Skip to main content
Advertising | The Official Website of the Chicago Bears


Opponent breakdown: Raiders


After a tough loss out west, the Bears (0-3) return to Soldier Field on Sunday to take on the Oakland Raiders (2-1). Here's a breakdown of Chicago's Week 4 opponent:

What's new: A sixth-round pick out of Central Florida last season, Latavius Murray doesn't have the same pedigree as some of the other top running backs around the NFL. In his rookie season, he wasn't among the 25 leading rushers in the AFC. Yet through three weeks this season, only Adrian Peterson, Carlos Hyde and Kyle Long have more rushing yards than the Oakland tailback. The AFC's leading rusher is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and has scored two touchdowns. By being such a strong force on the ground, Murray is opening up room for another important second-year player in the Raiders offense: quarterback Derek Carr.

What's old: Charles Woodson is the oldest defensive player in football, yet quarterbacks still should be hesitant when throwing his way. The only defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy – way back in 1997 for the University of Michigan – Woodson may be slower and less athletic now, but he still has premier ball skills and instincts. He has 61 career interceptions, 18 more than anyone else currently in the league, including one in Week 2 when he sealed a Raiders win by picking off Cleveland's Josh McCown in the fourth quarter. Woodson is listed as a starting safety, but he can play all over the secondary.


Last time out:** Strong outings from Carr and Murray helped the Raiders jump out to a big lead in Week 3, then the Oakland defense did enough to hold on for a 27-20 win over the Browns. Murray ran for 139 yards and a touchdown, while Carr threw for 314 yards and two more scores. At one point the Raiders led 20-3, but Cleveland stormed back down the stretch before Woodson's game-sealing interception in the final minute as the Browns drove down the field. Oakland's pass rush was a key, registering five sacks in the win. It was Oakland's first road victory since 2013, snapping an 11-game road losing streak.

Series history: The Raiders don't come to Chicago too often. Sunday will mark just the 13th all-time game between these two franchises, and the first meeting at Soldier Field since 2003. Oakland holds a 7-6 edge in the series history, including a 25-20 victory the last time these teams play, in 2011.

Injury report: Oakland is relatively healthy early in the season, with no major injuries. A sore shoulder has bothered Woodson all year, but it hasn't caused him to miss any game time yet. Defensive tackle Justin Ellis has missed the past two games with an ankle injury.

Schemes and tendencies: Rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper has made an instant impact in the Oakland attack. The first-round pick out of Alabama has been Carr's top target, with 20 receptions, including a 68-yard touchdown in Week 2. Cooper has fit in perfectly with what the Raiders want to do because of his ability to gain yards after after the catch. The receiver has 177 yards after the catch through three weeks, second-most in the NFL and tops among wide receivers. Carr banks heavily on that, as 53.7 percent of the quarterback's passing yards have come via YAC.

Did you know: Bears coach John Fox should be quite familiar with his counterpart across the sideline. Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio spent the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, at the same time Fox was Denver's head coach. Del Rio also worked as Fox's defensive coordinator in Carolina in 2002.

"I have a lot of respect for 'Foxy,'" Del Rio said Monday at a press conference. "I was coordinator for him my first time in Carolina back in 2002 and we did great things together there, and then I was fortunate enough to get a head job after that and then I went back and worked three more years in Denver with him. I appreciated the time, appreciate the relationship and I have a lot of respect for him."

Del Rio is one of two former Fox assistants now coaching in the AFC West. Mike McCoy, who was Denver's offensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012 when Fox was there, is the head coach of the San Diego Chargers.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content