Oakland Raiders Week 4 Primer: Bad News Bears

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Sep 27, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jimmy Clausen (8) stands on the sideline during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Chicago, 26-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Down, But They Ain’t Out

I get it, the Bears are bad. They look bad, they are acting bad by trading talent, and they are starting Jimmy Clausen at quarterback, but that does not mean this is a team the Raiders can overlook. This front seven is in transition, switching from a 43 front to a 34 front. They have Lamarr Houston playing outside linebacker, and several talented yet very young defensive lineman. Their best defensive back is Kyle Fuller. Although talented, Amari Cooper should seriously challenge him.

The opportunity for the Raiders to go to a 3-1 record  against these Bad News Bears and put themselves in a place to potentially tie the Broncos for first in the AFC West is immense. The Bears are a very limited team that is missing weapons like Kevin White, while Alshon Jeffrey is just coming back from injury and missed significant time. The Raider offense could spread out this defense and expose every level. Donald Penn has been rated as the NFL’s best pass blocking left tackle, and although Pro Football Focus can be misleading at times, the tape shows that he is having an exceptional start to the year.

Defensively, the Raider’s five man front will match up well against the Bear’s offensive line. Yes, the Bears have talent in that group, but the Raiders match up extremely well. They can occupy the guards and force the tackles to guard talented, agile pass rushers in open space. Aldon may have yet to record a tackle, but he made several solid run stops in the backfield in the past two weeks, and is extremely close to hauling in his first sack.

The Raiders are for the first time to do something magical. It goes beyond the record, and it is not about hype. For the first time in years, Raider Nation is feeling pride. Pride for their team, for their identity, and most of all for themselves. There is a wind blowing, it is an autumn wind, and it carries a band of pirates looking to pillage for fun.

Prediction: Bears 10, Raiders 20

Next: Week 4 Primer: ATS Picks