LONDON – The Bears valiantly dug themselves out of an enormous hole against the Raiders Sunday in London, only to stumble and fall just short of the finish line.
In a game that featured huge momentum swings, the Bears rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to take a 21-17 third-quarter lead. But they yielded a late 97-yard drive that culminated in the game-winning touchdown with 1:57 remaining in the fourth period.
The result was a deflating 24-21 loss at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium that snapped the Bears’ three-game winning streak and sent them into their bye week scratching their heads and licking their wounds.
“I give credit to Oakland,” said coach Matt Nagy. “They played hard, they played tough, and that’s what happens—when you play tough football, you usually win games.”
The Raiders (3-2) dominated on both sides of the ball in the first half, holding decisive advantages in first downs (14-2), total yards (208-44) and time of possession (19:53-10:07). After a scoreless first quarter, Oakland generated two touchdowns and a field goal on three consecutive possessions to grab a commanding 17-0 lead.
But the Bears (3-2) stormed back with three third-quarter touchdowns. Khalil Mack recovered Derek Carr’s errant pitch to Josh Jacobs at the Raiders’ 14, and David Montgomery converted the turnover into a 1-yard TD plunge.
Chase Daniel then threw touchdown passes of 4 and 16 yards to Allen Robinson on back-to-back possessions to give the Bears their first lead of the game at 21-17. The first score capped a 14-play, 89-yard drive and the second was set up by Tarik Cohen’s career-long 71-yard punt return to the Raiders’ 16.
“We got some turnovers, got a little bit of momentum," Nagy said. "To our guys' credit, they kept fighting. They put us in position to win the game in the fourth quarter."
“We just know the fight that’s in us and it’s a long season,” said linebacker Danny Trevathan. “We’re going to need that fight. It’s a tough season, but I believe we’re going to pull it out. The next game we have like that we’re going to pull it out.”
Things looked promising when punter Pat O’Donnell pinned the Raiders at their own 3 with 7:49 left in the fourth quarter. But the Bears defense allowed Oakland to march the length of the field, winning the game on Jacobs’ 2-yard TD run.
The Bears had seemingly stopped the drive, forcing a Raiders punt on fourth-and-six from Oakland’s 22. But after a 5-yard penalty on Kevin Pierre-Louis for running into punter A.J. Cole resulted in fourth-and-one at the 27, the Raiders ran a fake punt, with up-back Erik Harris taking a direct snap and gaining four yards.
“We knew that [a fake punt] could certainly come,” Nagy said. “You’ve still got to stop it.”
Trailing 24-21, the Bears reached midfield. But Daniel floated a deep pass intended for Anthony Miller that was easily intercepted by cornerback Gareon Conley with 1:14 to play.
“That’s one we want back,” Daniel said. “It’s completely on me. There’s no excuses for it. You’re 16, 17 yards away [from field-goal range] with a chance to tie the game and send it to overtime and I liked our chances the way we’d been playing in the second half.”
Starting in place of the injured Mitchell Trubisky, Daniel completed 22 of 30 passes for 231 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions and an 89.7 passer rating. A third pick was nullified by a roughing-the-passer penalty.
Oakland rushed for 169 yards and three TDs on 39 carries, with Jacobs—a rookie first-round draft pick—running for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
“They ran the ball pretty well,” Trevathan said. “They got up to the second level. The running back’s pretty good, and we just didn’t have any answer at first.”
Montgomery, meanwhile, was held to 25 yards and one TD on 11 attempts. As a team, the Bears rushed for 42 yards on 17 carries with a long run of six yards.
“In this game it usually starts up front,” Nagy said. “We know that. We preach it. We talk it. We understand that, and we just throughout the game weren’t real successful offensively with running the football. It’s been an issue this year, and so we need to figure out why.”