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Ravens Beat Up On Bears 31-7

As a fan of the Chicago Bears, when I heard about the snowstorm in Maryland, I was hoping for more than the game being shifted from noon to 3:15. I was in fact hoping that the weather would be so bad that the game would have to be cancelled. It was just one of those feelings inside where I knew the Bears had very little chance to win this game against the Ravens. One reason being because the Ravens have everything to play for as they are still in the wildcard hunt in the AFC. The second reason is because the Bears’ offensive line has struggled mightily against average defensive fronts and the Ravens defensive package is anything but average. The Bears would need to play almost perfect to have a chance at winning the game; something the fans have yet to see this year from the Bears.

The first half of this game pretty much summed up the Bears’ tendencies throughout most of the season. The Chicago Bears have had a difficult time scoring points in the opening quarter and the trend continued in this game as well. Jay Cutler was picked off on the Bears opening drive and the Ravens promptly turned that turnover into seven points courtesy of a 14-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to fan-favorite tight-end, Todd Heap to give the Ravens an early 7-0 lead four minutes into the game. The reoccurring nightmare would only get worst from there. On the Bears next drive, Jay Cutler would again be picked off deep in Ravens’ territory. This would be the sixth time that Cutler has thrown an interception in the opponents’ red-zone. The Ravens would make the Bears pay for this costly turnover as well. The Ravens would execute a six play drive that spanned 81 yards capped by Todd Heap’s second touchdown catch of the game to give the Ravens a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Bears’ inability to put points on the board in the red-zone would rear its ugly head again in the second quarter. The Chicago Bears moved the ball to the Ravens’ one-yard line and failed to come away with any points for their efforts. However the Chicago Bears’ defense would hold the Ravens on their next possession forcing Baltimore to punt deep in their own territory. Second year receiver, Earl Bennett, would return the punt 49 yards to finally put the Bears on the board and cut the Ravens’ lead to 14-7. However there was little else that the Bears did that could be considered a positive in the first half.

The Ravens would open the second half with a scoring drive capped by a Flacco 32-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Gilbert, who was double covered, to give the Ravens a 21-7 lead. Things would only get worse from here as Johnny Knox would cough up the ball on the ensuing kickoff and the Ravens would recover and take over from the Bears’ 30-yard line. As they had done all game, the Ravens would capitalize on the Bears’ miscue as Flacco would cap off another short drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Mason to give the Ravens a 28-7 lead. This would give the Ravens two scores in the third period before the Bears’ offensive unit was able to get on the field. If things weren’t bad enough, the Bears would yet again turn the ball over on their next possession as Forte would fumble the ball on second down and Baltimore would recover the ball and would again be given prime field position at the Bears’ 21-yard line. The Bears would manage to hold them out of the end-zone but the Raven’s did manage a 40-yard field goal giving them a 31-7 lead. For those of us doing the math at home; that is 4 turnovers that lead to 24 points. When you turn the ball over that much it is difficult to beat any team in the NFL.

The fourth quarter was nothing more than a formality as the backup quarterbacks for both teams saw some playing time with the outcome of the game no longer in doubt. The Bears defense made Joe Flacco look like a pro-bowler as he completed 20 of 26 passes for 232 yards and 4 touchdown passes. However, I will give the defense somewhat of a pass on two of those scores because of the offense turning the ball over and giving the Ravens good field position. I’m not sure what to say about the play of Jay Cutler as he threw for less than 100 yards, was intercepted three times and had a passer rating of only 7.9. There is little that can be said with a stat line like that one.

The loss dropped the Bears to 5-9, making their 3-1 start to the season all but an aberration. Devin Hester commented last week that there would probably be some changes within the organization as a result of how poorly the team has played this season. H words will more than likely prove to be prophetic as the media has been saying that Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo are mainly to blame for the team’s performance this year. Regardless of the changes that are made, the Chicago Bears’ will need some personnel upgrades in several spots as well because good coaches can only take you so far. It is the players who either win or lose games and needless to say, the players have lost eight of their last ten games.


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