What We Saw: Week 5

Alvin Kamara looked like the Alvin Kamara we all know and love

Bears @ Raiders

Final Score: Bears 20, Raiders 9

Writer: Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)

 

I hope you like defense. Excluding a Bears 2nd-quarter explosion of points, this one only saw 15 combined points in the rest of the game – nine of which came on field goals. After three combined punts to begin the game, the Raiders struck first with a field goal to cap off a 69-yard drive. The Bears woke up in the second, going on scoring drives of 72 and 86 yards-their lone two touchdowns.  The third quarter went scoreless and the fourth saw the Raiders finally get into the endzone–giving them one last chance at stealing the win. A pair of Bears field goals closed the door for good. Chicago (3-2) heads to Green Bay to take on the 4-1 Packers while the Raiders (3-2) head into Denver (3-2) and hope to not lose more ground to the surging Chargers. Here’s everything I saw in today’s game.

 

Chicago Bears

 

Quarterback

 

Justin Fields: 12/20, 111 yards, TD | 3 carries, 4 yards, fumble

 

How long can the Bears keep winning like this? How long will the coaching staff be left intact if these struggles continue? Over their last four games, the Bears are averaging fewer than 150 passing yards per game and the offense is averaging just over 16 points per game. Those numbers are pathetic, and it’s a miracle they are sitting at 3-2 right now. Justin Fields continues to show promise, but there clearly isn’t enough to make him useful for fantasy. He made some nice passes to Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney, and his touchdown pass was a dart to tight end Jesper Horsted.

 

 

The long-term outlook for Fields is still high for me. What we need to realize, though, is that there isn’t enough here for usefulness. There isn’t enough to support two pass-catching weapons. Also, it’s pretty clear that Fields does not want to be a runner if he can help it. I will keep cheering on Fields as a Bears fan, but I won’t put him anywhere near my starting line-up.

It’s worth noting that the offensive line is still struggling in pass protection, and Fields was frequently getting hit or running from hits today. Fields was knocked out for a play or two (it was brief) and then came back in to finish the game. Until Fields has more time to react, he is in a tough position as a starter, and I can’t envision many succeeding in the same spot. Stay away from this passing offense until further notice.

 

Running Back

 

Khalil Herbert: 18 carries, 75 yards

Damien Williams: 16 carries, 64 yards, TD | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards

 

With David Montgomery still out for a while, we saw a true split between veteran Damien Williams and rookie Khalil Herbert. Damien Williams saw the first series and looked like he has previously: he is a decent runner, but nothing to tell your friends about. Williams made some nice plays later in the game, and he ran well behind the Bears line–which has been somewhere between good and great–when it comes to run blocking. On his touchdown, Williams made a nifty spin to shake a defender and stroll in. He is also the only one getting passing-game work. If Chicago keeps blocking this well for its backs, this duo is going to be useful.

Khalil Herbert was the real winner for me in the backfield today, getting his first big look at work after only 3 carries last week and nothing before that. Herbert is a shifty runner, and he finds holes well. Montgomery makes his money finding contact and running hard through it. Herbert has a little of that, but he is better at picking his spots to avoid the contact in the first place. I hope we see Herbert in the lead role next week, but beware of the tough matchup. Things don’t tend to go well for Chicago when they play Green Bay.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Darnell Mooney: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards

Allen Robinson: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 32 yards

Cole Kmet: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards

Marquise Goodwin: 2 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards

 

I badly want to see this offense running at full steam. With how Darnell Mooney is playing and what we know Allen Robinson is, I still feel like there is a ton of potential. Mooney was looking good again, despite the big numbers of last week. On one of his catches, he showed that same fight from last week. He isn’t happy just being a fast guy, but fights hard once he makes the catch to get every last yard. I love the future outlook of Mooney, and I think he and Herbert could be the team’s headliners next season if Robinson and Montgomery end up elsewhere. Allen Robinson continues to make tough catches in tight space. I feel like he never has much space, but he just keeps making excellent catches. Given the lack of volume, Mooney and Robinson are both tough sells as fantasy starters right now, and I can’t blame you for picking other options next week.

 

Las Vegas Raiders

 

Quarterback

 

Derek Carr: 22/35, 206 yards, INT | 3 carries, 10 yards

 

I don’t know if I more want to blame this loss on Derek Carr or his receivers–they were a maddening pair to watch today. I counted probably half a dozen plays where either the receiver dropped a potential big play (looking at you Bryan Edwards) or Carr overthrew a receiver with a couple of steps on his defender (again Bryan Edwards), and connecting on just one of them could have changed the outcome. The Chicago secondary has looked poor this year, so I was afraid the Raiders would strike deep to their bevy of deep threats. They came close, but it just didn’t work out. Just know that had a few things gone oh so slightly differently, Carr could have had another big game today.

 

Running Back

 

Josh Jacobs: 15 carries, 48 yards, TD | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 19 yards

Kenyan Drake: 2 carries, 11 yards | 1 target

 

This running game did not look good today. I was curious after the game to see if it was a blip or a pattern. Here are the Raiders’ team rushing totals so far this season: 82 yards, 52 yards, 140 yards, 48 yards, and now 71 yards. Those are awful numbers. While I like Josh Jacobs, he didn’t have much room and he didn’t flash much–save for a nice 11-yard run. Kenyan Drake didn’t fare any better with his extremely limited workload. I am staying away from this ground game, saving for the best of matchups. There just isn’t enough to chase here as long as this remains a pass-heavy team.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Hunter Renfrow: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 56 yards

Henry Ruggs III: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 51 yards

Darren Waller: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 45 yards

Bryan Edwards: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards

 

I was heavy on the Raiders’ receivers heading into this one. The Bears’ secondary has looked–beatable, to put it nicely. The Raiders had their opportunities too, and two plays stand out. There was an early deep shot to Bryan Edwards that landed perfectly on his hands as he ran free behind the defense. He dropped it, despite no one within a step of him, and it would have been a huge play. Later in the game, Edwards was open on a fourth down and he again had room to work if the connection was made. This time, Carr floated the ball helplessly past him on what could have been another big play when the Raiders needed it most. It’s frustrating watching these almost-hits keep getting missed, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. I felt like today was probably more Carr’s fault, but there is plenty of blame when you lose like this. Darren Waller looked fine and saw his usual gaudy target numbers. They just didn’t translate today like they usually do. I’m obviously still starting Waller next week.

 

— Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)

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