Honestly, I'm not really upset the Bears lost to the Raiders at the Black Hole. They're a tough team and Oakland is a tough place to play. At the end of the day, the Bears still hold the top Wild Card spot. At the same time, they failed to separate themselves from the pack of other teams trying to earn a playoff berth.
If you asked yourself what you expected from Caleb Hanie's first career NFL start, it was probably what you saw today. The hope was that he wasn't too overwhelmed and he could limit his mistakes. While he showed guts, he did throw three interceptions. We can only hope that he progresses, which I think he will.
What's more concerning is Matt Forte's declining production. Is he starting to get a little fatigued? Is the offensive line not run blocking as well? Chris Williams excelled at pulling to the edges which helped Forte kill defenses outside so I'm sure he's absence hurts. Are defenses stacking the box? All of the above is happening and will continue to happen until Hanie proves that he can beat them.
The defense knew they had to step up their level of play and they did. Overall, they stoned the Raiders in the red zone and forced them to kick six field goals. The Rush Men recorded four sacks, two by Julius Peppers.
This group will have continue to play at a high level for the Bears to stay in games, especially if the offense continues to stall.
With the Bears being stout in the red zone and pressuring the quarterback, you would expect a win, however, the Bears could not force takeaways and ultimately lost the turnover battle.
On every given Sunday, the Bears will win the special teams battle. If teams contain Devin Hester on returns, the Bears can still win individual battles with their field goal kicking or punting.
Against the Raiders, they were just a little better in every phase of the special teams. Give the Raiders credit for beating the Bears in special teams.
pdlopez Lechler & Janikowski were great today, KC at home next should be a victory, I'm not sweating yet, but feeling nervous. #Bears #4thPhase
bearfan80 Jennings played well all day, then boom loses the game for the #Bears. #4thphase
WFBST Mike Martz needs to helps Hanie out here. Keep giving it to #Barbarian. #4thPhase
me2u711 The difference is here and now #4thPhase the bears need positive thoughts and tweets! #nohating