First team looks fantastic in 34-26 victory at Oakland
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter August 23, 2013 11:20PM
BEARS 34, RAIDERS 26
BEARS 17 10 0 7 — 34
Oakland 0 3 17 6 — 26
BEARS—FG Gould 45, 8:41.
BEARS—Forte 32 pass from Cutler (Gould kick), 7:02.
BEARS—Bush 10 run (Gould kick), 2:17.
BEARS—Bush 1 run (Gould kick), 10:09.
BEARS—FG Gould 53, 1:00.
Oak—FG Janikowski 58, :00.
Oak—Pryor 25 run (Janikowski kick), 10:10.
Oak—FG Janikowski 30, 4:38.
Oak—Kasa 19 pass from Pryor (Janikowski kick), :34.
BEARS—Ford 15 run (Gould kick), 9:43.
Oak—Olawale 5 pass from McGloin (pass failed), 4:07.
First downs 18 18
Total Net Yards 353 337
Rushes-yards 30-164 29-128
Passing 189 209
Punt Returns 2-2 1-0
Kickoff Returns 5-126 6-154
Interceptions Ret. 4-35 1-(-3)
Comp-Att-Int 18-31-1 17-29-4
Sacked-Yards Lost 0-0 3-31
Punts 4-44.0 3-50.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-0
Penalties-Yards 8-65 5-37
Time of Possession 29:13 30:47
RUSHING—BEARS, Forte 6-76, Ford 9-58, Bush 10-19, Cutler 2-13, McCown 1-0, Palmer 2-(minus 2). Oakland, Stewart 10-37, Pryor 4-37, Jennings 12-35, Flynn 2-11, Ford 1-8.
PASSING—BEARS, Cutler 12-21-0-142, McCown 5-9-1-42, Palmer 1-1-0-5. Oakland, McGloin 7-14-2-128, Pryor 7-9-0-93, Flynn 3-6-2-19.
RECEIVING—BEARS, Jeffery 7-77, Forte 2-33, Weems 2-18, Ford 2-16, M.Bennett 1-16, M.Wilson 1-14, Maneri 1-8, Aromashodu 1-5, Adams 1-2. Oakland, Session 2-43, Leonhardt 2-37, Rivera 2-35, Jennings 2-4, Vernon 1-29, Kasa 1-19, Streater 1-19, Holmes 1-14, G.Jenkins 1-14, D.Moore 1-9, Gordon 1-6, Stewart 1-6, Olawale 1-5.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Oakland, Janikowski 49 (WR).
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Updated: September 25, 2013 6:16AM
OAKLAND, Calif. — If it was too early to push the panic button last week, it’s too early to make Super Bowl reservations this week.
The same mantra holds true — ‘‘It’s only the preseason’’ — but for a much different reason this time. The Bears can’t be this good.
Jay Cutler and his teammates didn’t necessarily solve their offensive problems when they dominated the Oakland Raiders in a 34-26 victory Friday night at O.co Coliseum. But they showed they’re headed in the right direction with at least a glimpse of the potential of Marc Trestman’s offense.
It still was just a preseason game, but what a show by the Bears. Matt Forte scored on a 32-yard swing pass from Cutler and added a 35-yard run that set up Michael Bush’s 10-yard touchdown run up the middle. Cutler completed passes to Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Kyle Adams and was 12-for-21 for 142 yards, one touchdown and a 93.8 passer rating as the Bears built a 27-3 halftime lead. Robbie Gould’s 53-yard field goal gave the Bears a 27-0 lead with 1:00 left in the first half.
The defense stifled the Raiders and quarterback Matt Flynn, and they were booed repeatedly by the home crowd. Tim Jennings and Isaiah Frey had interceptions. Cornerback Charles Tillman had a sack, and Julius Peppers added a tackle for loss as the Bears held the Raiders to 47 yards on 21 plays in building their 27-point lead.
Cutler will not play in the preseason finale Thursday against the Cleveland Browns, and several other key starters won’t play or will make cameo appearances. But if this is what the Bears have going into the regular season, most of them, if not all, will take their chances with what they saw against the Raiders.
Though Cutler was the focus and showed that he can throw to other receivers besides Brandon Marshall, it was Forte who was the star. The former Pro Bowl running back showed off his versatility, running left and right for big gains and doing what he does best with short passes. He rushed for 76 yards on six carries in the first half and added 33 yards on two receptions.
Cutler answered the calls for him to spread the ball around. On third-and-one from the Bears’ 29, he threw a short pass to Jeffery, who spun to the outside for a 22-yard gain. On the next play, Cutler threw to Bennett, who was open over the middle for 16 yards.
As it turned out, Marshall was about the only player Cutler couldn’t connect with. On second-and-four from the Raiders’ 27, Cutler tried to hit Marshall, but the ball was deflected and nearly intercepted. On the next play, Marshall dropped an easy one over the middle, and the Bears settled for Gould’s 45-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The offense and defense were in high gear from there. After Jennings intercepted Flynn at the Raiders’ 32, Forte took a quick swing pass to the right and — with key blocks from Bennett and Jeffery — weaved his way through the Raiders’ defense for a 32-yard touchdown reception and a 10-0 lead.
The Raiders’ Jacoby Ford returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards to the Bears’ 38. But Tillman sacked Flynn, and the Bears forced a field-goal attempt by Sebastian Janikowski that was wide right.
Forte, with key blocks from Matt Slauson and tight end Steve Maneri, gained 35 yards around left end to the Raiders’ 26. On third-and-nine, Cutler threw a 12-yard pass to Jeffery for a first down, leading to Bush’s 10-yard touchdown run for a 17-0 lead with 2:17 left in the first quarter.