Game Comments: Bears at Raiders 11/27/11


  1. The Raiders came out with eight in the box on first down.  No surprise.  As usual you want to force the Bears to throw, especially with the inexperienced Caleb Hanie at quarterback.
  2. The Raiders also took the standard tack of crowding the line and shooting the gaps.  It was effective at stopping the run.  The Bears offensive line really struggled to get it going.  I think its fair to say that from here on out, if the Bears can’t run the ball effectively they aren’t going to win.
  3. Hanie looked OK running the offense when he wasn’t throwing the ball to the other team.  He definitely doesn’t have Jay Cutler’s movement in the pocket but particularly at the beginning offensive coordinator Mike Martz didn’t ask him to do it much.  Most of the passes were short, three step drop backs.  Whenever he was asked to do more, however, he looked to me like he struggled to find the open receiver and get the ball out.
  4. Hanie’s accuracy also suffered some today.  He seemed to struggle particularly with intermediate throws one the middle which were sailing high.  That’s how the second interception came about.
  5. The pass protection wasn’t great today, either.  There were a lot of plays where there were Raiders on top of Hanie very quickly.  Pretty tough to do anything with that.
  6. Marion Barber really looks good running the ball.  I think he’s getting better as the season goes on.


  1. The Bears came out in the standard cover two.  The Raiders came out ready to shred it and did.
  2. I thought the pressure on Carson Palmer was fine when the line had time to get to him.
  3. Having said that, the Bears clamped down in the red zone as they usually do, forcing field goals until late in the fourth quarter.
  4. The Bears are still giving up too may big plays.  It must be killing Lovie Smith.
  5. I’m really surprised at how vanilla the Bears played it today.  There was very little of the disguise or variation in their defense that we usually see.
  6. Caleb Hanie wasn’t the only quarterback today to miss some throws.  There were some wide open receivers that didn’t get the ball accurately today from Palmer.
  7. The Bears defense looked tired in the fourth quarter.  There’s really no reason for that.  It isn’t like the Raiders dominated time of possession.


  1. Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston Tony Siragusa were their usual professional selves.
  2. Special teams weren’t bad but the weren’t special, either.  There were some reasonable returns but penalties ruined them.  Robbie Gould’s 53 yard field goal was great.
  3. Obviously turnovers were the single biggest factor which caused the Bears to lose this game.  Too many of the Raider points came as a result of the Hanie interceptions.  The first pick was trying to do too much.  The second and third were poor throws.  On the other side, Corey Graham got an interception.  The Bears dropped a lot of others.  If they had made half those plays the Bears might well have won this game.
  4. Some of them weren’t exactly what you’d call drops but the Bears wide receivers didn’t exactly themselves with glory today.  There were some balls I thought were catchable where the play wasn’t made.
  5. Too many penalties on special teams.  We never saw the unnecessary roughness call on Tyler Clutz but I don’t think its a stretch to call it “stupid” in that situation.  The Raiders lost a touchdown on a holding penalty.
  6. On Caleb Hanie’s list of his own strengths:  being mobile in the pocket, throwing accurately, getting the ball out quick, protecting the football. I’m not saying Hanie was that awful.  He made some plays and he’s definitely going to get better.  But if these are his strengths, I’d hate to know what he thinks his weaknesses are.
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