After the Raiders returned to Oakland, the Raiders took this week off. Yet, here at FPC Raiders, rest does not exist. With that said, we discuss the Bears game and what what to interpret. FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs discuss the victory.
Three biggest takeaways from Bears game?
The Raiders run game
Jon Gruden did really take it back to 1998 with a smashmouth run game. Behind a beefy offensive line and a hammerhead fullback, rookie Josh Jacobs is mowing through defenses. Exhibiting power, speed and vision, the Alabama product is proving the Raiders’ brain trust right by taking him No. 24 overall. Jacobs is THE weapon on offense.
Raiders defense better without Vontaze?
Nicholas Morrow provides more speed and cover abilities at linebacker alongside Tahir Whitehead, something that Burfict couldn’t. The Raiders are playing surprisingly faster in all phases despite not having the Taze there to lineup the units. The defensive line wrecked the Bears offensive line making a suspect unit appear more piss poor than it already is. While the secondary did spring leaks against the Bears, the unit made the plays when it counted and took advantage of scattershot Chase Daniels.
Tom Cable is earning every single penny.
Give the dude grief all you want, but it can’t be denied the maligned offensive line boss has his unit playing lights out — despite missing a key cog in guard Gabe Jackson. The Raiders cobbled together unit dominates in the trenches, something that isn’t normally associated with Cable’s finesse zone scheme.
Jon Gruden finally embraced aggressiveness. On the final drive, you saw what the Raiders opffense could feature. Gruden put the offense in positions to succeed, without sacrficing boldness.
I do not think that Arden Key will succeed. Through five games, one tackle and two hits. Quietly, he continues to venture into disappointment.
While Kolton Miller may not escape the shadow of Derwin James, he showed vast improvement here. Granted, Tom Cable ensured he did have help. However, Kolton Miller excelled and that cannot be minimized.
Grade the units for the Bears victory?
Offense – B+
The Raiders left plenty of points out on the field in the victory. And Derek Carr missed opportunities by having tunnel vision on 1st reads. Yet, when the team needed it most, Gruden dialed up the plays and the offense executed. The 97-yard go-ahead and eventual game-winning drive was one that left the Bears in awe. Chicago’s vaunted defense was rice paper and Gruden poked holes in it with ease.
Defense – B
In the first half, Oakland tea bagged Nagy’s offense. In the second, it sprung leaks like no other. Still, the pass rush was alive, linebackers flew around and there was sure tackling when it was needed most. The secondary got torched and then burned the Bears back. If the Raiders get a consistent domineering defensive performance for all four quarters, look out.
Special Teams – C-
Dropping punts inside the 20 must be a regular occurrence. Rookie punter AJ Cole’s inability to do so was infuriating. Almost as much as watching the Bears almost house a punt return. Trevor Davis injected much-needed life to the return game, however, Cole needs to elevate his game. The fake punt boosts this grade, otherwise, it would be a D.
Despite jumping out to an early lead, the offense hit a stagnant spot. Yet, when they needed a game-winning drive, the Raiders opened the playbook and won the game. Ball security reared its head when Trevor Davis and Josh Jacobs fumbled in key moments.
Nicholas Morrow interception, and the game capped by Gareon Conley’s pick helps. On top of that, the defensive line rattled Chase Daniel. However, Allen Robinson almost single-handedly won the game for the Bears’ offense. From highlight reel catches to sharp pattern, the Raiders struggled in coverage.
The Raiders could not cover kicks. Cordarrelle Patterson averaged 31 yards a kick return. Plus, Tarik Cohen scorched the Raiders on a 71-yard punt return.