Week 12 Game Preview: Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders
The Chicago Bears (7-3) and the Oakland Raiders (6-4) will meet for the 13th time ever today in Oakland.
The all-time series between the two teams is tied 6-6.
The Bears were able to beat the Raiders the last time these teams met in 2007, 17-6.
The last time these two teams met in Oakland was in 1999, when the Raiders won 24-17.
The Bears are on a five game winning streak, while the Raiders are on a two game winning streak.
The Raiders have won both games on the road. They haven’t been that great on their home turf going 2-3 so far this season at home.
The Bears are 2-2 on the road, but have won their last two road games.
This could be a good time for the Bears to get things going on the road. Four of their last six games of the season are away from Soldier Field.
The Raiders will be without wide receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. Darrius Heyward-Bey is a game-time decision.
RB Darren McFadden, DE Jarvis Moss have both been ruled out of the game.
DT Richard Seymour, DE Lamarr Houston, S Michael Huff and RB Taiwan Jones are all questionable after being limited participants in practice on Friday.
For the Bears, nickelback D.J. Moore is doubtful with an ankle injury. WR/KR Devin Hester is probable with his shin and ankle injuries, but will likely again be used only on special teams.
The Raiders allow an average of 157 yards on the ground at the Oakland Coliseum this season, and are minus-eight in turnover ratio at home.
The Raiders defense ranks 24th in the NFL allowing an average of 371.7 ypg. The Raiders as a team have been penalized a league high 103 times this season.
The Bears 25th ranked defense has forced 11 interceptions over the past four games, including three multiple INT games.
They now have 15 takeaways in the last four games, which is the most in the NFL since Week 7.
The Bears will be focusing on stopping the run because the Raiders will be limited with their receiving core.
A big key for the Raiders is Richard Seymour (5.0 sacks), if he can play their defense will be that much better. The Bears would like to see him on the sideline instead of on the field.
Can the Bears run the ball effectively with Matt Forte and Marion Barber?
Can Caleb Hanie replace Jay Cutler (thumb) and lead the Bears to a win on the road in his first NFL start?
Can the Raiders pass rush get pressure on Caleb Hanie consistently?
How can the Raiders contain Devin Hester on returns?
Players Who Must Step Up:
1) Amobi Okoye– He recorded only one tackle last week. The pass rush wasn’t very effective until the fourth quarter last week against the Chargers. Okoye needs to step up because Julius Peppers has been doing it all. Okoye has three sacks through 10 games, he needs to get to the quarterback today.
Prediction: Three tackles, 1.0 sack.
2) Chris Conte– He’s racked up 10 tackles over the last three games, but has only one interception on the season. Major Wright has reeled in three picks the past three games, maybe Conte gets his chance to shine today. Look for Conte to be active.
Prediction: Five tackles, one interception.
3) Johnny Knox– The leading Bears receiver was with the second team this off-season and Caleb Hanie was throwing him passes. The two have a chemistry that was noticeable in the NFC Championship this past January. Knox had his biggest game of the year last week with three catches for 97 yards and one touchdown. Knox could be in line for a solid game today.
Prediction: Four catches, 63 yards.
Bears 20, Raiders 17.
Expect a party cloudy day in the mid-60’s in Oakland today.
Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. He is also the Chicago Bears writer for NFLTouchdown.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Bears.