Ravens again lose momentum after delay

November, 17, 2013
11/17/13
8:30
PM ET
CHICAGO -- The Baltimore Ravens' 23-20 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears featured heavy rain, 45-mile per hour gusts and a torn-up muddy field.

Unfortunately for the Ravens, there was also a delay. The NFL stopped the game for 1 hour, 53 minutes because of severe weather, which proved to be a turning point in the game.

The Ravens held a 10-0 lead before the delay, and they found themselves tied shortly after play resumed.

"The delay always stops something," running back Ray Rice said. "When you got momentum and your juices are flowing, you want to keep going, especially from my standpoint as a running back. I rip off a 47-yard run and the next thing you know, you're talking about a delay. I'm ready to roll."

[+] EnlargeJohn Harbaugh
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastJohn Harbaugh's Ravens were outscored 23-10 by the Bears after the nearly two-hour delay for inclement weather.
A delay stopped the Ravens' momentum. Sound familiar?

It was nine months ago when the Ravens led the San Francisco 49ers, 28-6 in the Super Bowl before the game was stopped 34 minutes because the lights went out. San Francisco then scored 17 unanswered points once the game resumed, and the Ravens needed a late fourth-quarter stand in the red zone to prevail.

"That's how it's been treating us, some delays," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "They had to sit around the same amount of time we did. At the end of the day, we have to go out and limit our mistakes and make plays. It's that simple. There's no magic change or anything. It's on us."

This is the fourth time the Ravens have had a game stopped and the third time it's happened in their past 11 games. In addition to the Super Bowl, the Ravens' season opener in Denver was delayed 34 minutes because of lightning.

"I think we've led the league in delays over the last few years," coach John Harbaugh said.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco completed 4 of 6 passes for 33 yards before the delay. After sitting for nearly two hours, he threw two interceptions, including one that was returned 22 yards for a touchdown.

"It was a long day. It was a long game," Flacco said. "We didn't persevere as well as we wanted to."

It was an extremely long day. When you factor in overtime along with the delay, the game ended 5 hours, 16 minutes after opening kickoff.

During the delay, some players ate their postgame meal and others stretched in the locker room. The coaches also talked with their position groups on how the field conditions would affect the game.

"I've never been on a field that messy and never played in a wind that bad [with] gusts from every direction," wide receiver Tandon Doss said.

Harbaugh said the NFL let the team know of contingencies before the game because the bad weather had been forecast. He indicated the Ravens understood a delay was always a possibility.

Asked what the two-hour delay was like, Harbaugh said, "I don't really want to get into all that. It was what it was. I haven't analyzed it. It was two hours."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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