The Oakland Raiders take to the road for the second week in a row looking for their third win in a row as they take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in the Windy City in the regular season for the first time since 2003.
The Chicago Bears have started the season 0-3 and have gone without gunslinging quarterback Jay Cutler for much of the young season due to injury. Rumblings are starting to suggest that Cutler may be ready to face the Raiders Sunday, while speculation has surfaced that Bears head coach John Fox could turn to Salinas, Calif.,-native and San Jose product David Fales.
Here are the five questions heading into Week 4 in Chicago. 1. Can the Raiders take away the tight end?
Martellus Bennett, Zach Miller (not that Zach Miller) and even Khari Lee have to be licking their chops. The Raiders have allowed the opposition's top tight end to surpass 100 yards receiving in the first three games. Head Coach Jack Del Rio quipped that opposing tight ends must be wearing a cloaking device that renders them invisible to the Raiders defense. Last week, Gary Barnidge was visible to Browns QB Josh McCown 6 times for 105 yards and a score.
2. Are the Raiders fostering the new triplets? Or even the greatest show on grass?
Raiders wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper each surpassed 100 yards receiving against Baltimore, Cooper followed it up with another 100-yard day against Cleveland, while quarterback Derek Carr has thrown for more than 300 yards two weeks in a row and running back Latavius Murray got on track with a career-high 139 yards rushing against the Browns. Aikman – Smith – Irvin? Manning – James – Harrison? Or dare I ask – Warner – Faulk – Bruce – Holt? It's extremely early, but this is offense has shown signs of efficiency and explosiveness that past two weeks putting up 27 and 37 points respectively. Carr – Murray – Cooper? Or Carr – Murray – Cooper – Crabtree? **
Raiders hold last practice in Alameda before heading to Chicago in Week 4.
- Is this a trap game? **
The Bears traded pass rusher Jared Allen this week. Quarterback Jay Cutler has been hurt. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey has been hurt. Top draft pick wide receiver Kevin White is on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Running back Matt Forte is always formidable. A tight end is the leading receiver. Former AFC West thorn in the Raiders side wide receiver Eddie Royal is on the Bears. The Raiders face the Broncos at home after this one. The Bears are 0-3. The Raiders are riding high after snapping a long road losing streak. 4. Will the sack attack continue?
The Raiders went through the first two games without recording a quarterback sack. They broke through a highly-regard Browns offensive line for five sacks last week. Defensive end Khalil Mack dropped McCown twice for his first two sacks of the year. Linebacker Aldon Smith has provided plenty of pressure the past two weeks and has come close. Who would've thought linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong would get the first one? How will the Bears counter? Will the Raiders generate the same pressure this week? 5. Can the Raiders win two in a row on the road?
The Baltimore Ravens barnstormed their first two games of the season as the lost to the Broncos in Denver and set up shop in San Jose for a week before falling to the Raiders. In the old AFL days, teams would do three-game road trips and just stay on that coast. The Raiders would play Buffalo, the New York Jets and the Boston Patriots all before returning to Oakland. Despite the geography, the Raiders flew home after their win in Cleveland and flew out to Chicago Friday hoping to repeat their success. The Raiders haven't won two in a row on the road since 2011.