The Los Angeles Raiders are getting some attention around the NFL. They're beginning to get some interest from their fans, too.
The Raiders drew 80,156 to the Los Angeles Coliseum on Sunday - over 25,000 more than either of their previous two home games this season. The big crowd was rewarded when the Raiders won their ninth consecutive game at the Coliseum under coach Art Shell by whipping previously unbeaten Chicago 24-10.The Raiders' defense produced six sacks for minus-66 yards and produced a touchdown when defensive lineman Greg Townsend picked up a ball pried loose by Aaron Wallace from Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh. The touchdown gave the Raiders a 17-7 lead in the second quarter and they went on to improve their record to 4-0 for the first time since 1984.
"That's a good football team in there and nobody can tell us different," Shell said. "These guys are willing to work until they don't have a breath in their body."
The first week of byes left the NFC West - the 49ers, Rams, Saints and Falcons - idle.
In tonight's game, Cincinnati is at Seattle.
The Raiders, who flirted with a return to Oakland before deciding to remain in LA, drew 54,206 on opening day against Denver and 50,657 last week against Pittsburgh. They drew only one crowd over 60,000 last year.
Former Bear Willie Gault caught four passes for 103 yards, including a 59-yarder that set up the first of two short touchdown runs by Marcus Allen.
"It was just one of 16 games," Gault said. "It wasn't anything special."
Chicago gained 229 yards, 80 on a TD pass from Harbaugh to Dennis Gentry 18 seconds after Allen's 1-yard run gave the Raiders a 7-0 first-period lead. Allen also scored from the 3 with 9:11 left to put the game away.
"We played poorly in all aspects of the game," coach Mike Ditka said of the Bears, now 19-2 in September since 1985.
Despite the impressive victory and record, the Raiders don't expect a lot of respect this early.
"Now, we're the worst 4-0 team around," running back Greg Bell said. "This isn't a game of respect."