NFL Oddsmakers Consider Week 2 Matchup Between Oakland Raiders And Chicago Bears As Even Match

August 18, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

The second week of the 2010 NFL pre season will feature two teams looking to improve upon their performance in 2009. The Chicago Bears missed the playoffs last season with a 7-9 record (3-3 in the NFC North). Lovie Smith is on the hot seat this season, as the Bears have missed the playoffs every year since they appeared in the Super Bowl at the end of the 2006 season.

Many considered Tom Cable to be out as head coach of the Oakland Raiders towards the end of last season, but wins over the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos must have prompted Al Davis to bring him back despite his history with head coaches. The Raiders have now lost 11 or more games in seven consecutive seasons after a 5-11 record last season (2-4 in the AFC West).

When looking at online sportsbooks, 5Dimes sportsbook has seen the most fluctuation in the line from -1 in favor of Chicago to -3, and back down to Even. Those changes occurred from 8/16/10 to just before 2 p.m. on 8/18/10. The over/under stayed about the same, going from 34.5 down to 33.5.

In the first pre-season game for the Raiders, their new quarterback acquisition Jason Campbell looked less than impressive. He completed 7-13 throws, and racked up only 49 yards. Kyle Boller stepped in and threw for 148 yards and a score. A welcome change was that neither thew an interception. Nick Miller caught Boller’s touchdown pass from four yards out, and looks to make the starting roster at receiver in his third year out of Southern Utah. Johnnie Lee Higgins had the most receiving yards with 38, and is listed as fourth on the depth chart according to the 2010 Oakland Raiders season preview. A new face in the Raider’s backfield is Michael Bennett, who spent last season with the San Diego Chargers. Bennett made his case for the starting job, beating out Michael Bush in rushing yards 68 to 31. Trying to stop the duo will be Bears free agent acquisition Julius Peppers, who led the defense of the Carolina Panthers for eight seasons. Behind him will be linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher, for at least a couple series in the first half. Looking to make the starting backfield for the defense will be rookies Major Wright from Florida, and Joshua Moore from Kansas State.

The Bear’s offense will be led once again by Jay Cutler, who looks to thrive in Mike Martz’s new offense. The coach who ran the “Greatest Show On Turf” will now try to groom Cutler into one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. Cutler should be replaced by Caleb Hanie, if he can get over the shoulder injury he suffered in their first pre-season game. Hanie threw for 148, a touchdown, and one pick against the Chargers last week. After an impressive finish to the regular season last year, Devin Aromashodu will look to top the receiver depth chart for the bears in 2010. With Martz as a coordinator, the rushing attack might take a back seat to the passing game. Matt Forte will be the starter according to the 2010 Chicago Bears season preview, while Chester Taylor will battle him for the starting job. Nnamdi Asomugha will be causing offensive coordinators headaches again in the 2010 season for the Raiders, and he will complimented by free agent acquisition Joey Thomas. Jerome Boyd did his best to make the starting roster by running an interception back for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys last week. Quentin Groves led all linebackers with four total tackles in the team’s first pre-season game. The defensive line has been not up to par in recent years, but the addition of Kamerion Wembley from Cleveland should help bolster their numbers.

Shane Lechler made three punts last Thursday, but failed to put one inside the 20-yard line. Sebastian Janikowski made his only field goal from 28 yards, and will look to have another Pro Bowl season. The Bears’ Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal against the Chargers, and Brad Maynard managed to get one of his three punts inside the 20.

2010 NFL weather reports have predicted the high in Saturday’s game to reach 83 degrees, and the low to go no further than 68. There is a zero percent chance of showers, and there will be winds out of the Northeast at nine mph.

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