The Bears ranked 27th in the league in third-down defense last season, which made the ease with which the Raiders converted three third-and-long situations in the first half of Saturday night's 32-17 exhibition loss to the Raiders at Soldier Field more troubling.
A holding penalty and a false start against guard Robert Gallery put the Raiders in third-and-17 situation on the first drive of the game. Jason Campbell's 24-yard screen pass to Michael Bush gave Oakland a first down on what turned out to be a game-opening touchdown drive.
"There's no excuse, for allowing a team to get 17 yards --- or more than 17 yards --- on third down," linebacker Lance Briggs said.
Campbell converted on third-and-10 and third-and-9 later in the first half when the Bears had their front-line defenders on the field.
"When it's third-and-long like that you have to find a way to get off the field," defensive end Israel Idonije said. "Unfortunately, on a few plays we couldn't. I'm sure we'll clean that up."
The Raiders third-down conversion rate was 50 percent in the first half and 47 percent in the game. Their conversion rate last season was 41 percent.