Who's the Guy?
Despite the Bears' quarterback woes, the Raiders must always keep an eye on DJ Moore. The six-year pro is the Bears' most explosive offensive player with the potential to score from anywhere on the field. Although Justin Fields' absence could limit his touches, the veteran is an unstoppable playmaker with the potential to take over the game with the ball in his hands.
Know His Name
When the ball is not thrown in DJ Moore's direction, it is likely heading to Cole Kmet between the hashes. The 6-foot-6, 260-pounder has become a reliable option for the Bears in the red zone due to his superior size and post-up skills. With an inexperienced quarterback poised for his first career start, the big-bodied tight end could become the No. 1 option in the passing game.
Tyson Bagent will likely make his NFL debut as a starting quarterback in Week 7 after stepping in for Justin Fields following an injury. The small school standout should not be dismissed as a scrub following a decorated collegiate career at Shephard where he finished as the NCAA record holder for all-time touchdown passes (159) and the Division II record-holder for all-time passing yards (17, 034) and total touchdowns (171). Though the Raiders will offer a much tougher test than any he faced as a collegian, the first-time starter is not afraid of the big stage as a player.
Don't Sleep On…
The Bears have not been in a position to harass passers with reckless abandon, but Yannick Ngakoue is capable of creating chaos as a disruptive playmaker off the edge. As a speed rusher with cat-like quickness and exceptional snap-count anticipation, the veteran terrorizes offensive tackles from a wide alignment on obvious passing downs. Given his speed and pass-rushing prowess (67 career sacks), the Raiders must monitor the veteran's whereabouts in key situations.
Matchup to Watch
T.J. Edwards and Terrell Edmunds vs. Brian Hoyer or Aidan O'Connell
The Raiders' uncertainty at quarterback could prompt the Bears to utilize more pre-snap disguises to mask their post-snap intentions. The veteran linebacker duo will take turns changing the picture by varying their alignments to keep Hoyer and O'Connell guessing at the line of scrimmage. Considering how a mental mistake can lead to a costly turnover, the "cat-and-mouse" game played by the Bears' veterans could change the game's momentum.
The presence of a new quarterback could force offensive coordinator Luke Getsy to simplify his game plan to help the offense operate efficiently with a rookie at the helm. The small menu could feature fewer plays but more touches to the offense's top playmakers (DJ Moore, Darnell Moody, Cole Kmet and D'Onta Foreman) to see if the Bears can find success with execution instead of trickery. The approach is not sexy, but it could be effective if the Bears find a way to get their blue-chip players loose on the perimeter.
Matt Eberflus has attempted to streamline the Bears' defensive approach to allow his defenders to play fast and free on the perimeter. The philosophy is based on a "see ball, get ball" philosophy that leads to turnovers and splash plays from defenders playing in attack mode from snap to whistle on every play.
Head inside Intermountain Health Performance Center as the Silver and Black prepare for their Week 7 matchup against the Chicago Bears.