1. Rookie or the vet?
Jimmy Garoppolo has been ruled out for Sunday due to a back injury sustained in the first half against the Patriots. While the Raiders know they'll be without their starting quarterback, it's still a puzzle who will take his place.
Josh McDaniels and his crew haven't made an official word on if veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Aidan O'Connell will draw the start. As they compete for the job in practice, they've both made their cases in game action. Hoyer went 6-of-10 for 102 yards in the second half against the Patriots last week. O'Connell, in his first NFL start against the Chargers in Week 4, threw for 238 yards, completing nearly 62 percent of his passes with a rushing touchdown.
"I think their [quarterback] room is tremendous, in terms of their overall communication with one another, the relationships they formed," McDaniels said. "You've got [O'Connell] with very little experience and he's siphoning all that he can from Jimmy, Hoy. They talk through certain things in the meeting room in real time, and I think the reality is none of them have a big ego. When Brian was going to back up Aidan, he was ready to go support him and did all the right things like I knew he would, and he's done his whole career. Jimmy's been the same way when he hasn't played so. That's the way a good room should operate and function.
"At the end of the day, one of them is going to play and they should all want that guy to go out there and play well for the Raiders, and the goal was for us is to win."
2. Preparing for Bears QB2
The Chicago Bears will also be without their starting quarterback. Justin Fields suffered a thumb injury against the Minnesota Vikings, with rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent coming in as relief.
The former Division II star from Shepard University completed nearly 72 percent of his throws with a rushing touchdown in his NFL debut. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham got a good look at Bagent at the 2023 Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Bagent was the leading passer for the American team against Graham's National squad.
"I thought he made good decisions in the passing game, got rid of the ball pretty quickly, strong arm, mobile in the pocket, and can make some plays with his feet," Graham said of the Bears rookie quarterback. "But he is a really, really solid young player. And if it's his chance to get up there and take the opportunity, I'm sure he's going to seize it and we'll have to be prepared for that."
3. Raiders "love having" Big Jenk
An underrated piece of the the Raiders defensive line has been John Jenkins.
He's started all six games at nose tackle, complementing the likes of Maxx Crosby, Malcolm Koonce and Bilal Nichols. In his 11th NFL season, Jenkins has 10 solo tackles, two tackles for loss, a pass deflection and a sack. His 75.3 pass rush grade from Pro Football Focus is also the highest of any interior defensive lineman on the team.
"[A]nother guy that's nothing but a pro," McDaniels said of Jenkins. "Ready every day, knows the opponent, understands what his job is, doesn't get tired of doing it right with the technique, very consistent in his approach and practices his butt off. For a guy who's been in the league as many times, as many practices and games as this guy has played in his career, you see him practice and you're impressed. ... Just love having him here. He's played very well so far this season, and we're going to need them to continue to do that."
There may be some added motivation going into Chicago for Jenkins, who played two seasons for Bears.
4. Windy City weather report
This will be the first game this season for the Raiders where weather could play a factor.
With Chicago notoriously being dubbed "The Windy City," it's set to be 51 degrees Fahrenheit at kickoff Sunday, with 65 percent humidity and 6 mph winds at the historic outdoor Solider Field. Nevertheless, the Raiders can count their blessings on playing in Chicago in late October rather than late December.
5. Another streak to beat
Two weeks ago against the Green Bay Packers, the Raiders broke a 36-year-old losing streak. The Silver and Black have the opportunity to break another losing streak against another NFC North opponent, as they haven't defeated the Bears in Chicago, Illinois, since 1993.
The last time the Raiders beat the Bears was in 2019 at Tottenham Stadium in London, England. Josh Jacobs rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the 24-21 victory.
6. Rushing toward top 3 status
While on the topic of Jacobs, the Raiders running back is 52 yards away from surpassing Clem Daniels (5,103) for third on the Raiders all-time rushing list. Last Sunday against the Patriots, Jacobs surpassed 5,000 career rushing yards, becoming the fourth running back in franchise history to hit that mark.
The 2022 rushing champion is catching his stride as the season progresses. After averaging 36 rushing yards through Week 1-3, he's averaged 68 rushing yards over the past three games with two touchdowns.
As the Raiders prepare for their Week 7 matchup at Soldier Field, take a look back at past matchups between the Silver and Black and the Chicago Bears.