JC's Game Blog: Bears vs. Raiders

Be sure to refresh this live blog every now and then for all the goings on Sunday afternoon at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland. From the field to the sideline to the press box, JC will make you feel like you're a part of the game.

Inactive today for the Bears are DT Antonio Garay, S Brandon McGowan, FB Lousaka Polite, OG Josh Beekman, CB Nathan Vasher, LB Rod Wilson and WR Mike Hass. Kyle Orton will serve as the third quarterback. As for the Raiders, CB Fabian Washington, C Jake Grove, QB JaMarcus Russell, DL Josh Shaw, OT Mario Henderson, CB Nnamdi Asomugha, and LB Sam Williams will sit this one out. Andrew Walter is the No. 3 QB ...

The Bears have won the toss and elected to receive …

Typical Bears this season on their first possession of the game. Give Oakland head coach Lane Kiffin credit for saying he was going to kick to Devin Hester and actually doing it. On 3rd-and-4, Brian Griese throws a dumpoff pass to Adrian Peterson in the flat that comes up short, so here comes Brad Maynard's first punt of the afternoon …

Raiders QB Josh McCown gets a big gainer on the ground to get the Oakland drive started, but the Bears eventually hold and force a Sebastian Janikowski field goal attempt. He converts from 38 yards out, giving the Silver and Black and early 3-0 lead. McCown is a lot more athletic than people think, so the Midway Monsters will have to be cognizant of his mobility today …

Cedric Benson is having some success in the early going, which he should facing the 30th-ranked rushing defense in the league. Another short throw from Griese to Peterson stalls the drive, putting Maynard on the field for his second punt already. Both Oakland corners, Asomugha and Washington, are out today, so Griese needs to start challenging this defense down the field …

Lance Briggs is all over the field already, possibly trying to show Oakland owner Al Davis that he's worth $60 million since he's from Sacramento and grew up a Raiders fan. He's the best linebacker on the team right now, no matter if Brian Urlacher's back is bothering him or not. Hester has had three return opportunities already, but he hasn't really gotten uncorked yet …

It's good to see Garrett Wolfe active on game day again, although he just about got killed on his first carry and lost four yards in the process. Griese doesn't look very sharp at all throwing the football thus far. Maynard's ensuing punt is fumbled in enemy territory, but they can't fall on it as the Raiders catch an early break …

That's the end of the first quarter, yet another opening period that sees the Chicago offense do next to nothing …

The Oakland offense isn't exactly lighting it up either, as Urlacher and Adewale Ogunleye get to McCown for a third-down sack and force another punt. It's been one big punting expo so far, as I can see a few yawns in the crowd already. This game is going to get quite ugly today, ladies and gentlemen …

Robbie Gould gets the Bears on the board with a chip-shot field goal of his own. Muhsin Muhammad got the drive started with a long advance on a drag pattern over the middle, and Desmond Clark produced a first down of his own with some solid extra effort down the right sideline. It's been a quick moving first half, just 6:51 left to go before intermission …

A lot of critics are saying that the Bears got nothing out of this past April's draft aside from first-rounder Greg Olsen, but seventh-round cornerback Trumaine McBride keeps playing well in the absence of Nathan Vasher. He made two nice plays on that drive, including a pass defense against Jerry Porter who just happens to be one of the bigger receivers in the league. He's been impressive considering that nobody expected him to play at all this season …

"This is the two-minute warning" …

Kirk Morrison comes crashing through the line of scrimmage and sacks Griese for a big loss, and Griese looks to be banged up. And how do you like that, Bears fans. Rex Grossman is back under center. What a shock, he fumbles the first snap from Olin Kreutz. You can't make this stuff up. Just unbelievable this guy …

Three sacks already for the Bears on defense, as the Raiders can't get anything going in the two-minute drill. Let's see if Hester gets his hands on the ball with just 10 seconds to go in the half. He fields the punt around his 5-yard line and is cradled a step or two away from his end zone, dangerously close to a safety …

And that's the half, 3-3 in a far from entertaining ballgame after 30 minutes …

The Raiders don't do much on their first possession of the second half, as Shane Lechler will punt the ball away once again. Looks like Grossman will still be at quarterback, which means Griese's shoulder injury could be fairly significant. A lot was written about Grossman mysteriously getting 40 percent of the snaps in practice this week, so perhaps Lovie Smith has a future as a soothsayer if this football business doesn't work out …

Gould comes up short on a 53-yard field goal attempt, which would have been the longest of his career by far. Despite the fact that he was an All-Pro last season, he's still yet to connect from 50 yards or longer in his career. No problem surrendering the field position, as the Oakland offense has been positively awful in this ballgame …

Justin Fargas thinks he was down, but it sure looks like he put that ball on the round. McBride pounces on the fumble, giving the ball back to his offense with good field position. Time for Grossman and Co. to finally get into the end zone because this Oakland team is just about ready to quit and mail in the rest of the season …

Grossman pretty much threw it to safety Michael Huff on 3rd-and-4, missing his intended target (Olsen) by a wide margin. Corey Graham makes another good play on special teams, downing Maynard's punt deep in Oakland territory. He also has a few tackles in coverage today …

Yet another punt for the Raiders, which means that Hester gets another chance to work his magic in the return game. And he does just that, fielding the ball at his own 10-yard line and sprinting all the way inside the Oakland 40-yard line, but a holding penalty on Brendon Ayanbadejo nullifies the fireworks. Looks like Grossman will have to put together a drive instead, which has proven to be quite difficult so far today …

Looks like Grossman still has an affinity for throwing into double coverage down the field, forcing one to Hester deep down the right sideline that luckily falls harmlessly to the ground. Time for another Maynard punt right now. Man, I'm having a hard time staying awake right now up in the press box …

Two more false-start penalties on the Oakland offensive line, which is by far the most penalized unit in the league. This is just a horrible game to watch, there's no way around it. It's borderline comical how bad both of these offenses have been today …

This was supposed to be one of the worst front fours in all of football considering Oakland came into this game with only 11 sacks as a team, but they just got Grossman on back-to-back plays on that drive. Just start having Maynard punt on third down from now on. I'm starting to think that these live game blogs aren't such a hot idea when covering dogs like this one …

Three-and-out for the Raiders on their ensuing possession. McBride makes yet another good play knocking down a pass over the middle on third down. Lechler's punt is downed at the Chicago 5-yard line, which means it's entirely possible that Oakland could win this game 5-3 on a safety right here …

The Bears manage one first down after taking over with terrible field position, but that's it as Maynard must punt it away once again. Benson is a complete bust at tailback, there's no other way to describe him anymore. No speed, no moves in the open field, and no ability to break tackles …

Janikowski splits the uprights from 52 yards out, giving Oakland a 6-3 lead with 4:04 left in the fourth quarter. The way Grossman has looked throwing the football, that might be your ballgame right there. Time for Hester to wiggle free and flip the field position in order to give his offense a legitimate chance …

There's the long ball, finally. Grossman chucks it deep down the left sideline and hits Berrian for a 59-yard touchdown strike. Gould converts the extra point for a 10-6 lead with 3:11 left in the fourth quarter. Grossman could not have thrown a better ball, and he is getting congratulated left and right by everyone on the team as he heads back to the sideline …

Another three-and-out for McCown and the Raiders, and the boos are cascading down from everywhere at McAfee Coliseum right now. Lechler punts the ball away with a little over two minutes to go, meaning the Bears can put this one away probably by converting just one first down on offense. Can Benson even get 10 yards on three carries? …

That should put a bow on it right there. McCown is sacked by Ogunleye, who's been in the Raiders' backfield all day long, and fumbles the ball deep in his own territory. The Bears recover at the Oakland 3-yard line, and Benson batters his way into the end zone for the clinching score one play later. After the Gould point after, it's 17-6 with 1:35 to play in the game …

And that's the game, as Danieal Manning picks off McCown on the last play of regulation in the end zone to seal a hard-to-watch 17-6 Bears victory …

Be sure to visit BearReport.com for all the analysis, all the insight, and all the latest from Oakland as the Bears pull out an ugly one but move their record to 4-5.


  • Comparing Urlacher to Butkus and Singletary
  • "New" Soldier Field vs. "Old" Soldier Field
  • Reliving the 61-7 win over Green Bay in 1980
  • An excerpt from Cindi Dammann's Tailgating Tales
  • Getting to know LB Jamar Williams

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