Sunday, November 17, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Baltimore Ravens
By Jamison Hensley
CHICAGO -- A few thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 23-20 loss to the Chicago Bears.
What it means: In a long and crazy afternoon, the Ravens' hopes of winning the AFC North took a decisive hit. The Ravens (4-6) fell 2 1/2 games behind the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) with six games remaining. Baltimore lost on a 38-yard field goal by Robbie Gould in overtime. The key play was Lardarius Webb giving up a 43-yard pass to the bigger Martellus Bennett. The Ravens still trail the New York Jets by one game for the final playoff spot in the AFC.
Stock watch: Rising: Ray Rice. For the first time this season, Ravens running back Ray Rice looked like Ray Rice. He took advantage of the NFL's second-worst run defense with his first 100-yard performance of the season. He also broke a 47-yard run, his longest run of the season. This was a bright spot in what has been his roughest season in the NFL.
Bad tackling: The Ravens gave the Bears their first lead of the game with 10:33 left, when Daryl Smith and Corey Graham missed tackles on Matt Forte's 14-yard touchdown. Forte dragged a helmetless James Ihedigbo into the end zone to go up 20-17.
Give and take: Joe Flacco had an interception returned 24 yards for a touchdown, which tied the game at 10 midway through the second quarter. On the next drive, Flacco marched the Ravens down the field, completing all five passes for 47 yards. He capped the series by threading a 5-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith between two Bears defenders.
Another delay: The game was stopped in the first quarter because of severe weather and was delayed 1 hour, 53 minutes. The Ravens, who led 10-0 before the stoppage, gave up 10 straight points after play resumed. Keeping momentum after delays has been a problem for the Ravens, who couldn't hold on to a lead after a power outage caused a delay in the Super Bowl.
What's next: The Ravens host the Jets (5-5) in a game where playoff ramifications are more important than another reunion with safety Ed Reed.