Football

I know you’ve seen the stat. It’s pretty damning.

Since the start of the 2018 season, it’s as follows:

Yikes.

So Khalil Mack, on his own, has matched production of the Oakland Raiders since they made the decision to not pay him. The team a whole hasn’t fared much better, notching a 6-14 record since the deal, acquiring more future draft picks than wins. Oh, and there was the whole sideshow event this Summer with Antonio Brown, another star that Jon Gruden deemed worthy of the massive contract, only to have him throw himself out of town with tantrums before he played a snap in the Black and Silver.

Curious, that choice. To NOT give the requisite guaranteed money to a star pass rusher in his prime and then turn around and trade for an end-of-his-prime, if not twilight of his career, Wide Receiver with a history of on/off the field issues is pretty odd. But it’s not that odd when you consider Gruden, and his old school machismo persona. He took over a team he previously had coached for, but this time he had all the power he’d lusted for. He saw a 12-4 team, a playoff team, from 2016 go down it’s leg in 2017 and fall to 6-10. And then he saw the team’s best player talking about wanting the biggest contract for the position ever. All this added up to Gruden being able to show everyone in the organization who held the power. That, FRENTS, is a special kind of dick-swinging.

So what’s the matchup here? did I bury the lede?

This is the REVENGE game. The VINDICTIVENESS game. The THIS COULD BE US BUT YOU PLAYIN’ game.

Khalil Mack vs the entire soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders. Let’s see what some of the beat have been saying this week…

So Mack is good. Okay. What else…

Oh. So the guy they drafted to take over the pass rush for Mack won’t be able to play, or arguably their best WR…

Narrator: They did not, in fact, get five downs.

At least the Raider OLine is sorta prepared?

Oh.

 

If you pray, pray for the Derek Carr and the Raiders on Sunday.

photo credit up top to Kevin Fishbain
Football

vs.

 

Bears (3-1) vs. Raiders (2-2)

Sunday, October 6th 12:00

TV: Fox

London, England

Fun Fact: Winston Churchill believed non-white people were genetically inferior to white people, while also drinking enough to make Charles Bukowski look like a 14-year -old after three Natty Lites

Top of the morning, Bears fans! As you read this, we are more or less two days away from our boys taking on the Oakland Raiders, who are technically the home team at the fabled Northumberland Development Project, which I swear is the actual name of the stadium they’ll be playing in on Sunday and not something that I made up.

Let’s lead with the obvious story: Khalil Mack is returning to destroy the hopes and dreams of the team that traded him to Chicago for a handful of magic beans and a collection of Walgreens coupons. Sure, two first round picks is a high price to pay, but Mack is worth it beyond any shadow of a doubt and we know how bad Ryan Pace has been drafting in the first round. This one is going to be personal, and I am so excited to watch him get held on every single play on Sunday. It probably won’t matter how many midfielders or whatever the Raiders send to chip him, expect Mack to rule the pitch and bend rookie lineman Kolton Miller like Beckham would (I know nothing about soccer, I apologize). Khalil Mack is going to do to the Raiders what the British East India Company did to most of the world in the era of imperialism. Expect it to be NSFW.

This game feels like classic Chicago Bears football: the defense dominates and the offense, knowing how much more exciting it is to watch them play, does their best job to keep it interesting by going out three-and-out every time they’re on the field. Outside of an impressive drive to start the game and one more drive before the half, this offense didn’t inspire much last week in the absence of Mitch Trubisky, who I am also sure will be genetically modified when he comes back from injury and throw for 500 yards a game.

These games are maddening because if the Bears had a three touchdown lead for once it would be nice to see the defense get to pin their ears back and do the things that make them so fun to watch: take chances for the big play. Eddie Jackson is an All-Pro safety, and imagining him in a game situation where he’s feeling more comfortable to jump a route or two could lead to a few more team celebration photos in the opposing end zone.

Can Chase Daniel keep this offense running as smoothly as my first car, a 95 Ford Escort with one functioning door? That might be all it takes to win with the way this defense is playing. A beat-up defense ethered Minnesota’s offense so badly last week that it literally caused team dysfunction. They’re wrecking homes at an Ashley Madison rate, and you can’t compete with that kind of efficiency. Chase will be asked to manage the game, and while that’s a major regression from what we all expected going into 2019, if it means a Bears W, I’ll take it. I’m expecting Javon Wims to catch a touchdown in this one, and if I’m wrong I’ll buy everyone reading this an order of fish and chips*.

*Not an actual guarantee, but hey I did learn that the British call french fries “chips” because it’s short for “chipped potatoes.”

Honestly, I just want to see notable Red-Assed goober Jon Gruden have a shitty day. He’s a total heel, but not in the fun heel way a la Dusty Rhodes. Gruden has X-Pac Heat (for those unfamiliar, X-Pac Heat is when wrestling fans hate a wrestler not because of effective heel work, but because they are unlikable as a human being/suck at wrestling). If I can’t get WALTER to come out and hit Chucky with a lariat, I’d hope the Bears could make him regret pretty much everything he’s done since taking over creative control of the Raiders and doing exactly two things:

1. Cutting or trading everyone that made this team interesting or fun
2. Ruining how cool it is that I got a dope throwback Raiders Starter jacket three years ago

Derek Carr is overrated, and is at best a middling QB who wants to be Tony Romo for a new generation. Josh Jacobs has potential, but isn’t there yet. Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Tyrell Williams are the best things going for this Oakland offense. This is a team that was in need of a Dolphins-esque rebuild, and they entrusted it to a fucking clown and I feel bad for the 10-15 good to great players on the roster.

This game could go a number of different ways. I can see it being anything from a 24-3 laugher in favor of the Bears, or the Raiders could shock us all and pull out a close one. When in London, nothing is guaranteed, except for Allen Robinson‘s dominance (16 catches, 213 yards, 2 touchdowns in 3 career games in London), because he’s the best Zed receiver taking the pitch on Sunday.

Prediction: Bears 27, Raiders 10

Football

When the Bears face the Raiders this Sunday from Tootenham Hotspur Stadium in London, UK, Derek Carr will be under center for the Raiders. This can be considered a good thing for the Bears as Carr has struggled to recapture the success he had in his Pro Bowl seasons from 2015-2017. Now, much of the decline in productivity can be blamed on the organization he plays for as well as his supporting cast. Which are both a bag of dicks. But throwing for 19 TDs in 16 starts last season is indefensible and general really piss poor.

Through four games this year, Derek Carr has put up numbers that are very much consistent with his career stats:

2019:

  • 72.1 Completion %
  • 222 Passing Yards Per Game
  • 6 TDs
  • 3 INTs
  • 96.7 Passer Rating

Career (82 Games)

  • 63.2 Completion %
  • 234 Passing Yards Per Game
  • 128 TDs
  • 57 INTs
  • 89.2 Passer Rating

What really stands out is Carr’s 72.1% Completion Percentage this season, good for 9th best league-wide and higher than some rando’s named: Mahomes, Watson, Phillip Rivers and Ryan.

Last week against the Colts, Carr threw 31 passes. Unbelievably, only four of the 31 attempts went to the right side of the field:

I have never seen a throw chart even come close to looking like this; and to make this whole thing even more confusing, two of four right side attempts went for touchdowns. What in the fuck were Derek Carr and Jon Gruden doing last week?

Now let’s take this whole thing another odd step forward and show you that, last season, Carr was decidedly better on throws to the right side of the field:

Looking at this chart, Bears safeties should and will be cheating towards the middle of the field and right side all game as Carr is clearly garbage throwing to the left side on anything past 10 yards.

With Amari Cooper Gone, Who Can Catch The Rock?

Derek Carr and the Raiders offense relies heavily on the tight end position in the passing game. Darren Waller has been an absolute beast so far this season, and although he has yet to catch a TD pass, he leads the league in receptions, is 3rd in yards, and 2nd in passes caught for a 1st down. If Carr can get Waller matched up against a Bears linebacker from time to time, he may be able to have a big day in London.

Carr’s other option in the passing game is 5th year veteran Tyrell Williams, who has scored a touchdown in every game this season.  Williams is averaging almost 13 yards per catch with a long of 43 yards. If any of the Raiders pass catchers are going to break a long one, look for it to be Williams.

Don’t expect a lot of catches out of the Raiders backfield. Although Josh Jacobs gets a lion’s share of the carries, he has 3 receptions on the year. Jalen Richard has become more of the 3rd down pass catching threat, and has accumulated 6 catches so far, leading all Raiders running backs.

So What Does All This Mean?

Ultimately, the Bears defense and not Derek Carr is going to be the deciding factor as to whether Carr has a big game. I expect Darren Waller to be heavily involved on quick strike passing game as Jon Gruden will not allow Khalil Mack to become an even bigger story. Game tape from the last four weeks will clearly show that you cannot and will not beat the Bears if your QB is taking 5&7 step drops and trying to sit in the pocket and attack with long balls down the field.