Coming into their week 4 matchup against the Bears, there were plenty of questions still surrounding the Raiders defense. They showed they could make plays down the stretch, but could they come through all game long and shutdown an opposing offense for four quarters? We got a lot of answers against the Bears, but there are some problems the Raiders still had no answers for.
Defensive Line: C+
The highest grade on the defense goes to the men up front. They continued to show their dominance and ability to handle opponents in the trenches and make life hard on a quarterback. There was pressure on Cutler and he was sacked 3 times on Sunday. Matt Forte was held to 91 yards on 25 carries and the Bears' run game was held to 98 total yards as a whole. And, they even recovered a fumble which led to a score. It was an all-around solid effort by the men up front as they continue to work hard and control the line of scrimmage.
Through four games this season there has been one glaring issue staring the Raiders' defense in the face. Their inability to contain the tight end. The blame for this gets spread between the linebackers and defensive backs, which you will read in a bit. As long as this continues to be an issue the Raiders defense will have a hard time getting off the field. There were instances where a linebacker missed his assignment or missed a tackle, which has been a rare occurrence this season. There weren't too many huge plays this unit gave up nor were there any huge plays they made. It was an average performance, which deserves an average grade.
Defensive Backs: D-
You're probably wondering what kept this unit from getting a big fat F. Well, its the amount of injuries this unit has endured and the play of Charles Woodson, who continues to play at a high level. But, this unit continues to be a huge weak spot for the Raiders. Cutler was able to find open targets for 281 total passing yards and two touchdowns. Martellus Bennett became another tight end to have a big game against the Raiders. He finished for 83 rec yards on 11 catches, plus a wide open touchdown in the second quarter. The secondary took some injury hits to go along with some poor performances. TJ Carrie left the game with a reported chest injury and never returned. The Raiders' secondary is hurting all over and there doesn't seem to be a sign of relief or change coming anytime soon.
Defense overall: C-
Special Teams: C
The Raiders' special teams had a blocked PAT, but that was pretty much it. Marquette King was stellar and Sebastian Janikowski connected on all of his attempts. The Raiders, like all teams, would like to strike fear in the return game but they haven't found that guy just yet. With Taiwan Jones inactive and Carrie leaving early, their two best return men were non-factors.