This one had shades of The Jeff Saturday Game.
- The Bears entered the game 1-5.
- They started undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent from tiny Shepard University in West Virginia at quarterback.
- They had their third-string running back playing.
- They entered the game allowing 29.3 points a game, the third most in the NFL.
- They entered the game with a 10-game home losing streak dating back to last year, the longest current streak in the league. Yep, this was an inexcusable effort by McDaniels’ squad.
Let’s look at some keys to this stinker:
Hoyer ain’t it:
The Raiders didn’t lose this game just because Brian Hoyer had a bad game. But he didn’t help. McDaniels went with Hoyer over rookie Aidan O’Connell with starter Jimmy Garoppolo out with a back injury because they thought he gave them a better chance to win. It didn’t play out that way. Hoyer, who has lost his last 13 starts dating back to 2016, was 17 of 32 for 129 yards and he was intercepted twice, including a Pick Six. He was telegraphing his passes and honing in on certain receivers for long sequences. he was very predictable. O’Connell did replace him late and threw a garbage-time touchdown, but he was picked as well. After the game, McDaniels said “it’s not the preseason anymore” as to why he didn’t start O’Connell. Yet, the fourth-round pick did play in Week 4. Just another weird move by a weird coach. For what it’s worth, Garoppolo is reportedly expected back next week at Detroit.
This one was coming. The Raiders improved to 3-3 by barely beating bad teams, the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots, at home. They had a chance to improve to over .500 for the first time under McDaniels against the feeble Bears. But the Raiders laid an egg. They’re not very good and and now they play at the Detroit Lions on Monday night in Week 8. Yes, the Lions were hammered 38-6 at Baltimore on Sunday, but at 5-2, they’re the best opponent Las Vegas will see since they lost 38-10 at Buffalo in Week 2. With the trade deadline in nine days, will the Raiders, whose schedule gets much tougher just before Thanksgiving, be sellers?
The Raiders haven’t been able to run consistently all season and that was the case Sunday. though, it was predictable because Hoyer struggled to keep the Bears honest with the passing game and the Raiders fell behind early. Yet, Josh Jacobs had just 35 yards on 11 carries and he has just 347 rushing yards on 118 carries. He is averaging 2.9 yards a carry and is on pace for 842 yards after leading the NFL with 1,653 yards last season.
Can’t play D:
Yes, the Raiders closed out their two previous games with plays by the defense. But the truth was they were playing awful offenses and they still were leaky in those games. It caught up to them Sunday as Bagent didn’t make many mistakes. This defense has no explosion other than Maxx Crosby and it can’t tackle. The Bears broke so many tackles. Tackling has been a Raiders’ problem all season and if Divine Deablo misses time with an ankle injury, tackling could be an even bigger issue.
Josh McDaniels' red zone decision-making is unintelligible and indefensible pic.twitter.com/xhxC04QrYB— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) October 22, 2023
More questionable decisions by McDaniels:
Every week, McDaniels does some silly stuff. In the big picture, he gets hammered for losing this badly to the Bears. But just doesn’t manage the game well every week and makes weird decisions. He just is not a good NFL head coach. Maybe that will change, but he’s not a good coach right now. He is 20-32 as an NFL head coach. He is 9-15 as the Raiders’ coach. He was 11-17 when Denver fired him in 2010.
Adams involved more (well, early):
This week, Raiders’ star wide receiver Davante Adams made it clear he want to be more involved after not getting the ball much lately. Adams has a combined six catches for74 yards and no scores in the past two games, both Raiders wins. Getting him the ball was clearly the game plan early as he had five catches on seven targets in the first quarter. Then, he wasn’t targeted until the third quarter as Hoyer looked for Jakobi Meyers. Adams ended up with seven catches for 57 yards. He only has one game with more than 84 yards this season. His mood will be worth monitoring again this week.
The 7 targets for #Raiders Davante Adams are his 2nd most ever in a first quarter (8 vs Lions 11/15/2015). His 5 catches are tied for his 3rd most in a 1st quarter (6 vs Jags last year, 6 vs Eagles in 2019)— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) October 22, 2023
Turnovers are issue:
The Raiders have thrown 12 interceptions in seven games. They have allowed 58 points off of turnovers, which is the second most in the NFL. Sloppy play is hampering this team.
Long with start: The Raiders are banged up at cornerback with Nate Hobbs and Jakorian Bennett out. Veteran backup David Long started outside and Amik Robertson started at nickel. Robertson has mostly been the nickel with Hobbs out the past four games.