Coming off their first loss of the season, the Raiders went into Sunday’s game eager to get back on track. They had their hands full with the Bears defense and their new QB1 Justin Fields, but the Raiders seemed ready; they had to be.
Slow starts have been the name of the game for the Raiders this season. Heading into Week 5, the Raiders knew they had to get right. The defense proved to be up for the challenge as they forced multiple three and outs. Carr and the offense, however, had to settle for a field goal after a failed red-zone drive in the first quarter. Raiders led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The first two minutes of the second quarter brought the Raiders sixth penalty of the game and a lead change. Their penalties had already cost them 48 yards, and now, a Bears touchdown.
The rest of the first half was more of the same story. The offense couldn’t get going, and costly penalties resulted in another Bears touchdown with 1:56 left in the second quarter.
Former Raider Khalil Mack was the leading cause of the Raiders offensive problems in Week 5. He was an unstoppable force with multiple pressures and a sack on QB Derek Carr, forcing another Raiders three-and-out, leaving a full minute on the clock for Justin Fields and the Bears. Fortunately for Las Vegas, DE Yannick Ngakoue was able to get to Fields for his second sack of the game to force the Bears to the locker room. Raiders trailed 14-3 at halftime.
“I think [the defense] played hard,” head coach Jon Gruden said after the Raiders’ Week 5 loss. “They did some really good things. We struggled in the first half. We couldn’t get the ball. I think we only had 25 snaps of offense in the first half. We played better in the second half. We made some mistakes early in the football game defensively, but we still are looking for a turnover.”
“We’ve got to get some field position established. They’re playing hard, we’re doing some good things, and there’s some individual efforts that are just outstanding, but it wasn’t enough today.”
The second half brought new hope, but the same old offense. After a three-and-out to open the half, Derek Carr threw an interception on the Raiders following offensive possession. The Raiders’ powerful defense was the only thing holding them in the game.
The Raiders and Bears traded possessions the entire third quarter with no points to speak of. The Raiders opened the fourth quarter with the ball and charged down the field for their first touchdown of the game. RB Josh Jacobs found the endzone for the third time this season. After a failed two-point conversion, the Raiders were down 14-9.
Justin Fields and the Bears offense were stopped right outside the red-zone with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter. Kicker Cairo Santos sent a field goal flying through the uprights to extend the Bears lead to eight points. The Raiders got the ball back with 2:45 left in the game. The Raiders had their chance, and they did nothing with it. The Raiders offense turned the ball over on downs and gave the ball back to the Bears at the two-minute warning.
Chicago took advantage of their great field position and capitalized on a field goal attempt to put the Bears up by 11 with less than a minute to go. The Raiders needed a miracle to win this game, and it wasn’t going to happen. After just 251 yards of offense, the Raiders lost their second in a row. Bears win 20-9.
“We didn’t have a bad week,” Derek Carr said after the game. “Practice was good, probably not perfect, but that happens sometimes… I don’t think that practice was off. I don’t think that anyone’s mindset was off. We didn’t play good enough. That, that out there, that ain’t gonna cut it.”
Next Week @ DEN
Week 6 brings the Raiders’ second AFC West battle of the season. Carr and the Raiders will head to Denver to take on the Broncos. After starting 3-0, Denver has lost two in a row and now sits at 3-2. While the Denver defense brings another tough challenge for the Raiders offense, the Las Vegas defense should keep the Denver offense at bay. Denver’s QB1 Teddy Bridgewater struggled in Week 5 and may very well struggle again in Week 6 at the hands of powerhouse DEs Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue.
After taking a brutal hit on a QB sneak, Derek Carr left the game for multiple plays. DT Johnathan Hankins was also tended to by athletic trainers on multiple occasions during the game. As the Raiders prepare for Denver, it is worth keeping an eye on Carr and Jefferson’s practice status.
Week 5 also brought an offensive line change for the Raiders. What started off looking like a positive change proved to really accomplish nothing at all. The offensive line struggled for yet another four quarters and brought multiple terrible penalties. As we get closer to the trade deadline, the Raiders will hear pressure from analysts and fans alike to throw their hat in the ring for free agent linemen. Week 6 might give some more clarity on what the Raiders plan to do to get Carr, Jacobs, Waller and the rest of the offense some help.
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