Most probably didn’t see it coming, but the Oakland Raiders pulled off a massive win versus the Chicago Bears. The silver and black came in pretty banged up with several starters having to sit out this game. It didn’t slow down the Raiders early as the team started off the game incredibly strong. Oakland slowed down significantly to start the second half and suffered from a couple of really bad turnovers. That said, they were able to turn it around thanks to the game’s biggest winners.
If there was anybody doubting Josh Jacobs is a serious rookie of the year candidate, it’s almost impossible to justify that position after this game. There’s no way the Raiders pull off this win without Jacobs’ excellent performance. He finished the game with 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 20 yards. It was a huge performance for the rookie against a top run defense.
It’s clear the Jacobs is the centerpiece of this offense and it should stay that way. He can do everything and he’s incredibly difficult to bring down. As of now, he looks like the best running back the Raiders have had in quite some time.
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Defensive & Offensive Line
If somebody would’ve told you that the Bears with Khalil Mack would have zero sacks in the game and the Raiders would have four, you probably would’ve thought they were insane. Well, that’s exactly what happened. Maxx Crosby, Benson Mayowa and Maurice Hurst all took Chase Daniel down. Oakland’s defensive line hasn’t shown consistency so far this season, but they’ve definitely shown glimpses of excellence. Brenston Buckner has certainly done a great job turning this unit into an actual strength for the defense.
What is also insane is that Tom Cable actually deserves praise. The Raiders somehow shut down the Bears’ pass rush and ran all over them. Despite battling injuries, the offensive line has been very impressive for Oakland this year. Trent Brown and Kolton Miller were able to almost nullify Mack’s impact and that is one of the hardest things in the NFL to do.
Jon Gruden was really close to being a loser if the Raiders didn’t pull off this win. Gruden is a winner because of the gutsy fake punt play he called in the fourth quarter. If he would’ve had them put the ball away, it’s very possible we’re having a different conversation. Gruden came in with a perfect gameplan to beat this Bears team and he should get credit for that. If it wasn’t for a few really bad mistakes, this game could’ve been a blowout. The team is young so it will take some time, but this is certainly not the same team that hit the field in 2018.
The Raiders are now over .500 heading into the bye week. They’ll have a tough matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers when they return. If Gruden’s squad could pull off a third straight win, a playoff appearance may just be attainable.