LONDON — The Bears’ third quarter against the Raiders was a treasure trove of highlights.
The rest of the game was a mess.
They needed more than merely a flurry coming out of halftime, and the Raiders took them down 24-21 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Bears couldn’t get out of town fast enough, with players eager for vacation and coach Matt Nagy anxious to find solutions before the season slips away.
Here’s one last look at some of the highs and lows from the loss after reviewing it on film:
Abrupt ending on interception
Chase Daniel was all over the map Sunday. Take a look at his passer ratings by quarter: 115.6 in the first, then 30.6, 138.8 and 54.0.
Yet for all his erratic play, he had the Bears rolling with the game on the line — until he didn’t.
Down 24-21 with the ball and 1:57 left, Daniel hit three quick passes to get to the Oakland 47-yard line. It was a master class in the two-minute drill, and he did it in 27 seconds without burning a timeout.
That dream crumbled when he sailed one over wide receiver Anthony Miller right into the welcoming arms of Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley. Those throws always look terrible for the quarterback in real time, but the replay showed there was a reasonable chance Miller ran his route incorrectly.
Daniel took the blame in the postgame news conference, but coach Matt Nagy said Miller also had a hand in it.
“Anthony could have run his route a little bit higher,” Nagy said Monday morning. “He flattened it off, so it really looked like there was no one there.
“He’s supposed to go a little bit higher with his corner route, so at least maybe he’s there to knock the ball down. But at the same time, Chase would be the first to tell you that he wishes that he wouldn’t have made that throw.”
Pierre-Louis has a point
Among a long list of them, the most gut-wrenching play of the game for the Bears was probably Kevin Pierre-Louis’ flag for running into punter A.J. Cole with 5:48 left. The Bears were up 21-17, and Tarik Cohen returned the punt to midfield to give them a chance to seal it.
Instead, Pierre-Louis’ penalty gave the Raiders a fourth-and-one that they converted. Then they marched to the end zone for the game-winner. Pierre-Louis maintained that he couldn’t have prevented that.
“In my humble opinion, I thought I got pushed into the guy, but I’ve gotta be smarter,” he said.
He’s probably right. It’s not conclusive, but it does appear on video that Raiders safety Dallin Leavitt made contact that sent Pierre-Louis into Cole. Nonetheless, he never should have put himself in position for something like that to happen. The Bears just needed the ball, and there was little reason to risk any penalties in that situation by lunging at the punter.
Jacobs did as he pleased
Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs embarrassed the Bears’ defense by running for 123 yards and two touchdowns. They could’ve limited that damage, but there were missed tackles everywhere.
On the Raiders’ second scoring drive, Jacobs converted a third-and-one by racing 21 yards up the left sideline. Linebacker Danny Trevathan tripped and missed a chance to stop him two yards in, and Jacobs’ spin move was good enough to send safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix sliding on the turf on a missed opportunity eight yards into the run.
Jacobs got to his 40-yard line before Khalil Mack brought him down. On his 12-yard touchdown run a few minutes later, the Bears had multiple chances to stop him within two yards of the line of scrimmage.
Mack does everything right
It’s funny to label any defensive player’s game pedestrian when he was responsible for a takeaway, but Khalil Mack has lifted expectations to new heights.
Mack was largely written off after a stat line of three tackles, one quarterback hit and a fumble recovery, but he was the only one in the middle of the scrum with enough sense to make the sound football play after Raiders quarterback Derek Carr pitched the ball aimlessly into the backfield in the third quarter.
It kept bouncing on the turf as Josh Jacobs and safety Eddie Jackson, among others, unsuccessfully tried to scoop up the fumble and keep the play going. Mack ended the frenzy by falling on it, and that simple play was worth seven points for the Bears.
He recovered the ball at the Oakland 14-yard line, and the Bears reached the end zone three plays later. Had the ball bounded around and back into the Raiders’ hands, they would’ve had third-and-long and, at worst, would’ve punted it away eventually.
Mack’s sharp thinking helped put the Bears on the scoreboard and sparked the rally that put them ahead by the end of the quarter.
Cohen the burner
The NFL stats center tracked Tarik Cohen at a top speed of 21.42 mph in the game, and that likely came on his 71-yard punt return in the third quarter.
Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson still holds the league’s fastest mark for the season at 22.23 mph.