Against the odds, the Oakland Raiders traveled to England to face the Chicago Bears. With injuries and questions burdening them, the team displayed grit, winning 24-21. For the Raiders, the win served as notice to the AFC that this team may not resemble the 2018 version. In the midst of a grueling road trip, Oakland went international and stopped a Bears team, ticketed by many to make the playoffs.
With little flash or fanfare during the game, Derek Carr kept Oakland moving with precision and presence of mind. For the first time in a few games, this version of Carr looked relaxed. More importantly, this edition of the quarterback stood in the face of a known rush and did not blink. While his most ardent supporters decry the “haters”, Carr blocked out the noise and focused on football. If you look at it, only seven of Carr’s targets hit the ground. Yet, with 97 yards to go, the Raiders needed to score. Forget 2016, leave those memories be. What you saw yesterday was a glimpse of Derek Carr at his best.
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With 29 touches and 143 total yards, Josh Jacobs wore the Bears defense to the ground. When the Raiders hired Jon Gruden, he envisioned a ground and pound approach to win game. Jacobs left the game with an elbow injury, only to return later, providing a spark. With that said, he forced the Bears linebackers to play him honest and head on. After almost four quarters of battering, the Bears appeared winded. Heading into a bye, Jacobs can enjoy a rest.
For the better part of his second tenure in Oakland, Tom Cable endured the intense criticism of his line play. Yet, facing Chicago, the line played well. Allowing Carr time and opening holes for Jacobs, the Raiders hope for this unit actually flashed. Despite early personal fouls and penalties, the group overwhelmed the front seven. More importantly, the group held Khalil Mack sackless.
To the surprise of many, the Oakland Raiders crossed an ocean to defeat the Chicago Bears. In essence, a 3-2 record, after all of the off-field nonsense, feels like 5-0. With the bye and rest, the team can get healthy and prepare for the long trek to visit the Green Bay Packers. For one Sunday, all smiles dotted the Nation.
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