BEARS at RAIDERS
| When: 3:05 p.m., Sunday | TV: FOX | RADIO: 780 AM, WBBM & 105.9 FM Dennis Wierzbicki/US PresswireWith Jay Cutler sidelined, the Bears will have to lean on Matt Forte even more. BEARS (7-3)
Coach: Lovie Smith | Record including playoffs: 73-55
Career head-to-head record (including playoffs) vs. Hue Jackson: 0-0
Career record (including playoffs) against Raiders: 1-0
Last week: Defeated Chargers 31-20.
Key stat: The Bears have forced 11 interceptions over the past four games, including three multiple INT games. In all, the Bears have forced 23 takeaways this season, which ties the club for second in the NFL. Interestingly, the Bears have gobbled up nine takeaways over the past two weeks.
[+] EnlargeScott Cunningham/Getty ImagesJulius Peppers has four sacks in the past five games.
Offensive leader: Running back Matt Forte continues to lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,391) and will be an even more focal point on offense with backup quarterback Caleb Hanie taking over as the starter. Forte has produced 16 plays for gains of 20 yards or more (11 runs and 5 receptions), which ranks as fifth in the NFL.
Defensive leader: Defensive end Julius Peppers leads the Bears in sacks (six), and has produced four of those over the past five games, including at least one in three of those outings. Peppers ranks fourth in the NFL in career sacks (95) since coming into the league in 2002, and has recovered nine fumbles in 148 games.
The Bears now have 15 takeaways in the last four games, which is the most in the NFL since Week 7.
In the four games that Major Wright and Chris Conte lined up as the starting safeties, the Bears have allowed just three touchdown passes while posting seven interceptions, including one in each of those games. In the six games Wright and Conte didn’t line up as the starters, the Bears allowed 11 TD passes and intercepted eight balls.
Bears special teams gunner Corey Graham has tallied 62 solo tackles on special teams, which ranks as second in the league since he was drafted in 2007. Since Graham came into the league, the Bears rank No. 1 in punt coverage (6.3 yards per return).
Coach: Hue Jackson | Record: 6-4 | Last week: Defeated Vikings 27-21
Career head-to-head record vs. Smith: 0-0 | Career record vs. Bears: 0-0.
Key stat: The Raiders have been penalized an NFL-high 103 times for 892 yards, including 17 personal-foul penalties committed by defensive players.
[+] EnlargeEzra Shaw/Getty ImagesCarson Palmer has thrown seven interceptions in four games with the Raiders.
Offensive leader: Quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown six touchdown passes over the past three games, including two outings in which he generated a passer rating of 107.9 or better. He’s also thrown four interceptions, while suffering seven sacks (four against the Vikings last week) over that span.
Defensive leader: Raiders linebacker Kamerion Wimbley (six sacks) plays a major role in his team being tied for sixth in the NFL with 28 sacks and possesses enough speed off the edge that the Bears will likely have to provide help for left tackle J’Marcus Webb. Wimbley racked up four sacks against the San Diego Chargers in Week 10.
I'm expecting this to be a much closer matchup without Cutler than it would have been with him.
The defensive ranking of the two is equal but the Bears give up far fewer point per game and have turned into a turnover machine since we made the changes at Safety. Be nice if they can keep that up. With as well as we've done with such a poor pass rush imagine what we could do with a far better one.
Offesnively the Raiders look stronger in the stats as far as yardage goes but the Bears have outscored them. This week the Raiders are without McFadden and Jacoby Ford so all three phases of their scoring capabilities are hurt run, pass and returns.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap.
Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.