What History tells us about Bears vs. Raiders
|2021-10-08 09:12:11.0- -|
As we enter week five of the NFL season, the Chicago Bears will look to break the .500 mark for the first time this season. Standing in their way will be the Las Vegas Raiders, who fell to 3-1 on Monday with a loss to the Chargers.
Unlike some of their previous matchups where the Bears have seen their opponents a lot, this series hasn't gone on all that long in terms of football years. Yes, 50 years is half of a century, but during that time, these two sides have met a total of 15 times, with the Raiders holding a slight 8-7 edge.
That shows you how tough this series has been between the two sides, and I expect that to be the case again Sunday afternoon at the Death Star in Vegas.
Not only did the first meeting for these teams come in 1972, but the Raiders dominated the early portion of this series. Known as Oakland during that time, the Raiders took the first-ever meeting between the teams 28-21 before winning 28-27 and 25-19 the next two. Despite battling until the end, the
Bears were 0-3 to start this series and didn't pick up a win until the 1980s.
What a difference a decade makes, as the Bears not only won their first-ever meeting with the Raiders 23-6 in 1981, but followed that up with two more wins against the now Los Angeles Raiders to even the series up 3-3 by 1987.
Once again, the turn of a new decade led to one side grabbing an advantage, with the Raiders taking their final two meetings as the Los Angeles Raiders to take the 5-3 lead in the series.
In 1996, the Raiders returned to Oakland, and the Bears treated them to a 19-17 loss that season before the Raiders closed out the 90s with a 24-17 win. However, since the 2000s have started, the Bears have had the upper hand as they have gone 4-2 against the Silver and Black since the 2003 season. In 2003, the Bears topped the Raiders 24-21 before evening up the series 6-6 with a hard-fought 17-6 win in 2007.
Four years later saw the Raiders grab the advantage again, pulling out a 25-20 win against the Bears at Oakland. Carson Palmer was the QB that day, tossing for 301 yards and an interception while Caleb Hanie patrolled the Bears offense. Moving to 2015, and once again, the Bears were able to tie the series up, knocking off the Raiders at home 22-20.
Jay Cutler was the QB of the Bears that season as he threw for 281 yards and a pair of scores, with one coming to Eddie Royal and the other to Martellus Bennett. Quarterbacking for the Raiders that day was Derek Carr, who happens to be the current signal calling for them. Although Amari Cooper and Latavius Murray are no longer with them, Carr is as he will be looking for his second win against the Bears.
That is because the last time these two teams met was in 2019 as they played overseas in England. Once again, it was another one-score contest, one where the Bears scored 21 points in the third quarter to rally from 17 down only to lose 24-21 in the end. That is where things sit this weekend, with the Bears looking to even up the series once more on the road and playing in Las Vegas for the first time.
One thing we can take away from the 15 meetings of the past is that this should be a highly competitive and extremely close game. Looking back on it, most of the games have been decided by single digits, and there is a good chance that happens once again. Despite being an unfamiliar opponent, the Bears are familiar with a lot of these players, especially Carr, who will be making his third start against them.
That is because Jon Gruden was the coach in 2019 when these teams last met, and he is patrolling the sidelines yet again. Add in Josh Jacobs, who was a rookie last time they played, and Darren Waller and the Bears have a good idea of what the Raiders like to do, especially on offense. Expect a great atmosphere in Vegas this weekend, with the Bears being very well represented on the road.