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Bears-Raiders matchup of the day: Friday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's battle between the Bears and Raiders.

Bears interior offensive line vs. Raiders defensive tackles

The Bears could catch a break Sunday in this matchup. Richard Seymour, who typically starts next to Tommy Kelly at D-tackle for Oakland, didn't start last week and was limited to a minor role in the rotation due to a knee injury, which is still bothering him. He did not practice Thursday and is listed as questionable.

When healthy, Seymour and Kelly form one of the league's top D-tackle duos — Seymour (five sacks) and Kelly (5½ sacks) account for 38 percent of the Raiders' sacks this season — but John Henderson, who has great size and good power, will start for Seymour if the knee relegates him to spot duty again.

Bears OLG Edwin Williams, who made his first start of the season last week in place of the injured Chris Williams, could face a tougher test than he did last week against San Diego. The Raiders blitzed often against the Vikings last week, and Williams, C Roberto Garza and ORG Chris Spencer could see linebackers shooting through the A gaps to try to pressure QB Caleb Hanie, who is making his first career start.

A key for the Bears' offense will be good communication at the line of scrimmage before the snap and the performance of the interior O-line to keep Hanie comfortable and RB Matt Forté from being tackled in the backfield.

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