Staff Picks – Bears @ Raiders – Week 5

Image by Zachary Rosenbaum – https://www.instagram.com/zacharyrosenbaumdesign/

Mike Page 2-2

Even though I’m 2-2, my ability to read the tea leaves is beginning to mature as seen by this 11 tweet thread prior to the announcement that JF1 will be the starter moving forward…

Although I wrote it half in the bag as seen by my numerous misspellings and typos (“Here me out” LOL), the logic is sound, so check it out.

I’m also learning that I am an emotional fan that often wears it in my Staff Picks entries. I had no business picking the Lions last week as a rational person should’ve seen that a home game against a rebuilding franchise would result in a win, regardless of the abysmal chaos that occurred the week prior.

With that in mind, I’m going with the Raiders to sneak it out at home. While my personal hype around JF1 is absurdly high, the Bears are not good on the road, particularly in big, fancy, very loud stadiums. It’s hard to envision our much needed running game to get going without D-MO, and I can’t trust the OL to communicate and execute properly in that environment. JF1 and co. will go blow for blow but ultimately fall late in the 4th.

Raiders 30, Bears 27

Ryan Dengel 3-1

Yet another week of a difficult pick. The Raiders were cruising until former Chicago Bears defensive coach Brandon Staley showed the NFL how to beat them. Chargers pass-rusher, Joey Bosa said it best, a good pass rush can really disrupt the Raiders offense. While the Chicago Bears secondary isn’t playing at a high level right now, the Bears lead the NFL in sacks. If Sean Desai is smart, (he is) he will copy and paste this game plan for getting after Derek Carr. 

In four games, the Bears have been good at home and abysmal away. They are playing away in Vegas this week. My head says that I should pick the Raiders, but I’m having a harder time than I should. I do think that the Bears have a good shot at winning this game, especially now that Bill Lazor is calling plays for Justin Fields. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bears won this game, but playing on the road without David Montgomery has me slightly leaning the Raiders way. I don’t feel good about it, and boy do I hope I’m wrong. 

Raiders 24, Bears 23

Zachary Rosenbaum 1-3

It’s the Khalil Mack revenge game, Part 2! Part 1 was awful. But Part 1 had Chase Daniel starting that one, now we got Justin Fields, who isn’t being held down by awful play calling. Hopefully we’ll get to see Justin Fields fly the ball downfield some more this Sunday in Sin City. It’s been a long time since Bears fans have been able to see a Quarterback who can throw dimes downfield without every single attempt being picked off. Fields is going up against a Raiders team that’s been near the middle of the defensive rankings for passing yards. Hopefully offensive genius Bill Lazor will have some ideas on how to get the ball moving.

I try to mention the positives about Justin Fields because this one might get really ugly. The Raiders are apparently good. They boast the 5th best total yard offense and 2nd best total yard passing offense in the league. Derk Carr has always been a good quarterback, he’s just never had the pieces around him to put it together. It appears that this season might be the one where things go right for Carr. Derk must be salivating looking at the Michigan Avenue bums that makeup the Bears secondary. I have a feeling the Raiders are going to seize on every chance they get to get the ball downfield. It could be a disastrous day for the Bears secondary as we all question why the **** Ryan Pace got rid of pro bowl cornerback Kyle Fuller, but kept Jimmy Graham. The Bears are gonna need to have their pass rush keep Carr scared and stop him from holding on to the ball. Robert Quinn is having a resurgence, and Khalil Mack is having the aforementioned Revenge Game Part 2. Hopefully Mack can have a big day showing the Raiders top brass how stupid they were to let him go.

I don’t think this one will be a complete disaster, but it very well has the potential to be. Carr and his high flying offense might make the Bears look silly if he can get the ball going downfield. I think Fields will have a better road outing than in Cleveland, but I don’t think he’ll be able to win this one.

Go White Sox. Beat those bastards in Houston.

Raiders 30, Bears 24

Jack Wright 3-1

This one is REALLY difficult. A Bears win on the road (5.5 point underdogs) would take a near perfect game in all three phases – offense, defense, special teams. The Raiders feature a high octane offense (25 points and 406.5 yards per game). However, the Bears have been STINGY on defense (350 yards against per game). Shockingly, Derk Carr has been awfully good under pressure. Raise your hand if you were fully unaware Carr was this unflappable. JF1 will continue to grow and his ceiling is galactically high but the Bears aren’t there yet offensively. Monty’s injury will prove to be difficult to overcome. I’d love to see the Bears play well and prove me wrong. GO BEARS! GO WHITE SOX! 

Raiders 21, Bears 14  

Nick Henderson 3-1

The Las Vegas Raiders are playing some damn good football right now. Are they a top team in the AFC? Depends on who you ask, but universally they are viewed as better than the Bears. This is a game that may set the tone for the rest of the season. If we beat this team, whether convincingly or narrowly, it will provide some much needed confidence for both units as well as the coaching staff. The Bears are not expected to win this game, so a loss wouldn’t kill this team as much as a win would propel them. Justin Fields will walk out of the tunnel as the Chicago Bears’ newly minted starting franchise quarterback and get the job done. JF1 Mania starts now. Bear Down!

Bears 31, Raiders 21

Sean Fox 2-2

The first quarter of the season is a time where each team is figuring out their identity. The Raiders looked impressive through the first three weeks of the season beating the Ravens, Steelers and Dolphins before losing in primetime to the Chargers last week. At first glance, that looks like a great start, but since then we’ve seen that the Steelers and Dolphins really aren’t as good as initially expected. The Bears at 2-2 look closer to a Steelers or Dolphins type of team than a Ravens or Raiders type of team.

With Justin Fields now named the starter moving forward, there’s reason to be excited about watching him develop. That said, there isn’t much other than that to be excited about. Fields and A-Rob need to improve their connection if they have any chance in this game. With no Montgomery, the Bears will likely be throwing a lot which will make staying in this game tough as their O-line has not been good up to this point. 

The Bears D-line is what will win or lose this game for them. If they can’t get consistent pressure on Carr, they’ll be in trouble with Waller, Ruggs, Renfrow and Co. Jaylon Johnson has shown through four weeks he’s one of the best CBs in the league. Aside from him, the Bears secondary will likely have a long day on Sunday. I’m thinking this could be a close game but the Bears come up just short in the end.

Raiders 27, Bears 23

Mike Oosterwyk 4-0

Well…what a difference a week makes!

Granted it was against the Lions however, a win is a win and it was certainly a step in the right direction.

Speaking of the right direction, the Bears fans’ prayers have finally been answered. Seemingly, intervention from above (the Bears’ front office that is), Bill Lazor is calling plays and Justin Fields has been named starting quarterback.

The Bears’ hopes of winning football games is vastly improved with these moves and it will need all the help it can get in order to win through the next slate of games starting with Las Vegas.

Despite some slow starts this season, the Raiders’ (3-1) have been led particularly well by Derek Carr and the offense. The defense has shown that whilst looking a little suspect at times, they are on the improve and should not be taken lightly.

Numbers can be misleading but of no surprise to anyone, Fields was VERY good on Sunday. His deep passing accuracy against the Lions was mind-blowing.

Arguably the Bears’ most destructive player this season, Monty leaves an enormous hole over the next five weeks and with slight health concerns hanging over Mack and Hicks, this week might prove challenging.

It pains me to say that with injuries and a lack of depth, it might be too much for the Bears to overcome on Sunday. A close one to the Raiders.

Raiders 24, Bears 21

Luke O’Grady 2-2

Last week I said I was done betting with my gut, and would start thinking objectively about these games.

Well we can throw all that out the window.

Justin Fields has been named the starter going forward, and Lazor has been giving play calling duties. Everything seems possible now. 

Like always, our defense is good enough that an average game on offense should give us a chance to win every week. 

I think we put forward atleast an average performance on offense this week, and I think we beat the Raiders

Bears 27, Raiders 20

Dan Dundas 2-2

I’m looking forward to seeing this matchup, especially after last Sunday. The decision to start Fields the rest of the way will have a tremendous positive outcome for the Bears, and not just between the lines. Regardless of the level of football, you’d be amazed how galvanized the locker room becomes on both sides of the ball when the whole team knows who the right quarterback should be. 

Both of these teams in reality should be fighting for a playoff spot in their respective conferences, and this will be a great litmus test for the Bears. Nothing will be easy, and they need to play a close to perfect game, but they are capable. The pass rush should get home often enough to rattle Derek Carr, and Fields may pull off enough big plays to keep things close. However, the loss of Montgomery as a bell cow and as the play action threat to Lazor’s offense may be just enough for the Raiders. I feel like a big swing play may decide this one, and it pains me to say, but I give the slightest of nods to the Raiders. 

Raiders 24, Bears 20. 

Corie Walsh 2-2

Man, this is a tough one. I really want to pick the Bears to win (again!), but my heart and my head are just not aligned this week. At first glance it looks like the Bears have some advantages pointed in their direction: Raiders are coming off a Monday night loss which means a short week for them, plus Chicagoans are apparently buying tickets to the game in Las Vegas in large numbers, so the noise won’t be entirely one-sided. But alas, with Carr lighting up the passing game with the likes of Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow, and our secondary still not anywhere near up to snuff, I think the Raiders will come out on top. The Bears will put up a very entertaining fight, however. With Lazor calling the plays, Fields executing them, and Mack looking to make Gruden & Co. suffer even more regret for trading him in the first place, this game should be a fun one. 

Raiders 28, Bears 23

Logan Bradley 4-0

I think you’re running into a pissed off Raiders team this week after their loss to the Chargers. While I don’t really believe in Derek Carr, I’ve seen enough from him early on this year to think he has enough to take down this Bears team at home.

That being said, as long as Lazor keeps calling the plays and you have Justin Fields under center, there’s zero chance this is a blow out. Me saying zero there is a jinx, isn’t it?

I’m excited to see JF1 get his *first* NFL road start (I know it’s not his first but we’re forgetting about Cleveland entirely) and if there’s a rookie who can handle a tough environment like playing in Las Vegas, it’s him. It’s entirely possible the Bears win this game, but similar to my prediction for the Browns game, I don’t think they’re ready quite yet to win on the road against a good team.

Raiders 27, Bears 20

Brendan Sugrue 4-0

Remember in Star Wars when Luke Skywalker first experienced the Death Star? The kid from Tatooine barely made it out alive after he escaped with Princess Leia and Han Solo aboard the Millennium Falcon and didn’t seem ready for what lay ahead. But he quickly returned, helping the Rebel Alliance take down the super weapon by using the Force and trusting in his abilities to save the galaxy. THAT is how I see the contrast between this game for Justin Fields against the Las Vegas Raiders vs. his first start against the Cleveland Browns now that he’s been named the permanent starter. And it doesn’t hurt that Allegiant Stadium kind of looks like a Death Star, right?

Confidence is huge for a young quarterback and Fields has it after his play against the Lions. Fields isn’t afraid to look for the big play and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor knows how to utilize the rookie. My gut says he takes another step in his development with a big win and should have some help from his defense too.

Though the Raiders offense has been exceptional through four weeks of the season, the Los Angeles Chargers gave everyone the blueprint to beat them. If the front seven can get to Derek Carr, he’ll start making mistakes. And it just so happens the Bears are tops in the league in sacks.

This one could turn into a shootout, but I like Fields and the Bears to make a statement in a surprise upset. May the Force be with them.

Bears 30, Raiders 27

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