown by their division rival, the Los Angeles Chargers. Struggling to get the offense going out the gate, the team fell behind too early and had some missed opportunities that didn’t allow them to get back into the contest.

But now the team returns to the desert where they are looking to get back on track and show they can handle adversity. Despite the struggles they had offensively, quarterback Derek Carr still leads the NFL in passing yards (1,399). Carr will look to extend his lead in hopes to get the offense in a groove early and often so the Raiders aren’t playing from behind so early.

While the Raiders are looking to get their mojo back, the visiting Bears will be looking to keep their momentum going in the right direction as they hope to make it two wins in a row. The Bears also bring a familiar face with them as former Raider Khalil Mack will look to wreak havoc on the offense and lead a stout Bears defense into the Death Star.


Can the Raiders keep things going and continue to show this season they are a different squad then before?


Raiders vs Bears
Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

So the Raiders will not be going 17-0 this season. Now that their first loss is out the way, let’s see how this team gets back up and responds. We’ve seen the Raiders so far this season come back from behind, lose a lead and go into overtime and up until Monday Night, they always found a way to grind out a victory. Now after not being able to do so, will this team be able to regain their focus and move on to the next opponent?

With running back Josh Jacobs returning, and if he can stay healthy, the Raiders run game will be that much more of a factor in the offense. That will help Carr in the play-action calls and keep the defense honest from not going all out with their pass rush. The Raiders offense has been a balanced attack all season, spreading the ball around to different options in the passing game. That has allowed dynamic tight-end Darren Waller to take advantage of any mismatch he may see in coverage. If he’s double or even at times tripled teamed, it opens up passing lanes for wide receivers like Bryan Edwards and Hunter Renfrow to exploit the coverage and both have shown they are dangerous after the catch to gain more yards.

There’s also speedster Henry Ruggs III who continues to show why he was the team’s first-round pick last season. Ruggs III continues to make big plays down the field for chuck gains once or twice a game. When you add a player of Josh Jacob’s talents to this Raiders offense, which was already number one in the NFL, it can become even more lethal which can be a scary thing for the rest of the league.


While the Raiders boost a dynamic offense, it’s their defense that has turned around, which has allowed this team to get off to a 3-1 start, and have this team looking like a legit contender to make a run into the post season.


Raiders vs Bears
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

One of the league leaders in tackles, linebacker Denzel Perryman has shown in his first year with the Silver and Black that he was a great addition. Perryman is the type of player/leader this defense needed for quite some time. His hard-hitting style sets the tone for the team and brings the energy as he finds himself around the ball often. Outside linebacker Cory Littleton and hybrid safety/linebacker Johnathan Abram have also seen their play turn around in short order as Littleton looks to be getting more and more comfortable with his role on the team and is producing as the Raiders second-leading tackler.

Abram has become more consistent and is playing under control which allows him to make more plays and be able to apply his aggressive style in a more productive manner for the team. Where this team has shown major improvement is in the pass rush department, as the Raiders are 12th in sacks and among the league leaders in quarterback pressures. Defensive end’s Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue are consistently pressuring the quarterback and causing opposing quarterbacks to either move out the pocket or step up into the pocket. When opposing quarterbacks do that one of their interior teammates like Darious Philon, Solomon Thomas or Quinton Jefferson awaits them to bring them down.

What was once a weakness has now become a strength of this team. In doing so, it has allowed all areas of the team to shine and feed off that energy and productivity which has lead to the team’s early-season success.


This matchup against the Bears will be won or lost at the line of scrimmage.


Raiders vs Bears
Photo Credit: Bears Wire

While the Raiders have made changes to their defensive front that has paid off pretty well for them thus far, it’s their offensive line that is going to be key for this team to walk away with a victory. The Raiders knew that this year that their line of protection would face some adversity due to having three new starters, one being a rookie penciled in at the start of the season.

But injuries forced the team to have essentially five new starters up front with left guard John Simpson replacing Richie Incognito, new center Andre James, Jermaine Eluemunor who is replacing Denzelle Good at right guard who was already a new starter, and rookie Alex Leatherwood at right tackle. With this many shake-ups, line coach Tom Cable once again had his hands full with trying to protect Carr and opening up running lanes for the backs. While the line hasn’t been horrible, the team has given up 12 sacks in four games and will be facing a Bears defense that leads the league in sacks with 15. The Raiders must protect Carr while providing openings for Jacobs and company to run through. The offensive line has to block so the Raiders can move the ball early against a Bears defense that, once they get going, can take over the game and dominate.

But while the Raiders face their own problems protecting their quarterback, the Bears have had their issues also with protection as they have given up 16 sacks so far this season, including 9 in one game against the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately for the Bears, they will be without their starting running back David Montgomery, who suffered a leg injury and will miss several weeks. With rookie quarterback Justin Fields still getting his feet wet and adjusting to the play of the NFL, he will be without one of his key weapons which with a struggling line to protect him. This could make it a long day for the young signal-caller.

The Raiders don’t blitz often as they can generate a good pass rush with their front four, which allows them to keep seven in pass coverage. This could make it difficult for a rookie quarterback to break down when he doesn’t have his dynamic running back and a struggling offensive line to allow him the time to settle and read the defense. But Fields is mobile and can move which could allow the Bears to pick up big gains in the run department if the Raiders allow him running room. But if they can keep him contained and in the pocket, the defense to lead the way and provide some highlights of their own.

The Raiders and Bears have struggled in protection while shinning in the pass rush. Whichever team can provide the most consistent protection for their quarterback will most likely be the team that walks away with a win. Both defensive fronts can wreak havoc on a team’s offense, so in the trenches is where this game will be decided. Can Mack get some payback against his former team? Will Fields be able to show why the Bears moved up to draft him? Will Jacobs find his old form and be the runner we’ve seen him be? Can the defense be the leading force behind a Raiders win? All this and more will be answered when the Raiders play the Bears Sunday afternoon.


The Raiders and Bears play Sunday at 1:05 at Allegiant Stadium and can be seen on CBS.

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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Kalani on Twitter @klua11

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