|Oakland Raiders' Sebastian Janikowski (11) kicks a 37-yard field goal against the Chicago Bears during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)|
Hanie throws 3 INTs, Bears lose 25-20 to Raiders
OAKLAND, Calif.—Caleb Hanie received the snap, looked right, took a couple steps back and finally spiked the ball in front of an approaching defender to stop the clock.
With only 4 seconds left at his 46-yard line, officials whistled Hanie for a game-ending intentional grounding call for the prolonged hesitation. The fill-in quarterback put his arms in the air, unclipped his helmet straps and gingerly walked off the field to a raucous Coliseum celebration.
Hanie threw for 254 yards and three interceptions in his first career start in place of Jay Cutler, and the Chicago Bears lost 25-20 to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday after a late rally ended with a whimper.
Or, in this case, a whistle.
"It's just not a good time to have a learning experience," Hanie said.
Hanie struggled at the start for the Bears (7-4) filling in for Cutler, who broke his right thumb last week in Chicago's fifth straight win to put a major obstacle into what had been a promising season. Hanie, who nearly led a comeback in last season's NFC title game against Green Bay, had thrown only 14 regular-season passes since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and looked like a career backup for much of his first start.
Hanie completed 18 of 35 passes with the three first-half interceptions, including a crushing one in the final minutes when the Bears were deep in Oakland territory and on the verge of taking the lead.
But Hanie also threw two TD passes, including a 5-yarder to Kellen Davis with 2:11 to play that trimmed the deficit to 25-20. That was set up by an 81-yard pass to Johnny Knox.
"It's tough coming in the first game," Bears coach Lovie Smith said.
While Chicago's defense kept Oakland out of the end zone most of the day, the Raiders rode the leg of one of the NFL's best kickers.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked a team-record six field goals -- all in the first three quarters -- and Carson Palmer threw for 301 yards to lead the Raiders (7-4) to their third straight win. The Raiders settled for field goals on their first six trips inside the Chicago 30 before Michael Bush's 3-yard run made it 25-13 with 3:47 to play.
The Bears regained possession at their own 4 with 1:01 remaining. Instead of immediately spiking the ball to stop the clock after a completion to Matt Forte at the 46, Hanie took an extra step back and hesitated, leading to an automatic 10-second runoff that ended the game.
"I came back and I was just taking a look outside to see if they were paying attention and I spiked it," Hanie said. "We didn't have any fakes or anything on like that. That was just my fault. Six seconds or seven seconds left, I should have just got it and killed it."
The Bears held Bush to 69 yards on the ground, sacked Palmer four times and intercepted one of his passes as the Raiders missed injured big-play threats Darren McFadden, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore.
They still managed to maintain their hold on first place in the AFC West by winning their third straight game, getting field goals of 40, 47, 42, 19, 37 and 44 yards to break the team record Janikowski shared with Jeff Jaeger.
The Raiders also were helped by another kicker with a big leg.
With Oakland at its own 20 early in the fourth quarter and star Devin Hester ready for a return, All-Pro Shane Lechler punted the ball over Hester's head, and it rolled into the end zone for a team-record 80-yard punt.
Hanie managed to drive the Bears into field goal range on that drive, and Robbie Gould's 53-yard kick sliced Oakland's lead to 18-13 with 7:17 to play.
The Raiders answered with Palmer throwing a 47-yard pass to Louis Murphy on third-and-4 from midfield to set up Bush's touchdown.
Hanie's first interception came as he tried to throw the ball away but gave it right to Stanford Routt at the Bears 33. That set up Janikowski's second field goal to give Oakland a 6-0 lead.
With Chicago down 9-7, Hanie had a second down at the Oakland 7. He attempted a throwback screen to Davis that was tipped by Aaron Curry and went right to Kamerion Wimbley, who returned it 83 yards before being dragged down by a horse-collar tackle by Lance Louis.
"You just can't let it happen again," Hanie said. "You just have to build on this game and the good things that came out and learn from the mistakes. I'm confident that we can do that. I'm not worried about the outside stuff, because all the guys inside have confidence in me and that gives me a great sense of urgency to get better quick."
Notes: Bears LB Brian Iwuh strained his hamstring. He will be reevaluated Monday, Smith said ... Bush's TD gave Oakland its first points in the fourth quarter since Oct. 9 at Houston. ... Knox had 278 total yards with 145 coming on his four catches and 133 on four kick returns.
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