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What: Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders
When: Sunday, October 6 at 1:00 pm ET
Where: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England
How (TV): FOX
Bears -5, Raiders +5
In the first international game of the NFL’s 100th season, the 3-1 Chicago Bears travel across the Atlantic Ocean to London England to take on the 2-2 Oakland Raiders in what should be a fun battle.
The Bears have the better defense led by outside linebacker Khalil Mack, who will play in his first game against his old team, the Oakland Raiders since they let him go before the prior season.
The Raiders have shown some life on offense but are in the bottom half of the league on defense, so this should be an interesting matchup for the hometown London crowd to take a gander at.
Let’s take a look at how these two teams are set up for each other in Week 5. For more matchups check out also the best picks of Week 5.
Chicago’s offense will most likely be run by backup quarterback Chase Daniel since starter Mitchell Trubisky will be on the sidelines with a shoulder injury to his non-throwing arm, but he will get help from the talented dual-threat running back Tarik Cohen out of the backfield.
Sacks and turnovers are the Bears’ defensive specialties (thanks to Khalil Mack and the hopefully healthy Akiem Hicks) and will be the cause of many a Raiders’ offensive ailment in this one, Oakland already ranked just 21st in scoring so far this season.
Chicago started slowly this season, their offense looking at least a full step behind their incredible D, but they are 3-1 because teams can’t seem to figure out how to score on them regardless of who they start under center.
Read also our coverage of Thanksgiving football matchups, Chicago Bears will face the Detroit Lions.
Quarterback Derek Carr hurt his lower leg and is currently listed as questionable (see below), but if the Raiders want to win this one he will have to show up on Sunday and endure whatever pain he is in.
Rookie running back Josh Jacobs is the offensive key to this team, especially if he can also contribute in the passing game (throw him some screens, even) since it will be tough to run directly at this Bears’ tough front line.
The ultimate key to a win here for the Raiders is for their front line to contain the drastic effects of the Bears’ Khalil Mack – only then will their offense have a chance to get going.
These two teams have met 14 total times (including no postseason games), with Oakland winning 7 of those games and Chicago winning 7 times.
The last time these two teams played was in October of the 2015 season when the Bears squeaked by the Raiders by a score of 22-20.
If the Bears win this matchup, they’ll move to 4-1-0 and stay atop the NFC North, where the Green Bay Packers are going into Week 5 at 3-1 and the other two teams (the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings) have won two games each.
But if the Raiders come out victorious in this one, they’ll move to 3-2-0 and continue to stay apace the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC West, the Chargers also 2-2 going into Week 5, both teams still a win behind the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
Who’s favored to win this Week 5 Bears-Raiders matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Bears and the Raiders next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Passing attack: The Chicago Bears have the 29th ranked passing attack in the NFL right now, averaging 183.2 yards per game through the air after four weeks.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky is out and Chase Daniels is in, who right now just the 38th best passer in the league, completing 22-of-30 for 195 yards and 1 touchdown with no interceptions.
The Bears leading receiver after four weeks is Allen Robinson, who is currently 27th in the league with 24 catches for 280 yards but no touchdowns.
Rushing attack: The Bears’ rushing attack is ranked 25th after averaging just 90.2 yards on the ground per matchup.
Running back David Montgomery is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry, ranked 24th among backs, so far with 58 total carries for 200 yards and 1 touchdown.
Chicago has scored 66 total points this season, or 16.5 per game, which is the 28th best total in the 32 team league.
Listed as questionable for Week 5: wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and guards Ted Larsen (knee) and Kyle Long (hip).
Injury notes: quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) is listed as doubtful, while offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings (quadriceps) has been placed on injured reserve.
Passing attack: Oakland has the 26th best passing attack in the league right now after averaging 210.0 yards through the air every game.
Quarterback Derek Carr has completed 93-of-129 passes for 888 yards and 6 touchdowns with 3 interceptions and an impressive completion percentage of 72.1
The Raiders’ best receiver is tight end Darren Waller, who has caught 33 passes for 320 yards and no touchdowns in four games, ranked 14th among NFL receivers right now.
Rushing attack: Oakland has the 9th ranked rushing attack, so far averaging 125.8 rushing yards per game.
Rookie Josh Jacobs is the Raiders’ best runner and he is currently the 9th best in the NFL with 62 carries for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards per carry, also with 3 catches for 57 yards on the season.
Oakland has scored 79 points in 2019, averaging 19.8 per game, which is the 21st best total in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 5: quarterback Derek Carr (lower leg), wide receivers Dwayne Harris (ankle), J.J. Nelson (leg) and Tyrell Williams (foot).
Injury notes: center Jordan Devey (pectoral) and guard Gabe Jackson (knee – MCL) are listed as out, while quarterback Nathan Peterman (elbow), running back Isaiah Crowell (Achilles) and guard Cameron Hunt (undisclosed) have been placed on injured reserve.
The Oakland Raiders don’t have a standout offense yet, but they are scoring more often than the Bears have been so they have the advantage here in Week 5.
Pass coverage: The Bears have the 12th best pass defense this year so far, allowing opponents to throw for 229.2 yards through the air per game.
Chicago’s defense has 4 team picks and they have 17 sacks total.
Run coverage: The Bears are the 3rd best team against the run right now after allowing opponents to run for just 61.5 yards per game.
Chicago has allowed their opponents to score 45 total points, or 11.2 per game, which is 2nd least in the NFL.
If tackling is your thing, check out Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who already has 33 of them (tied for 17th most) along with a sack and a forced fumble.
Or maybe sacks are what you crave – Chicago’s defense is perfect for that, with outside linebacker Khalil Mack recording 4.5 of them and defensive tackle Nick Williams already posting 4.0 sacks.
Nothing funny about Bears strong safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who already has 2 interceptions (one of those was a pick-six) as well as 4 passes defended 21 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Listed as questionable for Week 5: defensive ends Akiem Hicks (knee) and Bilal Nichols (hand) and linebacker Roquan Smith (personal).
Injury notes: safety Joshua Simmons (undisclosed) has been placed on injured reserve.
Pass coverage: The Raiders’ defense is 27th against the pass, allowing their opponents to throw for an average of 281.0 yards per game.
Oakland’s defense has 1 interception on opposing quarterbacks and they have 5 total sacks after four weeks.
Run coverage: The Raiders are T-16th best against a rushing attack, allowing opponents to run for an average of 104.5 yards per game.
Oakland has allowed their opponents to score 102 total points this season, or 25.5 per matchup, which is 24th fewest in the NFL.
Keep your eye on Raiders’ outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead, who already has 24 tackles, 3 of those for losses.
Oakland has a tough defensive end worth watching, Benson Mayowa, who has 3.5 sacks after four games, plus 7 tackles and 2 forced fumbles.
The Raiders’ secondary has a terrific free safety worth checking out named Erik Harris, who has an interception that he ran back 30 yards for a touchdown, 2 passes defended and 15 tackles already.
Listed as questionable for Week 5: defensive end Clelin Ferrell (concussion)
Injury notes: linebacker Vontaze Burfict (suspension) is listed as out, while defensive tackle Justin Ellis (knee), linebacker Marquel Lee (ankle), cornerbacks Makinton Dorleant (undisclosed), Isaiah Johnson (concussion) and D.J. Killings (undisclosed) and safety Johnathan Abram (shoulder – labrum) have been placed on injured reserve.
The Chicago Bears have one of the best defenses in the league which gives them a huge defensive advantage in Week 5 over the Raiders.
Chicago’s punter, Pat O’Donnell, has been with the Bears since the 2014 season, and this year he has punted 21 times for a net average of 44.1 yards per punt, 10th best in the NFL.
Oakland’s punter, A.J. Cole III, is in his rookie NFL season and this year he has punted 18 times for a net average of 41.3 yards per punt, which is currently the 21st best in the league.
Chicago’s placekicker, Eddie Pineiro, was acquired by the Bears during the offseason through a trade with the Oakland Raiders.
This season, Pineiro, has made 8-of-9 field goals, his longest a 53 yarder, and so far, he has missed no extra point attempts (6/6).
Oakland’s placekicker, Daniel Carlson, is in his second NFL season and 2019 is his first full season with the Raiders.
Carlson has made 3-of-4 field goals in 2019, his longest a 29 yarder, and so far, he has missed no extra point attempts (10/10).
Chicago’s punt returner, running back Tarik Cohen, is ranked 14th in the league in return average.
Cohen has returned 7 punts for 62 yards, averaging 8.9 yards per return, his longest for 16 yards.
Oakland’s punt returner, wide receiver Dwayne Harris, is ranked 11th in the league in return average.
Harris has returned 2 punts for 20 yards, averaging 10 yards per return, ranked 11th in the league in punt return average.
Both of these teams have young, accurate placekickers, but since Chicago’s punter is more experienced and Oakland will most likely be punting more, the Bears have a slight special teams advantage in Week 5.
The Chicago Bears will win this game because their offense is finding itself (even with Chase Daniels under center) and they can jump out early in this one, especially if receivers Allen Robinson and a healthy Taylor Gabriel show up to play.
Then the Bears’ defense has a chance to simply smother the Raiders’ offense (especially if Carr can’t suit up) and sit on whatever lead they can establish early on.
Don’t be fooled by Chicago’s slow start to the season (if you can call 3-1 slow) – this team is figuring out how to get wins, and they won’t have any trouble finding one in London against the Raiders on Sunday.
The Oakland Raiders will only win this game against the superior Bears if they can figure out how to be productive against one of the league’s top defenses, and that will involve Derek Carr playing with whatever ails him and Josh Jacobs running like his rookie days are far behind him.
The other key will to be get after whoever is under center for the Bears, most likely Daniels, since he will still be adjusting to taking over and will be vulnerable to pressure.
The Raiders aren’t nearly as good as the Bears, but they can steal a win here in Bangers-n-Mash-Land if they can figure out how to keep Carr (or backup Mike Glennon) safe and unlock the secret to running (and periodically completing passes) against the fifth-best defense in the league.
The Chicago Bears – there is no way the Raiders will be able to score more points than them in Week 5 in front of a somewhat neutral European crowd.
John Breech of CBS Sports predicts the score as Bears 24, Raiders 13.
My prediction for the final score is Bears 27, Raiders 10.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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