Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie Smith optimistic despite 25-20 loss to Raiders

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First-time starter Caleb Hanie threw three interceptions as the Bears fell to 7-4 with a 25-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. But coach Lovie Smith was looking at the bright side.

''[The Raiders are] a team that's leading their division,'' Smith said. ''We did some good things and some things that really hurt us. Of course, field position -- they had field position all day. We'll learn from this game. We've got a lot of football left to go. I like the way our team fought at the end. But we need to do a little bit more.''

The Bears had a season-high 401 total yards on offense against the Raiders, who came in ranked 25th in the NFL in total defense Hanie was 18-of-36 for 254 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, for a 56.9 passer rating. Next week the Bears play the Kansas City Chiefs, who are 23rd in total defense, at Soldier Field.

The Raiders, though, are more capable of applying pressure on a young quarterback than the Chiefs. The Raiders came in with 28 sacks, including 11 in their previous two games. They sacked Hanie four times. The Chiefs were last in the NFL with 12 sacks in 10 games coming into their Sunday night game.

''We'd like to have a couple of those plays back. But he gave us an opportunity to win at the end,'' Smith said. ''On the road, against a good defense, we can build off of this performance.

''It's tough coming in your first game. Just think about starting the season -- you [make] some mistakes that you won't have later in the year. But we have a small curve. We've got to get it down as soon as we can. I saw enough for us to build off of today. Next week you'll see better play from the quarterback position.''

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9 Comments

'Coach' Martz Has Make It 100% Clear That He Has ZERO Faith In Hanie's Arm, So Why In The World Would He Draw Up A Pass Play On A Second & 1 From The Enemy's 7 Yard Line, With 35 Seconds Left In The Half?

Didn't We Buy The Rights To "Marion Da Barbarian", Exactly For These Type Situations?

For The 11th Time This Season, The Players Out Played The (So Called) Game Plan..

But For The Forth Time This Season... The Offensive 'Coaching,' Was Too Much To Overcome.

Many times yesterday I proclaimed that Hanie sucks and then he redeems himself with some decent play. He is after all a back-up QB not a starter. Could be worse, we could be watching Todd Collins running the offense. Hanie will be better against the Chiefs. Hope Cutler is a fast healer.

Why does Lovie feel the need to say stuff like this, yes they are leading their division, but that division sucks and the Raiders are tore up a lot more than the Bears. Palmer is their 3rd QB this year and got up off his Lazy boy a couple of weeks ago. Starting running back was out, along with 14 other players.

We all know there is a lot of football left to play, he says that after every loss, it should be on a T-Shirt.

The Raiders do not have a good defense, they have some good players but the secondary is a joke, and the scheme and discipline are lacking. That's why they rank were they rank. They need to stop trying to play Raider football and start playing smart football if they want to be a good team.

The Bears even with Hanie have no excuse to not beat the Seahawks, Broncos, and Chiefs. I don't expect them to beat GB in GB, unless GB is sitting the starters. But your being handed three of the worst teams in the NFL, excuse me 4 of them including the Vikings, they should have no problem getting 11 wins.

Hey I think the Bears have reason for hope--including Lovie---because he was actually awake enough in yesterday's game (as opposed to sleeping with his eyes open on the sidelines) to actually try and manage the clock with a couple timely timeouts. I almost fell out of my chair!

I guess the Nyquil is helping!

Your analysis of the last five games are pretty astute, Creighton. I would add that the Bronco game has an extra level of interest for me because I want to see what that new demi-god named Tebow will do against the Bears. I think Peppers can outrun him. If Orton happened to start for Kansas City, that would also add a level of interest above the ordinary.

It is amazing to me that Martz is so incapable of calling a conservative game - even with a backup quarterback who has limited arm strength and field vision.

The play call to throw that "back screen" in the second quarter was freaking ridiculous.

Running the football does not always yield points, but it can wear down an opposing defense and help with field position.

That's one reason the Broncos have had success. The defense is playing better, in part because Tebow, Ball, and McGahee are balancing field position and clock control by running effectively 40 - 50 times per game.

The Bears have the personnel to do that without a running quarterback.

Don't underestimate Denver. Forget Tebow, the defense has been playing lights out. The Bears don't match up well v. teams with good defenses, and considering that the game's in Denver this one could be a problem.

Yeah that defense has gotten a lot better. But I doubt they can score on the Bears, if Peppers can run down Vick, Tebow has no shot. The Bears defense is a perfect matchup for the Tebow offense, or should I say lack of offense. The Broncos did not control the clock against the Chargers, Jets controled the clock against the Broncos,

Let me remind you of one score 45 to 10 detroit over denver in denver. Now we don't have Jay Cutler for the game. But the Bears don't need to score 45 to beat the Broncos. The Bears can run the ball too. There offense sucks, period. The Defense has Bunkley and Dumerville(I made him into his own town, I know how it's actually spelled) on the line and they are both good at what they do. At LB Von Miller is just a walking SOB, that dude is a pure nightmare. The secondary has Bailey and that's about it. Were they are really good is their kickers, Prater and Colquitt. You know those two guys we just saw with the Raiders, I can argue these guys are as good or better. Basically you have a good special teams, a good defense and a crap offense in Denver. The Tebow offense plays into the Bears strengths on defense and that O-Line blows. The strength of Devers defense is pass rushing, although they have been playing the inside run very well, the Bears running strength is to the outside and I doubt we see a lot of deep drops from Hanie.

Don't underestimate Denver. They've been playing lights out defense lately and have a winning streak to show for it. The Bears don't match up well against good defensive teams, because their pass blocking and receivers are weak points. When teams that are weak v. the run, like the Bears' last three opponents, stack the box with eight or nine guys and prevent running, the Bears must take advantage of that. They failed to do it v. the Raiders. If Hanie and Martz don't improve enough by the Denver game, it could be a long day.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on November 27, 2011 9:33 PM.

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