Starting Ground: The Bears focussed on establishing their ground game early in the game versus the Raiders, gaining 65 yards while rushing the ball nine of their first ten offensive plays with a sack occurring on the one non-running play. Chicago's Kordell Stewart did not throw his first pass of the game until 11:19 was remaining in the second quarter.
Positive Returns: Bears punt returner R.W. McQuarters posted the second-longest punt return on his career when he darted through the Oakland special teams unit for a 54-yard return on his first attempt of the day, hanging back to take the ball on the bounce. McQuarters' career-long punt return was a 72-yard touchdown that came during his rookie season in 1998 while with San Francisco. In his first kickoff return duty since 2001, Jerry Azumah had two returns of at least 30 yards en route to 126 return yards and a 25.2-yard average.
Train Tracks: For the second consecutive games, Bears running back Anthony Thomas topped the 100-yard mark on his longest run of the game, a 20-yard run with 8:24 remaining in the fourth quarter. Last week vs. Green Bay Thomas topped the 100-yard mark on a 67-yard touchdown run and finished with 110 yards on 13 carries. Thomas' consecutive 100-yard rushing games are his first since rushing for 188 yards (22 carries) at Cincinnati on Oct. 21, 20001 and 127 yards (27 carries) vs. San Francisco on Oct. 28, 2001. Thomas finished the contest against Oakland with season-highs of 123 yards rushing on 22 carries (5.6 ypc), his seventh career 100-yard rushing game.
Key Rushes: Chicago's go-ahead touchdown was set-up by Anthony' Thomas game-long 20-yard run one play after Kordell Stewart posted his game-long 16 yard run.
Iron Marty: With his 48-yard pass reception just before halftime, Bears wide receiver Marty Booker equaled Hall of Fame tight end Mike Ditka's streak of 49 consecutive games with at least one reception, the second longest such streak in team history. Booker is on pace to match the franchise-record on Nov. 30 against Arizona. Bobby Engram holds that record with at least one catch in 57 consecutive games from Oct. 6, 1996 to Sept. 17, 2000. Booker began his streak the week after Engram's ended, catching five passes for 56 yards vs. Detroit on Sept. 24, 2000 after being inactive the week before.
Scoring Machine: With his season-long 50-yard field goal in the third quarter, Bears kicker Paul Edinger passed Ken Kavanaugh (1940-41, 45-50) for 11th place on the Bears all-time scoring list and finished the game with 317. Last week vs. Green Bay, became the second-fastest Bear in history to record his 300th career point by doing so in his 51st career game, only trailing Chicago's all-time leading scorer Kevin Butler (38 games). Standing in the way of Edinger cracking the Bears top-ten scoring list is Gale Sayers, who scored 336 points from 1965-71.
Clutch Performer: Paul Edinger booted the fourth game-winning kick of his career with his 48-yard field goal that went through the uprights as time expired. Each of his game-winners has been from at least 40 yards out, a distance from which he leads the NFL during his four-year career with 39 conversions. Edinger is a perfect 8-of-8 on field goal attempts in 2003, including 5-of-5 from 40 or more yards.
Block Party: Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski tied a Bears opponent record with five made field goals that has now been matched three times in the last five games. However, he was the first to have a chance at breaking that record since Minnesota's Fred Cox converted 5-of-6 attempts on Sept. 23, 1973. Janikowski's lone blemish, outside of his missed extra point, was his 47-yard attempt that was blocked by Phillip Daniels at the 11:17 mark of the third quarter. The block was the first of Daniels' career and the first for the Bears since last Oct. 7 vs. Green Bay when Marc Colombo blocked a 28-yard try by Ryan Longwell.
Big Picks: The third-quarter interception by Alex Brown (deflected by Alfonso Boone) was the first of his career and the first by a Bears defensive lineman since Keith Traylor intercepted his own deflected pass and returned it 67 yards in the 2001 season-finale vs. Jacksonville. R.W. McQuarters' fourth-quarter interception and 43-yard return that set-up Chicago's go-ahead touchdown was also deflected, bouncing off the hands of intended Oakland receiver Doug Jolley, and was McQuarters' first interception since Nov. 24, 2002 vs. Detroit.