The Las Vegas Raiders will hit the road in Week 7, as they travel to Chicago to take on the lowly Bears inside Soldier Field. The Bears went into this season with high hopes, but with Justin Fields playing inconsistent football, and now injured, the Raiders are the clear favorites in this one.
However, in order to win this matchup, the Raiders will have to win some key battles, and here, we look at a few of them.
Raiders at Bears 2023 Week 7: Matchups that will decide the outcome
Maxx Crosby vs Darnell Wright
The Raiders have one of the best edge rushers in the game in Maxx Crosby, who has dominated the NFL landscape all season long. On Sunday, he will be going up against a talented offensive tackle in Darnell Wright, and winning that battle will go a long way in the Raiders defense continuing to trend in the right direction.
Crosby has yet to get much help coming off the edge, but Bilal Nichols, playing against his former team on Sunday, is one to watch. He is a defensive tackle that is starting to get some push, and if he can get into Tyson Bagent's face, Crosby should be able to clean it up coming off the edge.
Tyson Bagent vs upstart Raiders secondary
With Fields injured, the Bears will turn to Tyson Bagent in this one, an undrafted DII quarterback from Shepherd. Bagent got some time last week when Fields went down with his injury, going 10-of-14 passing, so he won't be afraid to try and attack the Raiders through the air on Sunday.
Unfortunately for Bagent, this is not the Raiders defensive backfield of old, as they have been playing opportunistic defense against the pass. Tre'Von Moehrig looks like the player who dominated as a rookie back in 2021, and I would expect him, or one of his teammates in the secondary to get a least one interception in this one.
Josh Jacobs vs the Bears run defense
It is no big secret that the Raiders have struggled to get the run game going this season, something that has to change against the Bears in Week 7. Josh Jacobs is one of the best running backs in the game, but the Bears have talent on defense, including TJ Edwards, one of the premier linebackers in football.
If Jacobs and the run game get going, it will take pressure off of Aidan O'Connell, a rookie quarterback who is likely to start in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday. If that happens, the Raiders should have no problems moving the football all game long.