The front failed to get any consistent pressure on quarterback Derek Carr early but a depleted, short-handed group made impact plays are pivotal moments.
Nose tackle Eddie Goldman’s 15-yard sack on first down just before halftime was critical at putting the Raiders in a big hole after the Bears had taken a lead following a takeaway by Pernell McPhee.
Jarvis Jenkins collected his third sack in two games with a takedown of Carr early in the third quarter. The sack ended a drive and set up the offense with field position that was undone by a Matt Forte fumble.
“I was just staying at it, trusting my technique, trusting what my coaches were giving me, and we got it done,” Jenkins said. “We already knew [Carr] was an athletic quarterback who likes to extend plays so the main thing was just to keep rushing, keep getting after him.”
[MORE: Wild finish propels Bears to 22-20 win over Raiders]
The group put in extra duty with Will Sutton active but not inserted in the lineup as he recovers from an arm injury in the Seattle game. Nose tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (ankle) was not able to play and the Bears had waived Brandon Dunn to make roster room for punter Spencer Lanning.
Result: The Bears went with four defensive linemen plus extra work by linebacker/end Willie Young in rush situations.
Goldman and Jenkins contributed tackles for loss and quarterback hits.
Anthony Miller has quickly become a fan favorite on social media. He has the confidence and swagger found in most top wide receivers and it comes through on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Miller was one of 40 players in attendance at the 2018 NFLPA Rookie Premiere where he not only learned about the business and marketing side of football, but also suited up in his Bears gameday uniform for the first time. Of course, he shared the moment on Twitter:
Panini America, a sports collectible company, snapped a picture of Miller with fellow rookie receiver Calvin Ridley (Falcons) and quarterback Mason Rudolph (Steelers):
Miller has become something of a standout for the Bears despite not playing a single snap. He's expected to have a big role in an offense that has several new pieces and roles that are up for grabs.
Miller will compete with former first-round pick Kevin White and free-agent addition Taylor Gabriel for reps opposite Allen Robinson. Miller has the necessary skill set to play as both an outside receiver and in the slot which should give him an even greater opportunity to be on the field quite a bit.
The Bears first three draft picks are all vying for starting jobs in 2018. Roquan Smith (first round) is a lock to start next to Danny Trevathan and James Daniels (second round) will start at guard. Miller should make it three-for-three in a draft class that could end up the best of Ryan Pace's tenure.
Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace is having what many believe is his best offseason since taking the job in 2015, but after three seasons and only 14 wins, he needs a big year in 2018 to justify the confidence ownership has in him.
According to a recent breakdown of all 32 general managers, Pace ranks among the worst decision-makers in the league.
No. 23: Ryan Pace, Chicago Bears
There’s only so much you can accomplish in one spring. The problem is that Pace let himself accumulate so many needs to begin with. He needs Trubisky and Nagy to springboard a fourth-year turnaround.
The rankings didn't include six new GM hires, which makes Pace's positioning even more troubling.
Even though the Bears haven't seen wins on the field, Pace has done a solid job through three draft classes and appears to have the right coaching staff in place. His first hire, John Fox, was a calculated move by a rookie general manager to have an experienced football guy to lean on. Now, several offseasons later, the team is starting to take on his identity.
Despite all the talent Pace has added through the draft and the slow but steady transformation of the team's overall culture, it's a win-now business and if his blueprint doesn't start producing more wins than losses, it will be hard to justify more time and patience for his plan to develop.