The Oakland Raiders won a thrilling contest 24-21 against the Chicago Bears in the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday. The Raiders fly back from Londond to the Bay Area with a win and a 3-2 record heading into the bye week.
The narrative for week was how former Raider Khalil Mack was going to torment and wreck the offense. Well, Head Coach Jon Gruden had other ideas with his perfectly executed game plan, which neutralised Mack for the entire game. Mack would finish with three tackles, the first time this season where he hasn’t been a factor in the game.
The Raiders spent all week in London, as the designated home team, and this paid off in style. The Raiders started the game off fast when they raced into a 17-0 lead. The highlight of the opening half was a 12-yard touchdown by rookie running back Josh Jacobs. Fellow RB Deandre Washington added another score as the Raiders found success against the Bears’ defense. The offensive line beat up the Bears’ defense throughout the game and were a real difference maker for the Raiders.
In the second half, it was a different matter. The Bears made adjustments and capitalised on a botched snap from the Raiders. The Bears recovered the ball and score 21 unanswered points to take the lead. Back-up quarterback Chase Daniel had some great chemistry with wide receiver Allen Robinson as they hooked up for two touchdowns.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Raiders started on their own 3-yard line and had the daunting task of driving up the field to get a touchdown to win the game. The Raiders overcome adversity throughout the game to take a deserved win. On a 4th and 1, the Raiders went for a fake punt. This resulted in a fumble but after the review, the ruling was overturned.
QB Derek Carr then continued to drive the Raiders down the field with two very impressive passes to rookie tight end Foster Mareau. RB Josh Jacobs leapt over the Bears defense for a 2-yard touchdown to give the Raiders a 24-21 lead. The drama didn’t end there – the Bears had another possession where Daniel threw a game-ending interception after a miscommunication with WR Antony Miller.
Jon Gruden deserves a ton of credit for the vintage game plan he drew up. The Bears defense registered no sacks or interceptions in this game – a first this season. The offensive line protected Carr very well, allowing him to get the ball out quickly and looking for the short and intermediate passes. The offensive line bullied the Bears defense all game, with Coach Gruden rolling back the years to 1999.
The Raiders are now on a bye week but after that, a tough trip to Green Bay lies ahead. But teams are sleeping on the Raiders. They are living up to the underdog name and are enjoying it. Write them off at your peril.
Feature Picture – Credit: Jack Thomas/Getty Images