Billed as the Khalil Mack revenge game, the story turned out to be Jon Gruden out-coaching Matt Nagy. The Chicago Bears could not survive a first half disaster of a performance and fell to 3-2 after getting beaten by the Oakland Raiders, 24-21.
Mark Schlereth, who was announcing the game, noted how much energy the Raiders were playing with as a team compared to the Bears, which was evident the entire first half. The Bears came out and played with much more energy in the second half, scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter and taking the lead. Here are the winners and losers from the game:
LOSER: Bears Defense
The biggest blow the Bears defense received in London wasn’t a blow to their respective egos. It was when Akiem Hicks went down with an apparent left elbow injury. The injury looked to be sustained on a blow taken from Khalil Mack’s helmet.
SiriusXM’s sports medical analyst, David J. Chao, said Hicks’ injury looked like a dislocated left elbow.
The Bears defense looked worse than they have all year against the Raiders. They had an abysmal first half that saw both Matt Nagy and defensive coordinator out-coached.
The Bears defense stepped up in the second half, forcing multiple turnovers, including a key one early in the fourth quarter by veteran Sherrick McManis when the Raiders were driving, but they let rookie Josh Jacobs run all over them the entire game, and their tackling throughout was abysmal.
LOSER: Matt Nagy
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden chose to fly his team out to London earlier in the week in order to get acclimated to the time change and new environment. Gruden and the Raiders had a game in London in 2018 in which they left the Friday morning prior to the game, and they lost badly after looking horribly sluggish.
Nagy chose to arrive Friday morning London time, and whether or not the team’s lackluster and sloppy efforts on both sides of the ball were a coincidence or a result of this decision by Nagy, well, that’s going to be a hotly debated subject all week.
LOSER: Charles Leno Jr.
The Bears starting left tackle Charles Leno Jr. had another penalty-filled game for the Bears, setting his offense and his team back multiple times. Leno was particularly bad on a drive the Bears had early in the fourth quarter, in which he had multiple holding penalties called on him in one drive. Some were calling for Leno’s replacement, Cornelius Lucas to take his place.
WINNER: Khalil Mack
Mack recovered a Derek Carr fumble that brought the Bears into the red zone and set them up for their first touchdown.
Mack had good pressure all game and provided the initial spark that brought the Bears back into this game.
WINNER: Allen Robinson
Allen Robinson was the team’s offensive standout, and he had an incredible game full of excellent catches. After not getting into the end zone in the previous four games, Robinson had two touchdowns and finished with seven catches on seven targets for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bears will head into their bye week with a good deal to work on.