Published Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 | 2 a.m.
Updated Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 | 4:14 p.m.
The ball landed just out of Bryan Edwards’ reach, falling to the Allegiant Stadium and killing the Raiders’ hopes of not allowing themselves to slip up after a strong start to the season.
Las Vegas lost its second straight Sunday afternoon after a 3-0 start to the season, falling 20-9 to Chicago. Changes along the offensive line — notably pushing Alex Leatherwood inside to guard and inserting Brandon Parker in the starting lineup — didn’t spark enough change to get the Raiders’ offense on track.
In fact, the loss was their worst offensive performance of the year with only 234 total yards and an average of 4.1 yards per play. Chicago sacked Derek Carr three times, and the Las Vegas quarterback couldn’t get into rhythm even when given adequate time.
He threw for 206 yards with no touchdowns and an interception on 22-for-35 passing. The running game wasn’t any better as the Raiders averaged 3.3 yards on the ground with Josh Jacobs recording 48 yards on 15 carries.
Jacobs scored the Raiders’ only a touchdown, a one-yard leap at the goal line, with nine minutes remaining to make the score 14-9 after Carr was sacked on a two-point conversion. Las Vegas’ defense regressed from a strong second half afterwards, however, and allowed a long Chicago drive that culminated with a 46-yard field goal from Cairo Santos.
The Raiders got the ball back with just over two minutes remaining but couldn’t get a first down with the game on the line. Parker false-started to make a 3rd-and-10 a 3rd-and-15 before Carr found Hunter Renfrow for a 10-yard gain.
He scrambled around to get Edwards open on the next play, but overthrew him just slightly to ensure the Raiders fell to 3-2.
The Raiders never led after an early 3-0 advantage on a 31-yard Daniel Carlson field goal. Chicago answered the score with back-to-back touchdowns behind rookie quarterback Justin Fields’ best stretch of the day to go up 14-3.
Las Vegas goes to Denver next Sunday in Week 6.
Read below for live updates from the game and check back later for full coverage.
The Bears ran some clock but couldn’t get in the end zone after the Raiders’ touchdown.
They settled for a 46-yard field goal from kicker Cairo Santos, making the score 17-9 with just over two minutes to play. The Raiders will need to score and convert a two-point conversion, which they failed to do after the last touchdown, to prolong the game.
Josh Jacobs’ touchdown cuts Bears’ lead to five points
Fifty-one minutes later, the Raiders find the end zone.
It hasn’t been a smooth game for the Las Vegas offense, but it finally maintained a drive long enough for Josh Jacobs to leap over a pile and extend the ball for a 1-yard touchdown. The Raiders now trail the Bears 14-9 after a failed two-point conversion.
Just like the Bears’ first touchdown drive, the Raiders were assisted by a couple penalties. Mario Edwards first picked up an unnecessary roughness call for slamming down Josh Jacobs after the whistle inside the red zone, and then Roquan Smith picked up the same infraction for a hit on Willie Snead in the end zone.
The Raiders have moved the ball slightly more efficiently than the Bears and have a 224-197 yardage edge currently with the Bears headed back on the field. Chicago only has one second-half drive with more than a single first down so far.
Third quarter comes and goes without much happening
The Raiders had three first downs. The Bears managed one.
The third quarter at Allegiant Stadium came and went without much action. Las Vegas still trails Chicago 14-3 in what has been an uncharacteristically ugly game.
The Raiders’ offense can’t get anything going as they compile drops, penalties and short-yardage plays even as their defense fights to keep them in the game. Both teams are at exactly 197 yards, but the pressure is on the Raiders to make something happen in the fourth quarter.
Bears lead at halftime
Justin Fields is getting into rhythm, and the Bears’ run game is clicking as the Raiders trail 14-3 at halftime at Allegiant Stadium.
Las Vegas looked like it had the upper-hand early, but penalties took a touchdown by Josh Jacobs off the board and then led the way to the first touchdown pass of Fields’ career. The rookie out of Ohio State found Jesper Horsted for a 2-yard score before then leading the Bears down the field again on their next possession.
Damien Williams ran in a 4-yard touchdown to extend the lead. Williams has 51 rushing yards on 11 carries, while Fields is 8-for-14 passing for 68 yards.
Bears score first touchdown of the game
Penalties sabotaged the Raiders’ first offensive scoring drive. Now they’ve done the same against them on the Bears’ first offensive scoring drive.
Las Vegas picked up a pair of roughing-the-passer penalties, on Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue, to go with an illegal use of hands to the face, on Jonathan Abram, to lead to Chicago’s first score. Justin Fields found reserve tight end Jesper Horsted for a 2-yard touchdown pass to cap an 11-play, 54 yard drive.
Chicago leads 7-3.
Raiders score first
The Raiders’ offensive line woes are not solved.
A holding call at the goal line nullified a 2-yard Josh Jacobs touchdown run, eventually forcing Las Vegas to settle for a 31-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson for the first points of the game. The Raiders lead the Bears 3-0 with four minutes to go in the first quarter.
The scoring drive went 13 plays and 69 yards over 6:08 of game time. There were a number of big plays including a 28-yard reception by Darren Waller and an acrobatic catch from Hunter Renfrow.
The offensive line just prevented Las Vegas from being fully awarded for it.
Peyton Barber is out for the Raiders’ game against the Bears today.
The backup running back, who went for a career high 111 yards in Las Vegas’ last home game, was considered questionable with a toe injury but has been listed as inactive. It shouldn’t affect the Raiders’ plans much with top running back Josh Jacobs playing for the second straight week.
Barber was the only player with an indefinite status going into the game. The Raiders’ other inactives were all expected — defensive end Malcolm Koonce, tackle Jackson Barton and defensive tackle Damion Square.
Chicago rookie quarterback Justin Fields, selected 11th overall in last April’s NFL Draft, made major strides from his first game two weeks ago (a 26-6 loss at Cleveland) to his first start last week (a 24-14 win over Detroit). Now entrenched as the starter, if Fields continues developing rapidly, the Las Vegas Raiders risk falling into a two-game losing streak. The Raiders’ offense wasn’t as efficient as in their first three games during a 28-14 Monday Night Football loss at the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4, largely because they allowed too much pressure on quarterback Derek Carr. The Bears threaten to do the same with former Raiders star Khalil Mack, who’s off to a great start in his fourth season in Chicago with four sacks and five more quarterback hits. Las Vegas and Chicago weren’t supposed to meet again until 2023 after a 24-21 Raiders win in London in 2019, but the NFL’s one-game schedule expansion paired them together this year.
• Who: Bears (2-2) at Raiders (3-1)
• 1:05 p.m.
• Where: Allegiant Stadium
• TV: Channel 8, KLAS-TV
• Radio: Raider Nation Radio 920 AM, KOMP 92.3
• Betting line: Raiders -5.5, over/under 44.5
Favorable matchup: Raiders’ vertical passing game vs. Bears’ defensive backfield
The brightest offensive moment of the Raiders’ loss to the Chargers was a 51-yard completion from Carr to Henry Ruggs, a deep connection that’s becoming commonplace. Ruggs, a second-year receiver, has caught three passes for more than 35 yards on the year and should have an opportunity to add to the total against the Bears. Chicago ranks 22nd in the league in defending deep passes, and 31st on deep passes on the right side of the field, according to Football Outsiders. The discrepancy in sides is all because of cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who plays on the left. Johnson has been one of the best coverage players in the league early in the season but the rest of the Bears’ secondary has struggled. Carr will certainly look to test them as, in defiance of his reputation, he’s thrown deep as much as any quarterback in the league this season. He ranks sixth in the NFL with 9.1 intended air yards per target, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
Problematic matchup: Raiders’ offensive line vs. Bears’ defensive front
“We all need a taste of that medicine even though we don’t like the taste. You get back to work, you got to get back on that horse. That horse will throw you off once in a while, and if you know anything about Bosa and some of the guys in this league, they are pretty good at throwing you off your horse.” -Gruden on the Raiders’ offensive line struggles and Bosa’s postgame comments
“It’s no secret, everyone knows how close we are. That’s not hidden in any way. Not only is he one of the best players in the world today, he’s one of the best people. When that trade happened, it broke my heart.” -Carr on his relationship with Mack and the trade that sent the linebacker from the Raiders to the Bears in 2018
“That was a perfect strike-zone tackle, head-up. He did a great job. He mentioned to me before, a couple weeks ago, ‘Hey, if you need a free safety in a pinch..’ then I saw that and said, ‘He wasn’t lying.’” -Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Renfrow making a pass break-up with a big hit against the Chargers on a fake punt
“I knew I hadn’t played my best ball in college. I knew what I was capable of and what I could do, and people just didn’t see that. They didn’t recognize it yet.” -Cornerback Nate Hobbs, a fifth-round pick, on living up to his draft night pledge to be an impact player by emerging as one of the best rookies in the league so far
The Raiders have preached patience with their young offensive line, but it’s nearing time to panic. It’s been the lone black mark so far on a team that otherwise looks playoff ready. Against the Chargers, they allowed four sacks on Carr and only managed to pave the way for 2.7 yards per carry on the ground. Unless the line improves significantly this week, the former may be repeated if not increased. The Bears are second in the NFL with a 10.71% sack rate as Robert Quinn, Roquan Smith and Mario Edwards are among those providing consistent pressure next to Mack. Rookie Alex Leatherwood specifically has been the Raiders’ biggest liability, as he’s the worst-graded tackle in the league by Pro Football Focus. Las Vegas moved him inside to guard in practice this week in search of a solution. It might be harsh, and certainly not ideal, for the Raiders to minimize the role of another first-round draft pick but something needs to change up front.
Gamebreaker: Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow
In the absence of a consistent ground game — Las Vegas ranks 31st in the NFL with 3.3 yards per rush attempt — the Raiders have gone heavier on short passing in traditional run situations. That’s allowed Renfrow to shine, as the third-year receiver out of Clemson has at least five receptions in every game. He’s scored touchdowns in two straight games, both coming after he used quick and elaborate footwork to create separation against cornerbacks. Those highlights are part of the reason why both Carr and Raiders coach Jon Gruden referred to Renfrow this week as one of the best pure football players they’ve ever been around. The Bears were the worst team in the NFL against slot receivers last year according to Football Outsiders. They seem to have shored up the weakness early this season, but they arguably haven’t seen a slot receiver as shifty as Renfrow. That’s because there may not be a slot receiver in the league as shifty as Renfrow.
Big Number: 47
That’s the number of pressures endured by Carr over the first four weeks, the third-most in the NFL. Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Indianapolis’ Carson Wentz are the only passers who narrowly sit ahead of him with 48 apiece. Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa caused a weeklong stir after Monday’s game when he said Carr “really gets shook” under pressure. A damning screenshot of Carr turtling up before getting hit by Christian Covington in a decisive sack in the fourth quarter seemed to confirm the criticism. Few quarterbacks are effective with rushers bearing down on them, but despite all the chatter, Carr has performed well when under duress. He ranked in the league’s top 10 in passer rating under pressure in each of the past two seasons — third in 2019 and ninth in 2020 – according to NFL Next Gen Stats. The Raiders are trying everything they can to get Carr a cleaner pocket, but even if they continue to fail, he’s poised enough to still produce.
Best Bet (2-2): Justin Fields over 30.5 pass attempts
Some bettors may scoff at, or even bet against, this large of a number after the rookie only threw 20 and 17 times in his first two games, respectively. Resist that urge. Those two games are mostly irrelevant considering he was pressed into action and unprepared against the Browns, and then playing with the lead the whole game against the Lions. The game state is probably going to be much different against the Raiders, who are more likely to be playing from ahead. Las Vegas also has a beaten-up secondary with cornerbacks Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette expected out, which may make Chicago’s coaching staff want to challenge inexperienced players like Amik Robertson and Roderic Teamer. There won’t be any shielding Fields from trouble in Las Vegas; the Bears will need to let him loose.