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Preview: Oakland at Chicago
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 4, 2015
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
After ending a lengthy road losing streak last week at Cleveland, the Oakland Raiders attempt to make it two in a row when they visit the floundering Chicago Bears on Sunday. Oakland ended its 11-game slide on the road with a 27-20 triumph over the Browns, putting it one victory away from its first three-game winning streak since 2011.
The Raiders have a golden opportunity to match last season’s overall win total and stay above .500 after four games for the first time since going 4-0 in 2002 when they invade the Windy City to take on the winless Bears. Chicago fell to 0-3 with last week’s 26-0 setback at Seattle and began a fire sale soon after. Defensive end Jared Allen was traded to Carolina and linebacker Jonathan Bostic to New England, with the Bears receiving a pair of draft picks in return. Jay Cutler was limited in practice Thursday and is questionable to face Oakland, which hopes to make Jimmy Clausen 1-12 lifetime as a starter should it line up against him instead.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Raiders -3. O/U: 45
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (2-1): While optimistic about its start, Oakland cannot be too pleased with its defense thus far. The Raiders surrendered fewer than 33 points for the first time this season last week but rank last in the league with an average of 414.7 yards allowed. Future Hall-of-Fame defensive back Charles Woodson made his 61st career interception in the final minute against Cleveland, putting him one away from tying Dick LeBeau and Dave Brown for ninth place on the all-time list.
ABOUT THE BEARS (0-3): Clausen was ineffective – to say the least – last week, going 9-of-17 for 63 yards as Chicago gained only 146 total yards en route to being shut out for the first time since 2002. The Bears, who are in danger of starting 0-4 for the first time since 2000, also are struggling defensively as they’ve yielded a league-high 35 points per game. Matt Forte has been held in check, gaining a total of 135 yards on the ground over his last two contests after rushing for 141 in the season opener.
1. The Bears have allowed a kickoff to be returned for a touchdown in each of their last two games.
2. Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski will tie Tim Brown’s team record when he appears in his 240th contest on Sunday.
3. The teams are meeting for the first time since Nov. 27, 2011, when Oakland posted a 25-20 victory at home.
PREDICTION: Raiders 27, Bears 23