Anyone else getting tired of seeing DJ Hayden as Top Buster? This week, he landed here with a bullet. He was flat out awful in this game right from the start. On the Bears' first drive, he was blocked on an 8-yard run and two plays later, on third and 2, gave up a 35-yard catch to put the Bears at the 10-yard-line. Then he, of course, gave up the catch and missed tackle for a 7-yard touchdown.
Before he even lined up on defense for the next series, he had already made a mistake. He was called for holding on the punt return that had the Raiders' starting at their own 6-yard-line.
Late in the first half, following the Raiders' first turnover, he gave up two catches to put the Bears at the one-yard-line. The Raiders luckily were able to stop them on third down to force a field goal, or they would have had more than just a 16-14 lead at half time.
In the third quarter, after the Raiders regained the lead 17-16, the defense had the Bears in third and 7. Then Hayden was easily blocked on a 14-yard bubble screen and they picked up the first down.
With the Bears back on top at 19-17, the Raiders turned the ball over again. After a run stuff and a pass defended, they looked like they might come out of it unscathed. But on third and 8, Hayden gave up an 8-yard catch to keep the drive alive. The Bears' next drive was their last and it began with Hayden Missing a tackle on a 6-yard run.
His two turnovers in the game proved costly for the Raiders. Even though the Bears were able to get just 3 points out of them, they killed drives, and lost time of possession. Derek Carr has an interception on his record that was in no way his fault. He threw it right to Murray who had it bounce right off his chest and into the hands of a defender. Luckily the Raiders defense was able to hold the Bears out of the end zone and hold the damage to a field goal.
Murray's second turnover was a fumbled pitch. That drive was looking promising and the Raiders had just moved into Bears territory. So, it's quite possible that turnover also cost the Raiders a score. And in a game that was decided by two points, that's big. It took a Charles Woodson interception to keep the Bears from capitalizing on that turnover. Murray would gain 49 yards on 16 carries (3.1 ypc).
Last season, Lofton was rated the second worst linebacker in the NFL, just above Miles Burris. Most that was his poor coverage skills and missed tackles. Those deficiencies were on display again Sunday in Chicago.
Lofton gave up the first big play of the game - a 24-yard completion to tight end Martellus Bennett. That play started off an opening touchdown drive. In the second quarter, with the Raiders up by their largest margin at 14-6, Lofton made short work of that. He missed a tackle on a screen on the first play of the following drive and at the end, left Martellus Bennett completely alone in the left corner of the endzone for a touchdown.
The Murray drop/interception gave the Bears the ball right back and from the 13-yard-line, Lofton gave up a 6-yard catch.
In the third quarter, he gave up an 11-yard catch on third and 10. He was hurt shortly afterward and left the game not to return. But he did plenty of damage before he left.
Derek Carr was sacked twice in the game. Both of them were given up by Webb. The first came near the end of the first half and Derek Carr ran backwards where he lost 15 yards on the play. The second one was on the first series of the third quarter on third and seven.
Donald Penn, Austin Howard
While they did well against the pass, they were both major factors in the run game never getting going. Austin Howard gave up a run stuff for no gain on the Raiders' first offensive play of the game. That series was a three-and-out. Penn then gave up a run stuff for no gain on the first play of the next series. After the big 15-yard loss on the sack, Penn would get worked for a second time before half to give up another run stuff. It ensured the Raiders wouldn't be able to mount a drive before half time.
The third quarter ended on a sour note, when Howard was late on a pull block, forcing Latavius to abandon his intended gap and he was tackled for a 2-yard gain. Two plays later, Howard simply didn't block the linebacker who stopped Murray for a one-yard gain. Then on third down, Penn gave up a pressure and a hit on Carr on an incompletion.
A special shout out to Walford for giving up the run stuff for a loss on third and two on the Raiders' final drive. They had to settle for a field goal and give the Bears the opportunity to drive down the field to win it. Also for Walford not having one target and no catches on 19 snaps. After a month healthy it seemed like it could be his time to finally be part of this offense. He has two catches for 5 yards this season.