Updated: Oct 28
An unfamiliar adversary at quarterback on the opposing sideline threw a monkey wrench in Las Vegas’ gameplan as the team’s brief win streak was snapped in its last outing.
The Raiders were shocked by the Chicago Bears, 30-12, Sunday, Oct. 22 from Soldier Field with both teams starting backup quarterbacks. The loss ends a two-game win streak for Las Vegas.
“The reality is: It’s the NFL,” quarterback Brian Hoyer said. “No matter who you play Sunday, if you don’t come and execute that’s what’s going to happen. They came out and played better than we did and that’s the result that you [saw].”
Now, the Raiders are 1-3 on the road this season with a third primetime game in the first eight weeks on the horizon. Las Vegas will now travel to Detroit for a Monday, Oct. 30 matchup set for 5:15 p.m.
“You take a look at everything,” McDaniels said. “There have been stretches where it’s been fine and we’ve been competitive but we need to find some consistency in all three phases.”
Chicago quarterback Tyson Bagent made his first career start as an undrafted free agent, shining in the absence of regular starter Justin Fields, who is expected to miss three weeks with a thumb injury.
“Give them credit,” McDaniels said. “They did a great job of staying balanced and kept the young kid in a situation that was really ideal for him. We were trying to create some third and longs to put him under pressure but it never materialized.”
Bagent was aided by a strong defensive effort from the Bears which included holding the Raiders without a point in the first quarter. That went down as the second shutout in the first quarter of the season for Chicago.
Before long, Bagent and the Bears’ offense was up 14-0 at home behind a strong rushing attack, largely led by running back D’Onta Foreman. Along with the victory, Foreman put forth a career-day with 120 total yards from scrimmage on 19 touches with three touchdowns.
As a team, Chicago rushed for 173 yards on 38 carries.
“When you give up that many yards after contact – there were opportunities for us to kind of make a stand near the line of scrimmage,” McDaniels said. “We missed way too many tackles, over-pursuit, all those things are not conducive to playing great on defense.”
The lone touchdown pass of Bagent’s first start came on the backend of a eight-plus minute drive in the third quarter that elapsed 15 total plays and 88 yards. He also manufactured a 12-play, six and a half minute drive to extend the lead to 18 points.
Hoyer made his first start of the season and his first regular season start since 2020. For the second time this season, starter Jimmy Garoppolo was unable to make his scheduled start this time, due to a back injury.
Number one receiver Davante Adams made headlines in the days leading up to the game, voicing his frustration with his amount of targets despite the back-to-back narrow wins. In those two games, he was targeted a total of nine times.
On the opening drive, Adams picked up two catches on the first three plays and eventually racked up five receptions on seven targets in the first quarter. He had six receptions over the last two weeks. He finished with a team-high 57 yards and seven receptions which was tied for the team-high with fellow receiver Jakobi Meyers.
“To put this all to bed, we always try to get the ball to our best guys,” McDaniels said. “Sometimes the defense plays things and take those opportunities away and other times they don’t.”
For a short stretch in the middle of the game, Hoyer would complete just one pass over his last seven attempts. Things would continue to get much worse for him after he threw his second interception of the game in the fourth quarter in the form of a pick-six.
Hoyer would complete 17 of his 32 pass attempts for 129 yards and two interceptions.
“I don’t think everything was all the quarterback’s fault,” McDaniels said. “But I thought he hung in there and kept playing and put us in position to go down 21-10 if that was [the case].”
Fourth-round rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell entered the game late in the fourth quarter and proceeded to throw the team’s third interception of the game. His interception as well as Hoyer’s second pick of the game went to Chicago’s Jaylon Johnson.
Las Vegas now has 15 giveaways this season versus just five takeaways the other way.
“There were some good things and there were some missed opportunities,” McDaniels said. “I have to take a look at the first interception, I didn’t really get a great look at it in real time.”
O’Connell did account for the only Raider touchdown of the day on a scoring strike to the aforementioned Meyers.
McDaniels has acknowledged that Garoppolo will return to his starting role upon returning from injury.”