Whichever team has more success running the ball will win this game. The Bears have the severely untested Caleb Hanie at QB, and the Raiders are going against a solid pass defense with their three best receivers likely on the sidelines.
The Bears are 30th in passing yards allowed per game, but they are 11th in yards allowed per attempt. Football Outsiders ranks them fifth in their weighted pass defense rankings. They are 10th against No. 1s, second against No. 2s and first against the rest of the wide receivers.
Carson Palmer may be able to find some success here, but the Raiders will be best served to ride their running game to success.
Chicago is 10th in rushing yards allowed per game, but they are 29th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per carry. Oakland is sixth in yards per carry at 4.8.
The one area where the Bears have found success in the run defense is in stuffing runs. They are fourth in the league in that area.
They are 29th in power situations though (two or fewer yards on third or fourth down). They are also 29th in stopping runs on the second level and 31st stopping them in the open field.
The Raiders need to wear this defense out on the ground. The Bears inability to succeed in situations indicates the Raiders should be able to sustain drives, and they will need to do just that.
Defensively the Raiders have their hands full trying to stop Matt Forte. However, with Cutler out they will be able to stack the box and load up to stop the run. They have had success in those situations this year.
Last week, against a rookie QB, the Raiders held the Vikings' RBs to just 3.4 yards per carry. In Week 5, they held a Texans team playing without Andre Johnson to just 2.8 yards per carry. If the defense can put an effort similar to those games they will win.