Oakland Raiders narrowly escaped defeat in London this weekend, dropping a 17-point lead to the Chicago Bears. Fortunately, a late touchdown by their 1st-round rookie Josh Jacobs saved the game.
After an uneventful first quarter, where both teams trade-off their long 5-minute drives scoreless, the rest of the game was a tale of quarters. The second quarter was all Raiders, and it reflected on the very first play where rookie Josh Jacobs' 12-yard run capped off an impressive 10-play, 90-yards drive by the Raiders. The tide kept on rolling for the Raiders, as the Bears' next drive led to an interception in just 3 plays, handing the offensive possession right back to the Raiders. The Raiders used their offensive momentum and took advantage of the proximity to the goal-line (24 yards away from the end zone), with a smooth run from the other RB, Andre Washington. While the Bears continued to struggle on offense, giving up another offensive drive with a punt, the Raiders capitalize their lead with another field goal, pushing the score to an insurmountable lead of 17 points to end the half.
In what may seem like a blowout victory, which the Bears couldn’t find an offensive rhythm in front of the London audience and the predicted ESPN tracker acknowledging that the Raiders have a 95% chance of winning the game at halftime, the third quarter completely changed the wave of the game. After a fumble on their 14-yard line, the Raiders had no answer to the response of the Bears offense in the second half. After a defensive passing interference call by the Raiders, Bears RB David Montgomery found the end-zone on a 1-yard drive. The Raiders immediately gave up possession after an unsuccessful 5-play drive, and the Bears slowly crept up on, immediately responding to the Raider’s missed opportunity with another successful touchdown drive. Only this time, the Raiders slowly ate up the clock with an 89-yard, 12-play drive that lasted for almost half a quarter long, pushing the deficit to only a one-possession game. The Raiders’ luck seems to have gone for the worse, as yet another unsuccessful drive leads to a punt, but this time, Bears Cohen ran it back for 71 yards into the Raider’s 16-yard territory. In just one play, the Bears shocked the London audience, scoring a touchdown and capturing their first lead of the game.
In a tight, decisive game, the Raiders and Bears both blew offensive possessions, seems that the game has gone stagnant for the offensive side of the game and showing the team’s defensive prowess. However, in a long drive that consumed about 6 minutes into the final quarter, the Raiders finally scored in a forgettable second half, with an impressive 2-yard run into the goalline by none other than the 1st-round pick rookie Josh Jacobs, ending a 97-yard and 13-play drive by the Raiders. With 2-minutes left in the game, the Bears were pressured to convert into points on the scoreboard, and it reflected as they intercepted the ball in the first attempt to score following the Raiders’ lead. As the Raiders cut down the clock, the Bears had no time left as they are on their own 20 with 13 seconds left. Time expired, and the Raiders sealed their second consecutive win.
Josh Jacobs is phenomenal in this game, scoring two touchdowns and having almost 150 yards. Since Week 1, where he also scored 2 touchdowns, he never found the end-goal since. The Raiders took a gamble trading away Khalil Mack, a defensive star, but it seems that it has paid dividends, as Jacobs from Alabama led the offensive charge against a stock Bears defense.
After falling to the Packers in Week 1, the Bears were on a roll, having one of the league’s longest consecutive winning streak, remaining undefeated since the Packers game. Despite the switch of quarterback midway through their winning ways, the Bears still clicked and defeated the Vikings in Week 4. However, the Raiders' late touchdown drive ended that winning streak, pushing the Bears in a decisive three-way battle for the top of the NFC North against the leading Packers with only a loss and the Vikings who are currently tied with the Bears with just 2 losses.
After the annual global game, both the Bears and the Raiders have a bye week in Week 6, returning to the States and recovering from the long travel.