Almost every team this time of the season is pretty banged up. It was apparent today with the Raiders running game sputtering and the Chicago Bears passing game limited much of the day. The game would be dominated mostly by defense and special teams.
Raiders pro bowl kicker Sebastian Janikowski broke his own record by kicking six field goals in a game. six-time pro bowl punter Shane Lechler was consistent in pinning the Bears back near their own endzone. Lechler also had a phenomenal punt that traveled eighty yards in the air, going over return man Devin Hester's head and bouncing into the endzone. The biggest Chicago threat, Hester, was contained.
The Oakland Raiders are 7-4, have won their last three games and still lead the AFC West by a game. Today, the Raiders were the better team. They limited the penalties to less than a handful and QB Carson Palmer looked the part of an all-pro quarterback.
I question some of coach Hue Jackson's decisions on plays and strategy, like calling a time out which allowed Bears coach Lovie Smith the challenge and win a reversal on a catch by Darrius Heyward-Bey ruled complete. Yeah, there were a few negatives I saw with the Raiders today, but the positives outweigh them by a landslide.
RB Marcel Reese (unstoppable as a receiver) M. Bush honorable mention
Kickers Lechler & Janikowski (this game was riding on their legs)
LB Kamerion Wimbley (game changing interception return)
WR Chaz Schilens & Louis Murphy (clicking with Carson) DHB honorable mention
A Bend but don't Break Defense
Us Raider Fans are going to ride this winning high like a Warrior going into battle atop his War Horse, aware of our weaknesses yet trusting in our ability to reach our objective by any means necessary. Strength and Honor comrades, Strength and Honor!