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Position breakdown for Bears-Raiders game


Derek Carr continues his reluctance to take shots downfield, yet turned in an efficient effort in a win at Indianapolis last week. He is quietly putting together his best season since his breakout 2016 campaign. The Bears’ quarterback situation is an odd one. Backup Chase Daniel will make the fifth start of his career, and he might give Chicago a better chance than enigmatic starter Mitch Trubisky, who hasn’t been able to harness his talents. Oakland gets the nod, but it’s a closer margin than if Trubisky wasn’t injured.

■ Advantage: Raiders

Running backs

Rookie Josh Jacobs is starting to look like the real deal. He is among the NFL’s top 10 in rushing and started to take on more of a role in the passing game last week. Chicago has plenty of talent in the backfield. David Montgomery’s role has expanded each week, and the Bears would love him to take command of the ground game while finding ways to get Tarik Cohen the ball in space. They haven’t done it consistently.

■ Advantage: Raiders


The Raiders keep waiting for a secondary threat to emerge on the outside. Now they might have to look for a primary target with the uncertain status of injured Tyrell Williams. Carr will rely heavily on his tight ends, particularly Darren Waller, then hope a wide receiver makes a few plays. The Bears are somewhat similar in that Allen Robinson has been looking for a running mate, but his presence combined with Daniel’s ability to hit open receivers gives Chicago the edge.

■ Advantage: Bears

Offensive line

The Bears have had to mix and match on the line all season, and the results have been mixed at best. None of the regulars has been particularly consistent, and the cohesion hasn’t been there with so much turnover. The linemen have shown progress the last two weeks, so there is optimism for improvement. Oakland has been surprisingly good along the front. An injury to Jordan Devey won’t help, but Trent Brown, Richie Incognito and Rodney Hudson have been adequate and Kolton Miller has shown positive signs.

■ Advantage: Raiders

Defensive line

The Bears are frightening up front in their base defense. Akiem Hicks and Nick Williams are good on the ends. Eddie Goldman is elite in the middle. The interior of the Raiders’ offensive line will be tested. The Raiders haven’t been as manhandled on the line of scrimmage as they were last season, but they are still a work in progress. Maxx Crosby took a major step forward last week, but the Raiders still need more from Clelin Ferrell.

■ Advantage: Bears


Khalil Mack is the beginning and end of this argument, even if Oakland’s captain and defensive signal-caller, Vontaze Burfict, wasn’t suspended.

■ Advantage: Bears


The Bears have bigger names at cornerback in Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara, but the Raiders’ Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley have played to about the same level. The difference is at safety. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been superb, and Eddie Jackson has played well. Oakland got a boost from Erik Harris last week.

■ Advantage: Bears

Special teams

Chicago is ninth in the NFL in special teams, according to the Football Outsiders DVOA rankings, three spots ahead of the Raiders. The Bears think they might have solved their kicking woes with Eddy Piniero, whom they acquired from Oakland this spring. He is 8 of 9 on field goals and 6 of 6 on extra points.

■ Advantage: Bears


The Raiders are feeling good after winning at Indianapolis, but they now must adjust to life without Burfict. Chicago might benefit from the temporary boost teams often get from starting a backup quarterback. The Bears also will be playing for Mack, whom the Raiders traded before last season.

■ Advantage: Bears

Adam Hill Las Vegas Review-Journal

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