Michael Bush, first-team defense among the stars of victory over Raiders
By Mark Potash Staff Reporter August 23, 2013 10:54PM
Rashad Jennings, Nate Collins
Updated: September 25, 2013 6:16AM
OAKLAND, Calif. — No matter how productive Matt Forte is in Marc Trestman’s offense, there always will be room for running back Michael Bush.
The former Raider is going to have to live with making the most of small opportunities with the Bears. But that’s what he did Friday night in the Bears’ 34-26 victory at O.co Coliseum. Bush scored on runs of 10 yards and one yard as the Bears built a 27-point lead in the first half.
Bush gained 21 yards on seven carries in the first half. On a second-and-seven play from the 10-yard line, he went straight up the middle to score a touchdown that gave the Bears a 17-0 lead. After Alshon Jeffery was stopped short of the goal line on a nine-yard gain early in the second quarter, Bush barely broke the plane of the goal line but still scored for a 24-0 lead.
While the focus was on the offense, the Bears’ defense was just as dominant in the first half — holding the Raiders to 47 yards on 21 carries in building the 27-0 lead.
Tim Jennings and Isaiah Frey had interceptions, Charles Tillman added a sack and Julius Peppers had a tackle for loss in his first appearance of the preseason.
The Raiders were 0-for-6 on third-down conversions against the Bears’ first-team defense in the first half. On the Raiders’ first possession, they had a second-and-one at their 45, but Stephen Paea’s penetration helped Lance Briggs stop Rashad Jennings for a one-yard loss. On third-and-two, Briggs and safety Major Wright stopped Jennings short of the first down to force a punt.
Wilson, Ford sparkle
Bears reserves struggled on offense and defense in the second half as the Raiders cut the Bears’ lead to 27-20 behind second-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor. But two undrafted rookies — cornerback C.J. Wilson and running back Michael Ford — solidified their hold on roster spots.
Wilson, one play after narrowly missing an interception, intercepted third-string quarterback Matt McGloin in the fourth quarter. Ford gained 47 yards on seven carries, including a spinning 15-yard touchdown run to give the Bears a 34-20 lead with 9:43 to go.
Springing a leak
The Bears’ special teams, solid against the San Diego Chargers last week, let one get away when Jacoby Ford returned a kickoff 62 yards to the Bears’ 38-yard line after Jay Cutler had thrown a 32-yard touchdown pass to Matt Forte.
But Devin Hester gave the Bears a spark with an 18-yard punt return late in the first quarter.
Cornerback Zack Bowman suffered a hamstring injury in the first half and didn’t return.
Kicker Robbie Gould remained perfect in the preseason when he kicked field goals of 45 and 53 yards in the first half. Gould is 7-for-7 in the preseason.
Bits & pieces
Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott, out since July 31 with knee soreness, worked out before the game and figures to practice next week. . . . The Bears have to cut their roster from 90 to 75 by 3 p.m. Tuesday. After the preseason game Thursday against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field, the Bears will have to cut down to the 53-man roster limit by 5 p.m. next Saturday.