Monday, November 18, 2013
Upon Further Review: Ravens Week 11
By Jamison Hensley
CHICAGO -- A review of four hot issues from the Baltimore Ravens' 23-20 overtime loss at the Chicago Bears:
Short-armed: The Ravens should have had the advantage at windy Soldier Field because they had the quarterback with the stronger arm. It didn't play out that way, though. Joe Flacco threw three fewer completions than Josh McCown on passes more than 10 yards downfield, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Flacco was 3-of-6 on those throws, tossing one interception and averaging 6.7 yards per attempt (McCown averaged 11.8 yards per attempt). Accuracy was also a problem for Flacco, who was off target on 33 percent of his passes over 10 yards. For the game, Flacco threw two interceptions to raise his season total to 13, which is a career worst. And it's only November.
Return of Rice: Running back Ray Rice capitalized on playing the NFL's second-worst run defense with a season-high 131 yards rushing. That's 95 yards more than his per-game average this year. Rice’s first carry of the game went for 47 yards, which was more than he had in seven of his eight games this season. Even without his 47-yard run, Rice still would have posted a season high in rushing yards. He also scored a touchdown, his first in five games. This shouldn't come as a surprise. This is the fifth straight game in which the Bears' defense has given up at least 95 yards to a running back.
Rough road: The Ravens dropped to 1-5 on the road this season, assuring them of their second losing road record in six years under coach John Harbaugh. The biggest problem away from home has been Flacco's turnovers. He has thrown 11 interceptions on the road this season, which is the same number of picks in his previous two seasons on the road combined. Flacco's two interceptions in Chicago were critical ones. His first interception was returned 22 yards for a touchdown. His second gave the ball to the Bears at midfield and was converted into a field goal. The loss also kept the Ravens winless at NFC North stadiums. The Ravens are 0-8 in franchise history at Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota.
Lacking an edge: One of the Ravens' strengths this season has been their ability to collapse the pocket from the edge. But Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil were virtually nonexistent against the Bears. This is the first time this season that neither one had a sack in the game. Suggs and Dumervil combined for one sack and one quarterback hit. The only impact Dumervil made was a negative one. He was called for roughing the passer in the fourth quarter when he shoved McCown to the ground after the quarterback had thrown the ball. Getting to Bears quarterbacks has been difficult this season. McCown and Jay Cutler had been sacked a total of 14 times in the first nine games of the season.