Question on the Raiders: So there was no way the Bears could exploit the Raiders 'D'?
The Raiders looked like they were only playing with eight men on defense. The loss of Bill Romanowski can't mean this much to this team. They aren't strong up the middle at all. A combination of age and injuries are hurting this team defensively and offensively. Sadly, the window of opportunity to win a championship is closed for this team. Right now, the Raiders have to hope they can scrape together a few wins and compete for a playoff spot. Because if they don't, there may be a mass exodus of players.
Question on the Bears: What was the key to their success today?
Anthony Thomas. It's no simpler than that. A-Train got on a roll and gave the Bears his second consecutive 100-yard game. The Bears need him to be the focal point of this offense, because QB Kordell Stewart is showing a lot of hesitancy the past few weeks. If his bad play continues, the Bears may need to start thinking about starting rookie Rex Grossman.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
"I was booing, too, sometimes to be honest with you," Stewart
said after Chicago got its first win by rallying from an 18-3
"The good thing about it is that we got cheers at the end and
that's all that matters because we won the game," Stewart said.
Stewart, who completed 13 of 24 passes for 160 yards and also
rushed for 52 yards, struggled at times and said some fans behind
the bench were especially brutal with their comments.
"I know sometimes it's all of wanting to see us succeed, but
sometimes things can get carried away. You have to be able to
ignore that," he said.
The Raiders (2-3) got five field goals from Sebastian
Janikowski, but he also missed the first extra point of his career
and had a 47-yard field-goal attempt blocked in the second half.
"It's probably what we deserved for not playing well across the
board," Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon said. "We ended up on our
heels in the fourth quarter. We couldn't put them away."
The Bears' struggling offense showed some punch against the
Raiders' soft defense, moving from its own 27 to the Raiders 30 in
the final 3 minutes, 30 seconds.
Stewart kept the drive going by leaping for a first down on a
fourth-and-1 from the Bears 49 with 22 seconds to go.
After his scramble to the 31 was called back by a penalty,
Stewart pumped and allowed Dez White to get open for a 29-yard gain
to the Raiders 31.
After a running play to get the ball in the middle of the field,
Edinger -- after the Raiders used a timeout to try and ice him -- hit
his third field goal of the day. He's 8-for-8 this season.
"It builds our confidence that we can win now, instead of
having everybody saying 0-16," Edinger said.
Oakland appeared on the verge of blowing the game open in the
first half, but had to settle for field goals four times after
getting inside the Chicago 25. That allowed the Bears to hang
"This is the hardest loss I've taken," said Oakland defensive
back Charles Woodson, who intercepted two passes and recovered a
"I can't see it getting any worse."
The Bears (1-3), penalized 11 times for 97 yards, got back in it
when Marty Booker caught a 14-yard TD pass from Stewart on the
first play of the final quarter to make it 18-13.
The Raiders were on their way to what could have been a
clinching score when Gannon completed passes of 21 yards to Jerry
Rice and 18 to Tim Brown. But when a pass deflected off Doug
Jolley's hands, R.W. McQuarters intercepted it and returned it 43
yards to the Raiders 45.
McQuarters had questioned the loyalty of the teams' fans after
they booed loudly last Monday night when Green Bay dominated
Chicago in the first game at the refurbished stadium.
His interception led to the Bears' first lead.
Stewart had a 16-yard run and Anthony Thomas, who rushed for 123
yards on 22 carries, followed with a 20-yard gain to the Raiders 8.
Two downs later, Stanley Pritchett ran in for an 8-yard TD with
6:58 to go, giving the Bears a 19-18 lead. Stewart then rolled in
for a 2-point conversion.
Gannon's 12-yard pass to Rice helped the Raiders move in
position for Janikowski's fifth field goal, a line drive that hit
the left upright and went in from 49 yards, tying it at 21 with
Among Janikowski's four first-half field goals was a 33-yarder
on the final play of the half to give the Raiders an 18-3 lead.
The Raiders moved easily down the field on their first
possession, going 68 yards in 16 plays against the league's weakest
run defense. Zack Crockett went in from the 1 for the score.
But Janikowski's extra-point attempt was wide -- his first missed
PAT in four seasons. He'd converted 147 straight, including nine in
a row this season.
Gannon was 16-of-34 for 183 yards. Rice caught three balls
for 51 yards and was defended many times by rookie Charles Tillman,
making his first start for the Bears. ... Chicago linebacker
Warrick Holdman sprained his left ankle late in the first half and
didn't return. Booker hurt his side late in the game.
Alex Boone and Jahri Evans could help Miami fill its needs at guard, but the team won't have much to spend in free agency this offseason.
Heeding their coach's words to "be the best you," the Broncos won a championship without the best version of their future Hall of Fame QB.
Our latest collection of Patriots-related notes includes Stephen Gostkowski's reflections on his mindset after his key miss against Denver.
Earl Campbell told ESPN that he wants to sit down and talk with Johnny Manziel, hoping that their common ties in the state of Texas will help the former running back connect with the quarterback.
Broncos safety Shiloh Keo faces a charge of driving under the influence in Idaho.
The Dolphins made their first pair of significant roster cuts Friday, and there are several more who are in danger of being on the chopping block.