Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over Chicago Bears

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Sep 27, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) carries the football during the second quarter during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 26-0. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Focus on Forte

Last week, the Raiders held Cleveland to just 39 rushing yards. It’s an accomplishment that should be celebrated, but let’s be honest here – it’s not like they held Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch in check. They put the clamps on the likes of Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell.

Against the Bears though, the Raiders run defense is going to be facing a legit threat to take over and blow open a game in Matt Forte. Trade rumors continue to swirl around Forte, but there is little to no chance he’s not playing on Sunday. So the Raiders have to prepare for him.

So far this season, Forte has carried 59 times for 276 yards – an average of 4.7 yards per carry. He’s averaging 92 yards a game. To this point in the season, the Raiders’ run defense has been very good, allowing just 91 yards a game.

With Oakland adding players like Dan Williams, Curtis Lofton, and Malcolm Smith to some returning players like Mack, Tuck, and Justin Ellis, the Raiders focused on beefing up their run defense this year. And so far, that has really paid off as the Raiders have not allowed a 100 yard rusher this season.

If Cutler can’t go Sunday, the Raiders are likely going to get a steady diet of Forte as the Bears apparently don’t trust Jimmy Clausen – or possibly, David Fales – to be slinging the ball around the yard. Against the Seahawks last week, Clausen attempted just 17 passes – completing nine of them – for just 63 yards.

If the Raiders can shut down Forte and take him out of the game and force Clausen or Fales to try and beat them by throwing the ball, you have got to like Oakland’s chances.

Next: Raiders Must Not Overlook Wounded Bears