OAKLAND, August 24, 2013 — The silver and black were adequate at home against Dallas and awful last week at New Orleans. The third preseason game is the one that is treated most like a regular season game. Starters play at least one half, and often three quarters of the game.
The Raiders were at home against the Chicago Bears, and as Dennis Green once reminded us, “Nobody treats the third preseason game like it’s (b.s.).”
The Bears may be who we thought they were, but sadly last week, so were the Raiders. New Bears coach Marc Trestman was the offensive coordinator for the Raiders when they went to the Super Bowl in 2002.
This game also marked the debut of Raiders first round draft pick D.J. Hayden at cornerback. Additionally, ace Raiders kickoff return man Jacoby Ford finally returned to the field. The incredibly gifted gamebreaker has seen his electric career derailed by injuries.
As for the quarterback situation, that has not been settled for the Raiders since Marc Trestman was feeding signals to Rich Gannon. The 2013 situation seems very disheartening.
Matt Flynn started the game for Oakland. The first series resulted in a punt. Jay Cutler took over, and made it took easy for the Bears. A 3rd and 4 pass from Cutler over the middle was dropped, which was the closest the Raiders came to a defensive stand. A 45-yard Robbie Gould field goal had the Bears up 3-0.
On the next series, Flynn was intercepted in the flat. One play was enough for Cutler to throw a short swing pass to Matt Forte. Forte outran the entire Raiders defense for a 10-0 Bears lead. One week after falling behind 23-0, the Raiders’ starters looked just as bad.
Ford showed why he is such a bright spot when healthy. He has four kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career, and he took the ensuing kickoff in this game 60 yards, almost breaking it the distance. To take advantage of the opportunity, the Raiders did nothing. Flynn was sacked, and a 49-yard field goal try off the dirt by Sebastian Janikowski was hooked and no good as the Raiders stayed scoreless.
Running back Michael Bush spent four very solid years with the Raiders as the backup to the often injured Darren McFadden. Bush is a bruiser, and now he runs for the Bears. From the Oakland 10 yard line, Bush banged ahead and scored standing up. After another failed Oakland drive, Bush the battering ram scored from one yard out to give the Bears a 24-0 lead just five minutes into the second quarter. After only 20 minutes of play, the Bears had outgained the Raiders 222 yards to 34, and had 12 first downs to only one for the Raiders.
On the next series, the Raiders faced 3rd and 8 deep in their own territory. Flynn completed a pass to Isaiah Frey, who plays defense for the Bears.
The 2013 Bears are not the 1985 Bears, but the 2013 Raiders may be the 2008 Lions. 0-16 certainly looks like a possibility. The Raiders are not only losing, but they are failing to even be competitive. In the most important preseason game, the Raiders looked awful in all three phases of the game.
Even the two potential Raider punters could not kick it out of bounds. Despite instructions not to kick anywhere near lethal return man Devon Hester, Hester had some good returns. The Bears owned the field position battle.
Terrell Pryor replaced Flynn midway through the second quarter. Pryor had a high floater nearly intercepted by the Bears.
Chicago was not without their flaws. Cutler had several of his passes dropped. Yet, the Raiders had nothing remotely resembling anything positive in the first half of football.
With one minute left in the first half, Robbie Gould hit a 53-yard field goal off the same dirt that Seabass missed from earlier to make it 27-0 Bears.
This is the 30th anniversary of the 1983 Raiders team that won it all. Despite Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett calling the game, there was nothing to inspire the 2013 edition of so-called professional football in Oakland. With seconds left in the half, Pryor went deep to Ford inside the Chicago 10 yard line. It bounced off Ford’s fingertips. Seabass drilled a 58-yard field goal off of the dirt, concluding anything remotely resembling an Oakland highlight. The Raiders trailed 27-3 at halftime.
General Manager Reggie McKenzie has overhauled much of the 45 man roster. He may need to obliterate more of it. As for head coach Dennis Allen, performances like this do not bode well for a man wanting to coach the entire season.
For the second week in a row, the Raiders mounted a furious comeback in the second half. It deserves short shrift because it is meaningless. The starters got obliterated, and starters are who play these games in the regular season.
Terrell Pryor did run for a 25-yard touchdown and throw a touchdown pass. Seabass tacked on a 30-yard field goal between the touchdowns as the Raiders only trailed 27-20 after three quarters. The Bears would salt it away with a touchdown on the ground in the fourth quarter.
Third string quarterback Matt McGloin would complete the scoring with a touchdown pass to cap off an 88-yard drive late in the game, but it was too little, too late. McGloin would also throw two interceptions to complement the two Flynn tossed earlier. The Raiders also fumbled twice, but did not lose either of them.
The Raiders had only five penalties for 37 yards, but the Raiders in the 1970s and 1980s had many more penalties and many more wins.
If people want to crown the Bears, they are free to do so, however, the Raiders look like the worst team in football. For the second straight week, they lost by eight points, but the real story is falling behind, 23-0, last week and 27-0 this week. That is how teams go 0-16.
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities.
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