Campbell helps Raiders beat Bears
CHICAGO – Jason Campbell was more relaxed this time and it showed from the outset.
Oakland’s new quarterback led a long scoring drive on the first series of the game, Kamerion Wimbley had a strong game with four sacks and Slade Norris was a special teams standout Saturday night as the Raiders beat the Chicago Bears 32-17.
“I felt like we started fast, came out and went down the field,” Campbell said after leading an 81-yard opening drive that got the Raiders rolling, a series in which star Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher hurt a calf muscle that put him out the rest of the night.
In his one half of play, Campbell was 10-for-20 for 170 yards with a short TD run and an interception.
In the opening drive, he hit Michael Bush with a 24-yard screen pass on a third-and-17. He completed an 18-yarder to Johnnie Lee Higgins, a 13-yarder to Zach Miller and a 27-yarder to Louis Murphy that carried to the Chicago 2. Campbell sneaked in for the score on a third-and-goal as the Raiders’ first unit accounted for its first points of the preseason after failing to score in just over a quarter of action in last week’s opener against Dallas.
“The last game I had a couple of jitters before the game started, the first time with a new team, but this time I was just out there playing football,” Campbell said.
Chicago’s Jay Cutler also played the first half in the game at Soldier Field.
Cutler completed 7 of 15 for 99 yards with a 22-yard TD pass to Johnny Knox and was sacked five times – four of them credited to Wimbley.
“Clearly it’s too much. Definitely it’s not going to be acceptable and the offensive line is probably a little bit disappointed in themselves,” Cutler said. “They’ve got a lot of time left to make corrections.”
The Bears had a difficult time blocking Wimbley.
“He had an exceptional night. It started right from the get-go,” Oakland coach Tom Cable said. “Until he came out of the game, I thought he was a factor on third down on every series.”
And on special teams, backup linebacker Norris recovered a muffed punt in the end zone for the go-ahead score in the third quarter and then blocked a punt for a safety late in the game.
“We have a good group of second and third team guys who are really trying to force the issue and get on this football team and it shows,” Cable said.
Chicago’s first-team offense got a big lift when Matt Forte broke loose on an 89-yard TD run in the first quarter. But the Bears converted on only of 2 of 14 third-down situations in the game, while Oakland was 8-for-17.
After Cutler scrambled and found Knox for the score late in the opening half, Chester Taylor’s 2-point conversion run put the Bears ahead 14-13.
The Raiders regained the lead early in the third quarter when Chicago’s Eric Peterman muffed the punt and after a scramble, Norris fell on the ball in the end zone.
Kyle Boller quarterbacked the Raiders for most of the second half, scoring on a 2-yard run to cap a 10-play, 51-yard drive late in the third quarter that gave the Raiders a 27-14 lead. Dan LeFevour replaced Cutler and led a drive that reached the 4 before the Bears settled for a 25-yard field goal by Robbie Gould.
Chicago got the ball back but Stevie Brown intercepted LeFevour and returned to the Bears 9. Colt Brennan came in to quarterback the Raiders and Oakland got a 28-yard goal from Swayze Waters. Minutes later, Norris broke through and blocked Brad Maynard’s punt attempt and it went through the end zone.
Campbell hit another screen pass of 40 yards to Marcel Reece late in the first period but followed that up with a poorly thrown pass that Chicago’s Charles Tillman intercepted on the 11.
On the very next play, Forte broke through the right side, cut inside of safety Michael Huff and raced 89 yards for a TD. After the Bears botched the snap on the extra point, Oakland led 10-6.
With veteran Chicago long snapper Patrick Mannelly out with a shoulder injury, the Bears were forced to use tight end Desmond Clark and he again made a bad snap on an attempted second-quarter field goal by Robbie Gould.
But after Raiders center Samson Satele limped off the field late in the second quarter, Campbell couldn’t hold a high snap from Chris Morris on the very next play and Chicago’s Israel Idonije recovered. That set up the Cutler-to-Knox TD.
Notes: The Raiders rested DT Richard Seymour who had a sore triceps and Desmond Bryant replaced him in the lineup. … C Satele has a sprained ankle.
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