The Oakland Raiders are looking to stay in the win column during their international trip to London to take on the Chicago Bears in Week 5 of the 2019 NFL season.
The Raiders are certainly no stranger to going across the pond after making the trip in four out of the last five seasons. Unfortunately, last year’s game did not end on a high note following a blowout 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Fortunately, head coach Jon Gruden has been able to make some adjustments this time around after his first experience in London. He is optimistic that the new trip schedule will result in a much different outcome this time around.
According to Scott Bair of NBC Sports, Gruden feels the early arrival will give the team more time to get situated:
“Doesn’t make sense flying five hours back to California [after playing in Indianapolis], then 14 hours to London,” Gruden said Friday, before the Colts game. “That had a lot to do with it and obviously what we did last year didn’t work out on the scoreboard, and it didn’t give me any reason to not try something else. So, we are going to go over there and have a great time and prepare our hearts out to hopefully play a good game in London.”
The team flew to London following their win against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4. It is safe to say that they will have ample time to get adjusted to the new their new surroundings as they begin preparations for Chicago.
Oakland will likely be pegged as the underdogs against a Bears team that has won its last three games on the back of its formidable defense led by former Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack. Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr will need every advantage they can get if they hope to be the team that is finally able to crack the code and score on them consistently.
Fortunately, Oakland is a much different team than they were sans Mack last year. They have made significant improvements on both sides of the ball and are now hoping to secure a 3-2 record heading into the bye week.
Although the Raiders have made it a point to arrive early, the Bears are not expected to be there until Friday. It will undoubtedly be interesting to see how much of an effect the travel can have on the outcome.