If we learned anything from the Raiders’ first loss of the season, they need to start earlier. After an upsetting loss against the Chargers in Monday Night Football, the Raiders return to Vegas to play the Bears. No, I’m not referring to the weather delay; though it was weird, the offense has been horrendous. Through four games, they have yet to score in the first quarter. Not only that, but they only had one first down in the first half. If they want to get back in the win column this week, they can’t continue that trend against a better Bears defense.
As you know, Week Five is Raiders vs Bears. The Raiders took home the win in their last matchup, but that was two seasons ago, and both have seen quite a bit of change since their previous game. Let’s see how their offensive skill positions match up.
The Chicago Bears have officially made Justin Fields their starting QB. However, it wasn’t his fault. His first game started against the Browns, which was terrible, to say the least. His offensive line couldn’t stop a nosebleed that game and allowed him to get sacked nine times.
After that game, he was the most sacked QB in the league and had only played one whole game. Last week, however, he and the rest of the team played better. In last week’s game against the Lions, he threw for 209 yards, ran for nine yards, threw an interception, and had a fumble. He hasn’t played like the QB he was in college, and our defense should keep it that way.
Derek Carr and the rest of the offense played severely against the Chargers. As I said earlier, the offense can not expect to win games without scoring through the first half. Carr had less than fifty yards through the first half, and the offense had less than 100. This was the first game of the season Carr threw for less than 350 yards as well. He ended up finishing the game throwing 196 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Hopefully, this week he gets back on track and leads the team to another win.
This is an interesting situation. Currently, neither team’s backfield is healthy. David Montgomery and Damien Williams both got injured last week against the Lions. Williams will reportedly play through his injury, but Montgomery is out. For the Raiders, both Peyton Barber and Josh Jacobs are hurt.
Jacobs played his second game of the season last week and wasn’t the player we know. Jacobs carried the ball thirteen times for only forty yards, an average of 3.08 yards per carry. He also had five catches, a good sign, for seventeen yards. It’s unknown if he will be playing Sunday, but I guess he doesn’t, and Kenyan Drake gets another shot.
Both the Bears and Raiders have a somewhat similar wide receiver group in terms of make-up.
The Bears corps features Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, and Marquise Goodwin. Robinson is one of the receivers I view as underrated in the league. Like Deandre Hopkins, Robinson has never had a legit QB but has played well throughout his career. He has started slow this season, totaling thirteen catches, 149 yards, and a touchdown. Mooney currently leads the group in yards with 226 yards on seventeen catches.
The Raiders group has had a much better start to their seasons. My Allen Robinson comparison, Bryan Edwards, already has more yards and targets than he did last season. Edwards didn’t have a great game last week, one catch for four yards, but has flashed in big moments this season. Next up is Hunter Renfrow. He was one of the few bright spots of the Chargers game and has played well this season. Then the speed of the group Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs is currently leading all pass catchers on the Raiders in yards with 297.
These two groups should be in for big weeks with a battered Raiders secondary and a Raiders group looking to continue to prove themselves.
Tight End is the second position group the Raiders have quite the advantage.
Obviously, Darren Waller leads this group and is still a beast. Aside from Week One, he hasn’t had 100-yards receiving in a game or double-digit targets, but he is on pace for a 1,000-yard season like the rest of the receivers. Up to this week, he has 274 yards, twenty-four receptions, and two touchdowns. It should be interesting to see how he plays against one of the best linebackers in the league in Roquan Smith.
Second-year Cole Kmet heads the Bears group. Kmet left a lot to be desired his rookie season when looking for a receiver at tight end, and like the other receivers, he is off to a slow start. Through four weeks, he has eight catches for fifty-nine yards. This week he could see an increased haul after the Raiders allowed seventy yards to Jared Cook alone.