The Bears won an important game against the last place Detroit Lions on Sunday. Rookie Justin Fields played well enough at quarterback to officially prompt head coach Matt Nagy to do the inevitable and name him QB1 going forward. It was not all good news, however, as an injury to star running back David Montgomery has thrown the offense into uncertainty.
Chicago heads to Sin City for a Week 5 matchup against the surprising Raiders. Las Vegas has started the season 3-1 behind QB Derek Carr and an explosive passing offense. They average 326 yards per game through the air, second best in the NFL.
Vegas running back Josh Jacobs has been limited by injuries after excelling in 2019-20 and the ground attack is in the bottom half of the NFL in total yards. The Raiders defense is a middle of the road unit in almost every category and has generated just three total turnovers through four games.
The Silver and Black have played some very tight games so far in 2021. Two of Vegas’ three wins have come in overtime, including a 33-27 thriller over the Ravens in Week 1. So expect Chicago to hang around in this game.
With Montgomery out for several weeks the Bears will need to adjust their game plan. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has taken over play calling duties from HC Nagy and did a good job against Detroit. Fields will need to take on a bigger role this week, but also needs to be shielded somewhat as he continues to adjust to the speed of the NFL.
It won’t be easy, however, an upset by Chicago is certainly possible. Let’s see if the Bears can hit the jackpot this weekend.
Where to Watch/Listen
- Sunday, October 10 at 3:05pm CT on CBS, WBBM Radio (English), and WRTO Radio (Spanish)
Keys to Victory
Here are my keys to Sunday’s game. If these things happen, the Bears should have a shot to win.
- Make Fields a bigger part of the running game. Lamar Jackson and Jacoby Brissett each had a lot of room to run against the Raiders defense . The Bears should also also call read options and draw plays to exploit this vulnerability, especially with Montgomery out.
- The Bears should pressure Derek Carr as much as possible. The Raiders have allowed 12 sacks through the first four games of the season. Carr was under constant pressure in their loss against the Chargers on Monday night.
- Try to get Allen Robinson more involved. Robinson has not been a very big factor to the first four games of the season. Obviously, if he can be a bigger factor it will make things a lot easier for Fields.
Don’t Tell Me the Odds
The Vegas odds makers have their hometown team installed as 5.5 point favorites over the Bears. So this would be a fairly big upset. An over/under of 44 indicates they don’t think it will be a shootout.
I think the Bears pass rush will slow down Carr and the Raiders, at least somewhat. Unfortunately, the loss of Montgomery will be too much for Chicago’s offense to overcome. Thus, I’m predicting a 21-17 Las Vegas victory.
Official Bears Preview
Here are Bears analysts Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer with their preview of the Bears’ upcoming Week 5 matchup.