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3 takeaways from Raiders’ loss to Bears

Updated October 22, 2023 - 1:25 pm

Three takeaways from the Raiders’ 30-12 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago:

1. Missed opportunity

The Raiders had a chance to extend their winning streak to three games and move over .500 against a struggling team with a backup quarterback.

It didn’t happen.

Chicago opened a 14-0 second-quarter lead in handing the Raiders a crippling loss.

The Raiders struggled to move the ball in the absence of injured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, finishing with 235 yards, with 59 coming on a touchdown drive in the final two minutes and the outcome decided.

Chicago had been struggling defensively, but the Raiders made them look at times like the stifling 1985 version of the Bears that won the Super Bowl.

Veteran Brian Hoyer was ineffective in relief of Garoppolo, losing his 13th consecutive start in a streak that dates to 2016.

He finished 17 of 32 for 129 yards and two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.

Rookie Aidan O’Connell, who played his college ball at nearby Purdue, entered the game in the fourth quarter and threw an interception on his first possession before leading the late scoring drive.

Josh Jacobs got just 11 carries and finished with 35 yards, as the Raiders ran for only 39 yards.

It was a disastrous game for the Raiders, who are 3-4 with a difficult road game on tap against the Detroit Lions on “Monday Night Football.”

The Raiders are in jeopardy of falling out of contention and missing the playoffs yet again.

2. Third downs prove decisive

While there was little that went right, the Raiders’ struggles on third down might have been the most glaring issue.

They converted only twice on nine opportunities. One of those came on the final drive when the Bears were in prevent mode, as Hunter Renfrow made a 5-yard grab on third-and-4 in the final two minutes.

It has been a recurring issue.

During a three-game losing streak earlier in the season, the Raiders went 8 of 31 on third down.

They converted 13 of 29 in the past two games — both of them wins. While that still isn’t a rate the offense would prefer, it was a vast improvement and reflected in the results.

3. Adams gets involved early

There’s a famous expression about the squeaky wheel getting the grease.

That was on display Sunday.

After star wide receiver Davante Adams expressed his frustration last week with his lack of involvement in the offense, the Raiders clearly entered the game with a plan to get him involved.

Adams got seven targets in the first quarter alone, hauling in five passes for 48 yards. He finished with seven receptions for 57 yards and was targeted 12 times.

Adams had just six catches for 74 yards combined in the past two weeks.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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