BALTIMORE — The Ravens got off to a slow start against the Bears and had to claw their way back into the game with some late game heroics. However, with the game on the line in overtime, neither the defense of offense showed up and the Bears escaped with a 27-24 victory.
The first half was pretty slow for both teams. The Bears went into the half with a 10-3 lead but weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders. A freak interception that bounced off of Breshad Perriman‘s hands set Chicago up with great field position. They would use that to score their first touchdown of the afternoon but that was their lone highlight in the half.
In the second half the Bears added to their lead with another touchdown. Down 17-3, the Ravens looked hopeless but they somehow managed to swing the momentum in their favor while coming back and forcing overtime.
Bobby Rainey started the comeback effort by bringing the disappointed home crowd back to their feet with a 96-yard kickoff return. The play looked to be dead when Rainey ran into one of his own blockers, but he had the awareness to get up and keep going when the refs didn’t whistle the play over.
Justin Tucker inched his team closer when he nailed his second field goal of the afternoon in the fourth quarter. With Baltimore back in the game and down by just one possession, Joe Flacco led the offense down the field into the red zone. Unfortunately, Baltimore’s wideouts let Flacco down. again.
Chris Moore let a bullet pass bounce off his chest and fall into the hands of Chicago’s Adrian Amos. The Bears’ safety then turned on the jets and raced 90 yards down field for what seamed like a game-ending touchdown.
Flacco and the offense were left with about five minuets to make something happen. To their credit, they managed to put together a quick scoring drive. The two-minute drive was capped off by a 50-yard field goal to make it a one score game once again. The defense picked up on the momentum of the score and forced the Bears into a three-and-out on their next possession.
With under two minutes to play, Michael Campanaro returned a punt 77 yards down the Ravens sideline for a touchdown. Flacco followed up the impressive return with a successful two-point conversion pass to Nick Boyle. All of the sudden, the game was tied.
With a chance to put the game away in overtime, the Ravens offense proved to be even more unreliable. A third-and-two situation should be an easy pick up, but the Ravens embarrassed themselves with a questionable play call, bringing up fourth down.
After letting the Ravens back into the game, Chicago was determined to finally put the game away. Backed up deep in Ravens territory, Mitchell Trubisky handed the ball off to Jordan Howard, who bounced to the outside. Howard was quickly met by a cluster of defenders, including Eric Weddle, but managed to slip out of their reach and race down the visiting sideline for a 53-yard gain.
Weddle had his arms wrapped around Howard, but somehow couldn’t come up with a tackle. The play took away whatever energy remained in the stadium and the Bears didn’t hesitate to move their way into field goal range and put the game away.
There is a lot of blame to go around after this loss. Up until that final drive, the defense had played a relatively clean game but they still deserve a decent share of the blame. As far as the offense goes, Flacco was not the problem for once. Both picks should have been caught by the intended receiver and Maxx Williams should have never coughed up the ball in the red zone.
Moving past a tough loss is not new to this Ravens team, but at what point do the massive swarm of injuries become too much? Brandon Williams‘ presence was missed once again on Sunday, but Jeremy Maclin being out was probably the biggest loss. Moore and Campanaro can not be relied on to make big plays and they proved that with some ugly drops.
The Ravens will hit the road next week to take on the Vikings. Minnesota is coming off a big win against the Green Bay Packers and now finds themselves on top of their division. Baltimore, on the other hand, is going to need another impressive road performance if they want to keep pace in the AFC North.
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