Raiders Recap–Preseason 2010 Week 2

The Oakland Raiders played the Chicago Bears in their second preseason game.

Again the Raiders were on the road, and this was three different games in one.

In the first quarter with the starters in Jason Campbell was very impressive. The Raiders initially bumbled on offense, as their first drive set up a 3rd and 17 at their own 12. Yet Jason Campbell hit Michael Bush on a short pass that went for 24 yards and a first down to keep the drive going. Campbell then hit Johnny Lee Higgins for 18 yards and Zach Miller for 13 more. From the Chicago 29 Campbell went deep to Louis Murphy for 27 yards down to the 2. Michael Bush ran twice into Julius Peppers, but on 3rd and goal from the 1 Campbell took it in himself. 81 yards on 10 p-lays in 6 1/2 minutes had the Raiders up 7-0 and any reasonable fan optimistic.

The defense of the Raiders continues to play well this preseason. After 5 early sacks last week, the defense added 5 more this week. 4 of them were by Kameron Wembley alone, as Jay Cutler got knocked around. The Bears punted on 4th and 28 from their own 5, giving the Raiders the ball at the Chicago 39 to start their next drive. Michael Bush ran for 15 yards, but this time the offense went no further. Sebastian Janikowski was good from 43 yards out and the Raiders led 10-0.

The Bears punted again, and the Raiders took over at their own 20. On 3rd and 8 from the 22, Campbell hit Murphy for 12 yards. On the next play a short pass to Reece picked up 40 yards to the Chicago 26. Al Davis loves the big play, but these were not bombs. They were yards after catch runs.

The Raiders totally dominated the opening quarter, but 2 plays changed the game. First, Campbell went for all the marbles and was intercepted. He had been playing near flawlessly, but the Bears took over at their own 11. Then Matt Forte ran around the end for a stunning 89 yard touchdown and the Bears were within 10-6. This was not Bo Jackson going into the tunnel, but it really was a big play.For some reason the Bears went for 2, and it failed.

In the second quarter the Raiders went nowhere on offense and punted. Jay Cutler drove the Bears from their own 20 to the Oakland 19. The drive went no further, and a fumbled snap on the kickoff turned disastrous. This wa snot Garo Yepremian, but an attempted pass by kicker Robbie Gould was incomplete deep and ruled intentional grounding for a 14 yard loss and turnover on downs.

With starters Campbell and Cutler both still in the game, the teams exchanged punts and the Raiders took over at midfield. On 3rd and 10, Campbell, whose passing had cooled off since the opening quarter, scrambled for the 10 yards and the 1st down. On 3rd and 9 from the Chicago 39, Campbell hit Murphy for 14 yards. The drive stalled, and Seabass again connected from 43 yards out to complete the 10 play drive and put the Raiders up 13-6.

The Bears offense was lifeless, and the Raiders defense was playing well overall. However, a fumbled snap out of the shotgun for the Raiders offense with just over 2 minutes left in the half had the Bears at the Raiders 25. On 4th and 7 from the 22, Lovie Smith decided to go for it rather than kick the field goal. Cutler went deep to Johnny Knox for the touchdown. The 2 point conversion was good. The Raiders had manhandled the Bears all half, yet 2 big plays had the Bears up by a point.

There are so many ways to look at the first half. Campbell was very sharp for most of the half. The Bears would not have gone for 2 the first time, and would have kicked the field goal in a regular season game rather than gamble. So a real game would have the Raiders up 13-10. Yet overlooking 2 defensive breakdowns is not possible.

The starters were replaced at halftime for both teams, and special teams dictated the game. One could say the Raiders were lucky, but they did take advantage. A fellow named Slade Norris is now known to Raiders fans. He recovered a muffed punt for a touchdown to put the Raiders up 20-14 early in the third quarter.

After the teams exchanged punts again, Kyle Boller led the Raiders from just shy of midfield. He hit Bennett for 14 yards to start the drive. On 3rd and 7 he hit Ford for 13 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the 14 Bennett picked up the 3 yards. After Bennett ran a couple more times, Boller took it in himself for the final 2 yards to make it 27-14 Raiders.

The Bears had backup quarterback Lefevour lead a 6 minute drive in the 4th quarterback, but the Oakland defense stiffened at the 7 yard line. A short field goal had the Bears within 27-17. The RAiders punted, but on the next Chicago Drive Lefevour was intercepted by Brown at the Oakland 45. Brown returned it all the way to the Chicago 9 yard line. Colt Brennan came in for Boller in a relatively no pressure situation, but 3 plays and -1 yard led to a field goal. Tom Cable could have had Boller finish the drive, but this is preseason, and Brennan was given his chance. Seabass had the Raiders up 30-17.

The Bears went nowhere again, and this time Slade Norris had more special teams points when a blocked punt became a safety for the Raiders. After the free kick, the Raiders took over at their own 34. Bennett rambled for 44 yards. On 2nd and 11 from the Chicago 17, Brennan hit Moline for 14 yards down to the 3. Bush was stopped short of the goal line, but the clock wound down as neither side decided to stop it.

The Raiders are 2-0 in preseason after winning twice on the road. This win was substantive, especially given the first quarter.

The Bears did lose Brian Urlacher early on, and Julius Peppers got hurt during the game, but the Raiders lacked Darren McFadde, Bruce Gradkowski, and Charlie Frye.

Overall, the Raiders seem to be an improved team. I am very reluctant to give them their due until I see positives during the regular season, but as far down as they were, this team seems to be competitive.

The Raiders are better than they have been in some time. There is cautious hope for optimism.


One Response to “Raiders Recap–Preseason 2010 Week 2”

  1. Thus far, I’m not very impressed with the Bears this year, even though on paper they look like a pretty good team. The Raiders, on the other hand, who look rather mediocre on paper with some glaring holes remaining, seem like they have a sort of intangible cohesion that could do them very well this year. I see each team as potential 8-8’s, the Bears being disappointed, the Raiders being hopeful for the near-future.


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