- Justin Fields has been named the starter; what will change?
- Raiders are successful when Daren Waller is targeted frequently
- Bears need to find an offensive identity
This is a super interesting game: it seems like Matt Nagy has taken the training wheels off rookie quarterback Justin Fields and has just offered him the keys to the car. With Andy Dalton out of the picture now, it will be vital for the Bears to finally generate an offensive identity. Maybe last week’s game provided a little glimpse of what that could be.
Last week it seemed like they were headed in the right direction with David Montgomery rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with an injury. Lucky enough for the Bears, Damien Williams was there to back up David Montgomery by adding 70 yards on the ground in the second half, accompanied by a touchdown. It seems like the increased workload of the backs and Fields’ ability to run is slowly showing the Bears to be a run-first team.
As for the Raiders, they are coming off a disappointing Monday night defeat at the hands of Justin Herbert and the Chargers, so they will be looking to bounce back. When Derek Carr steps into the pocket this Sunday, he’s going to have to quickly forget about Bosa’s comments and hope they don’t translate over into this matchup.
Postgame Monday night star edge rusher of the Chargers said Carr “kind of shuts down” after a few hits. If that is true, Carr will be in for some trouble Sunday as the Bears average the most sacks per game at 3.8. Carr did say after the game that he was motivated by Bosa’s comments, so he will be eager to prove him wrong this week.
— FOX5 In The Field (@FOX5Photogs) October 6, 2021
This Raiders offense is firing on all cylinders when Darren Waller is heavily targeted. Throughout their first three wins of the season, he was targeted an average of 11 times per contest, but it dropped significantly to seven last week.
Look for them to use him in the slot as the Bears have an elite corner in Jaylon Johnson, who has only allowed one catch in single coverage this season. Look for the Raiders to avoid that matchup.
Bears vs Raiders Matchup at a Glance
- Sport: NFL
- Teams: Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders
- Where: Las Vegas, Nevada Allegiant Stadium
- Date: Sunday, October 10, 4:05 pm
- Betting Odds:
- Spread : CHI +5.5 (-112) | LVR -5.5 (-108)
- Money Line : CHI (+200) | LVR (-245)
- O/U : 44.5 Over (-108) | Under (-112)
Bears Preview: Bears are well versed in getting to the quarterback
Last week the Bears showed why they are still one of the best defenses in the league when they got to Jared Goff and the Lions for four sacks and seven quarterback hits. This team, to be successful, must force opposing quarterbacks into panic mode, and who better to do that than pro-bowl linebacker Khalil Mack.
So far, Mack has been smothering, accumulating four sacks, four tackles for loss, and five quarterback hits. He will be on full display against a Raiders offensive line that has had problems keeping its quarterback upright.
Rober Quinn is another menace to quarterbacks. Quinn has four-and-a-half sacks, three tackles for loss, and seven quarterback hits. This will be the key to the Bears upsetting the Raiders and taking them off their game plan.
It’s time to queue the rookie of the year talk. Justin Fields is starting for the rest of the season, and this will be the first week he can relax going into the game knowing he is that guy.
The Fields effect has already started to take place. According to PFF rankings, Chicago is the only team in week 4 to have multiple WRs with an 80+ receiving grade (Darnell Mooney 91.9; Allen Robinson 84.5).
We know Fields has had his struggles, but things seem to be looking up for the young signal-caller. Look for him to perform well in this matchup.
Raiders Preview: Raiders pass game is explosive
Pushing the ball downfield has been the prerogative of this Raiders team all season, and Sunday shouldn’t be any different. The black and silver are sitting second in the league behind the Ravens (12.8%) when it comes to the highest explosive pass rate this season at 12.3 %.
Accompanied by that, Derek Carr continues to push the ball downfield this season, throwing 15 Big-Time throws (second-most) and producing 13 completions of 20+ yards tying him for first.
Ruggs has been getting used more lately, getting a season-high seven targets in week 3 and following up with six in week 4. Carr will have to continue to find ways to get the ball into his speedy playmaker’s hands as he can take the top off a defense.
His go-to target Waller is still a beast and should be primed for some action again. So far this season, he is tied for first at 24 catches, first amongst tight ends and tied for second at six catches of 15+ yards. Although last week was a step back at Waller’s standards, I cant see that carrying over into this one.
Odds & Free Betting Analysis for This NFL Game
The point spread is pretty standard for a team that will be on the road. If the raiders were at home, this spread would look more like 7.5 – 8 points. It looks like great value at its face, and you have a 3-1 team coached by an experienced John Gruden taking on a rookie quarterback in his first start since being named QB1.
Another thing to look at is the Bears losing Montgomery last week. That could prove to be a significant loss for this team as he was equally as good at receiving as he was carrying, giving betters another reason to take the Raiders.
As for the O/U, 44.5 seems like a bit of a trap. Although this is low, these teams can have trouble scoring at times, and both have good defenses. The under could easily hit at (-112) and could be a nice add-on if your slip needs some more bets.
Bears vs Raiders Pick
- KnupSports.com Free Betting Pick: LVR -5.5 (at PointsBet | at Caesars | at DraftKings | at Fanduel | at PointsBet)
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