Bears vs. Raiders Prediction: Battle of the backup quarterbacks
Trevor Ruszkowski - USA Today Sports

Bears vs. Raiders Prediction: Battle of the backup quarterbacks

by - Senior Writer -

In what many will call a missed opportunity against the Minnesota Vikings last week, the Bears will look to improve upon their 1-5 record as they play host to the Las Vegas Raiders. This is one of those games that could be very ugly as both teams are dealing with several key injuries, many of which are at significant positions.

Considering the Bears currently own two top-four picks, including the No. 1 pick in next year's draft as things sit right now, some fans want the Bears to lose as many games as possible. Don't tell that to the players on this team. They are not wired that way, and none are happy with how the season has gone so far.

Sure, there has been significant improvement across the board since the start of the season, but as we have seen so often this year, one step forward leads to two steps backward, and the Bears have yet to get any consistency going.

Here are some things to look for ahead of week 7.

Battle of the Backups

As if this Bears offense wasn't struggling enough as it was, Sunday has the potential to be a very ugly game offensively, as both Justin Fields and Jimmy Garroppolo will be out with injuries. Garroppolo injured his back last week, with Fields hurting his thumb and having an unknown timetable.

That will lead the starting duties to Brian Hoye while Tyson Bagent will be making his first career NFL start after appearing in the second half last week. Bagent picked up the Bears lone TD last week on a one-yard sneak, but he needs to do more than that this week if the Bears want to come out on top.

Keep improving defensively

Despite the overall struggles of this team, especially offensively, it has been nice to see the Bears defense continue to improve after being putrid last season. Who knew all it would take for that to happen was to have the previous Defensive Coordinator, Alan Williams, resign, leaving the playcalling to Head Coach Matt Eberflus.

In the weeks since, the Bears have not only gotten better each game, including back-to-back weeks allowing just 19 and 20 points, but they are now starting to force turnovers, which they lacked last season. A big reason for that has been the more consistent pressure they have been putting on QBs, as this team has eight sacks the past two weeks after having just two sacks in the first four games and 20 all of last season.

It is amazing what can happen when you start getting pressure on a QB. The Bears will look to do that this week with O'Connell under center, as he hasn't done a great job picking up or handling blitzes. That could leave him prone to costly turnovers, which could lead to points if the Bears capitalize.

Time to start prepping for the trade deadline

With every mounting loss this team has, it seems less likely that they will be able to turn their season around and will once again be picking very high in the NFL draft. Another thing to watch for is the upcoming trade deadline, where the Bears could be sellers once again in an effort to add more pieces to their roster.

While it is unclear what names are being discussed, you have to think Travis Homer, D'Onta Foreman, Robert Tonyan, and Mercedes Lewis could be guys on the offensive end since they all have one-year contracts for this season. On the defensive side of the ball, Yannick Ngakoue will be the most discussed name as he continues to be one of the better pass rushers in the game.

You can never have too many pass rushers, and teams will call Chicago a lot about Ngakoue. While it would hurt to lose him, it makes sense for them to deal with him if he is available, as he would bring back the best return.

Prediction: Bears lose 17-13

This had the makings of being an ugly game from the start, but it could get ugly with both starting QBs out for this week. Both of their backups have little NFL experience, and one is making his first career start against a defense that intercepted Jordan Love three times not long ago.

Ultimately, it will come down to the coaching in this one, and everyone knows that neither one of these coaches has had a ton of success. Josh McDaniels is figuring things out a bit more this season, but even at that, the Raiders should be a better team than what they are. Look for the Raiders to fend off the Bears 17-13 in a low-scoring affair.

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