Three Keys Against the Raiders: Offense

1) Keep the Passing Game Short

I'm not one for coddling the backup when he's pressed into action. Far from it; I like seeing what the backup can do with the full playbook at his disposal, especially when said backup is in his fourth year and hasn't started a game yet. That being said, there are things Cutler can do that Hanie just can't. And I'd much rather not find out if "taking sacks from one of the league's dominant pass rushes" is on that list or not. Bears receivers have been picking it up the past few games, and this will have to continue if the Bears' passing game is going to have any bite the remainder of the season.

So in order to avoid the sacks, the Bears should focus on Hanie's mobility and, probably more importantly, rediscovering the screen game that made Matt Forte so damn dangerous early in the year.

2) Hanie's Decision-Making Improves

Caleb has a pretty good throwing arm. The problem is that one of his throws in the NFCCG went directly into a big ol' lineman's stomach. Hanie can't make bad throws like that. Granted that he's only thrown 14 regular season passes in the NFL, completing 8, but he has one more INT than TDs (0-1). Combine with the NFCCG, he's got a TD-INT of 1-3 for his career. That being said, he's never started in the NFL, much less had a full week of reps, so I'm looking forward to his first start.

3) Protect the kid!

Hanie and Cutler can both hang on to the ball for a little longer than recommended, so with Hanie, the protection needs to pick up its improved level of play and give Hanie a clean pocket and/or room to move. Like I said, Oakland has one of the leading pass-rushes (both defensive tackles have five sacks! Each!) in the NFL, so they have their work cut out for them between a multitude of blitzing linebackers and a punishing defensive front. In coverage, however, the defensive backs aren't so strong, so if Hanie's able to extend plays, there could be some opportunities downfield.

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