NFL Nation: 2013 Week 11 BAL at CHI Rapid Reaction
November, 17, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
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.
November, 17, 2013
By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com
CHICAGO -- A few thoughts on the Chicago Bears' 23-20 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field:
What it means: Only the tiebreaker from Detroit sweeping Chicago keeps the Bears from leading the division. So Chicago's win over the Ravens coupled with Detroit's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers puts the Bears back in serious contention for a legitimate shot at winning the NFC North.
Second-guessing Marc Trestman: With possession at the Baltimore 2-yard line thanks to a defensive holding penalty on Jimmy Smith in the second quarter, Chicago called three consecutive passes that fell incomplete, leading to the Bears settling for a 20-yard field goal that made the score 10-3 in favor of the visitors. The calls seemed a little questionable given where the Bears were on the field. After throwing incomplete to Brandon Marshall and Tony Fiammetta on first and second down, Josh McCown tossed another incompletion to Marshall. On the play, it appeared McCown could have taken advantage of a mismatch on the outside with tight end Martellus Bennett lined up against a Baltimore cornerback.
In the fourth quarter, the Bears elected to punt instead of trying to convert a fourth-and-1 at the Baltimore 44 that would've allowed them to run more time off the clock to preserve a win in regulation. With a little more than a minute to play and the Ravens in the red zone, Trestman also elected not to burn any of his timeouts. Had he called a couple, the Bears may have had time to mount a potentially game-winning drive after Justin Tucker's tying 21-yard field goal.
Bass bailout: Despite the squandered opportunity from the 2 in the second quarter, Bears reserve defensive end David Bass bailed out the offense on the first play of Baltimore's ensuing possession just 12 seconds later. Midway through his rush, Bass tipped a Joe Flacco pass intended for Vonta Leach back into his own hands and romped 24 yards for the touchdown to tie the score at 10.
Coming into the game, the Bears held a 24-2 record since 2005 when they've scored a defensive touchdown, including 10 consecutive wins under those circumstances. Now they're 25-2 with 11 in a row.
Defensive letdown: Even after Bass' potentially game-defining play, the defense slumped on Baltimore's next possession, allowing Flacco to go 5-for-5 for 47 yards on a drive capped by a touchdown pass to Torrey Smith. Defensive end Julius Peppers added to the letdown with a 15-yard penalty for hitting Flacco as the quarterback attempted to slide on a play during the drive. Peppers appeared to slip on the play, which led to the contact.
Season high in a half: The Bears committed seven penalties for 61 yards in the first half alone, which was enough to set a season high for penalties and penalty yardage. The most the Bears had been penalized before Sunday was six times for 43 yards in an Oct. 6 loss to New Orleans.
The Bears only topped that by finishing with 13 penalties for 111 yards. Normally, that gets you beat.
What's next: The Bears review film of Sunday's game on Monday before taking the day off Tuesday and beginning preparations Wednesday for the first of back-to-back road games starting with the St. Louis Rams.