The Oakland team that played in Chicago yesterday was not the same group that won back-to-back games in the two weeks prior. In fact, the Raiders looked a whole lot more like the team that got blown out by the Bengals. The Raiders defense allowed the Bears to march 80 yards down the field on their opening drive for a touchdown, only to be followed up with a three-and-out by the offense. The team sleepwalked their way through the first quarter in the same way we’ve seen all too many times in the past.
By halftime, the offense had figured things out and put together two touchdown drives, but the defense continued to play just terrible football. From missed tackles to tight ends running wide open down the field, the defense did not look as though it had improved at all over the first three weeks.
The second half, on the other hand, was an all-out group effort to lose the game. The offense accounted for two field goals, two punts and a lost fumble. The defense actually played much better in the second half, holding the Bears to only six points after giving up 16 in the first two quarters. However, when the team needed its defense the most, that unit failed to come through.
Charles Woodson appeared as though he was going to be the savior for the Raiders once again with a late fourth quarter interception. That turnover led to the Raiders taking a one-point lead, but with enough time that Jay Cutler and crew would have a shot. Sure enough, the Raiders defense allowed conversions on 4th-and-5 and then on 3rd-and-3, and from there it was smooth sailing for Cutler, who was able to give Robbie Gould an opportunity to win with his second long field goal of the day.
The Raiders never got any sort of rhythm going on either side of the ball and big mistakes at bad times buried them. They made mental mistakes and were just plain out-played by a desperate Bears team for much of the game. The Raiders now have to get ready for a much more difficult final three quarters of the season, knowing they still have a whole lot of work left.