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Bears defense smothers Raiders, allowing offense to take baby steps towards competence

The Bears defense drops a smosh bomb on the Raiders offense, keeping them to 3 points in the first 3 quarters. Justin Fields also played.

Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders
Khalil Mack making sure he doesn’t leave Vegas without popping in to say hi to his friend Derek.

The Bears defense played a great game and the offense did enough. It’s hard to feel satisfied watching any Bears game that doesn’t involve Justin Fields convincingly carving up a defense. But the Bears were supposed to be outmatched in this game and they played hard, kept the game ugly, and gave the Raiders an unexpected taste of raw ursine power.

Box Score

The Bears offense couldn’t resist making us cringe in the first quarter

The Bears mixed a little of John Fox run, run, 3rd and long magic with a little Nagy “what the hell was that” and Fields topped it off with a Trubisky-esque lateral throw out of bounds for a 7 yard loss. It all started to feel a little too familiar and catastrophic for comfort for Bears fans. Luckily Raider penalties gave the Bears some much needed momentum. Speaking of which...

Stop hurting Justin Fields!

The rude and reckless Raiders roughed up the Bears franchise rookie far too many times in the first half, starting with a fair but painful-looking tackle by Johnathan Abram on a failed 3rd down scramble. The rest of the Raiders decided to join the fun, shoving and swatting at our precious Bear in entirely inappropriate ways. When Yannick Ngakoue grabbed the right foot of Fields as he was trying to scramble and caused him to awkardly bend his left leg, my poor little heart sank. Raiders, stop being rude. Bears, protect that man!

Who would have guessed Jesper Horsted would catch Justin Fields first passing touchdown?

I didn’t realize he was active for today, having started the first few games as a healthy scratch. I’m quite pleased to see it.

Who would have guessed Deandre Houston-Carson would get the first interception of this game?

That Bear has been a great special teamer, but rarely sees the field on defense. I’ll take it!

Bears defense still napping through tackling class

The defense is good enough to make up for their mistakes, but it’s frustrating and embarrassing to watch them whiff on tackles. Tighten it up, Bears.

Stop trying to make deep shots to Cole Kmet a thing

I get it. You want to justify drafting him in the second round, but it’s such a waste of Justin Fields’ beautiful deep rainbows. There’s supposed to be a pot of gold at the bottom of a rainbow, not a clunky tight end who can’t quite there.

Alex Bars eligible receiver, Alex Bars in motion...

Hand-off for no gain. I would have expected the whole defense to chase after Bars but it didn’t work out somehow.

The Bears investment in running back depth is certainly paying off

Both Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert looked good filling in for David Montgomery. Both were able to take advantage of space when it was there, but neither has the special tackle-breaking balance that Montgomery does to gain those extra yards when space isn’t there. Still, the running back position is not the Bears problem. When you put 7 offensive linemen on the field and can’t run for a yard on 3rd & 1, you’ve got other issues.

Update: Khalil Herbert may not technically “break” tackles, but he has the strength to keep pushing for more yards as he goes down. At times he reminded me a previous #24 running back I was quite fond of.

Fields a little off the mark today

Part of it was due to better coverage then we saw against the Lions, but Fields’ deep balls didn’t quite connect. I’m not worried about it in the long run, it’ll just feel that much sweeter the first game when everything works for him.

The revenge game we all were waiting for

It’s been the talk of the league all week. How will Nick Kwiatkoski fare in his first game against the Bears after they let him go at the end of the 2019 season. He played limited snaps and had trouble tackling Darnell Mooney.

Roquan Smith continues building the case for an all pro bid

The Bear was tackling pirates and swatting balls all over the field. Darren Waller never embarrassed him and I still content he’s the Bears best slot defender.

Khalil Mack steps up against his old team

Mack reunited with his good friend Derek Carr in the backfield and finally overtook Robert Quinn as the Bears sack leader. The future-hall-of-fame Bear came up big with pressures, backfield tackles and crucial stops and certainly did enough to make it sting a little for the Raiders, who failed to get good value for the picks they received in trade for him or the cap room they saved.

Bears are 3 and 2 and their defense is looking better than expected in the first 5 games. Let’s enjoy that while we recognize the offense as a work in progress.