Game Comments: Ravens at Bears 11/17/13
- The Bears were really dominated at the line of scrimmage as it looked to me like the Ravens generally played to stop Matt Forte on the run, especially early. Their tight man-to-man coverage in the defensive backfield stifled Bears receivers for good portions of the day.
- In fairness, I thought the Bears did run better in the second half as they pounded Baltimore repeatedly with the assistance of tackle Ebon Britton playing tight end and helping out the tackles.
- The Bears spent the day shooting themselves in the foot with penalties and drops (see Miscellaneous below). There were periods of time here and there, especially late, when they executed but much of the game was more typified by the events in the first series of the game – two broken plays in a row leading to a punt.
- Another typical series – the Bears got six shots at the end zone in the second quarter from the red zone, five from inside the five, and settled for a field goal. The failure in the run game was very evident here as the Bears resorted to going to the air for most of the plays since they couldn’t run.
- McCown had a real rough start. My feeling was that his lack of arm strength allowed the wind to affect him a great deal more than it affected the Ravens Joe Flacco.
- I was unimpressed with some of the Ravens tackling. They missed quite a few and it hurt them today.
- I do love watching Forte run. Just a wonderful run in the fourth quarter for a touchdown. He’s got really nice vision and good lateral movement. He makes a lot of guys miss. He’s got to be one of the most under rated players in the league.
- It was nice to see the end arounds with Alshon Jeffery finally work for some yardage.
- I was disappointed that the Bears didn’t do a better job of running the clock out in the fourth quarter. Very unfortunate. Nice to see them redeem themselves with the score in over time for the win.µ
- The situation for the Bears defense was similar to the offense. Domination at the line of scrimmage as Ray Rice ran over them all game. Even with eight in the box for much of the game, Rice got good yardage.
- The Bears did get pressure on Joe Flacco on occasion as the pass rush was very active. Julius Peppers came alive with two sacks. Cheta Ozougwu had a nice play to knock the ball out of Flacco’s hand in the third quarter on a fourth down.
- Unfortunately the pass rush was also undisciplined, especially by the defensive tackles, leaving large gaps for Flacco to run through.
- Despite the poor performance against the run, the Bears did do a better job in their discipline as the did stay in their gaps. There was one long run by Rice in the first quarter where Bostic over ran the play.
- To my eye the Bears are also tackling much better than they were two or three weeks ago.
- Chris Conte had another rough day, especially early.
- The Bears failure to stop the Ravens on he final drive of the fourth quarter to keep them out of field goal range was disappointing. Nice to see them redeem themselves with the stop in over time.
- The Bears drew Phil Simms and Jim Nantz for this game, continuing a long streak of top announcing teams. However, I have to say that Simms wasn’t on top of his game today. Most of his comments were average and there were few if any “Wow, goo point” moments. I didn’t learn too much about the game today.
- Bears special teams were unremarkable. Michael Ford had a real nice tackle on a punt in the first quarter.
- The Bears had far, far too many penalties this game. Zack Bowman had a pass interference and an illegal block in the back. He also had an extremely damaging horse collar tackle in the fourth quarter with 4:30 left to give the Ravens a first down. Corey Wooton was offsides. The Bears punt team had an Illegal hands to the face charged to it. Peppers had a stupid late hit on Joe Flacco in the second quarter. He also had an offsides in the third quarter. Brandon Marshall had a holding call. Martellus Bennett had two false starts, one of which turned a third and one into a third and six at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Jordan Mills had a holding call late in the first half in the final minute making for a much longer field goal try. Michael Ford was offsides on a kickoff in over time. For Baltimore James Ihedigbo had a horse collar tackle. They had a defensive holding near the end zone to give the Bears a new set of downs at about the 2 (the Bears settled for a field goal).
- Talk about letting them play, the referees let the wide receivers and the defensive backs really go at it today. It was very physical.
- The Bears also spent the day dropping balls all over the field. Alshon Jeffery had a drop in the first quarter. He also had a big drop in over time. Chris Conte dropped a pick. Tony Fiammetta had a drop near the goal line in the second quarter. Brandon Marshall also dropped a first down in the second quarter. He dropped another (admittedly poor) pass in the fourth quarter. For the Ravens, Ed Dickson had a drop in the first quarter. Tandon Doss dropped a big pass that would have been a first down in the fourth quarter. They had the Bears off the field after stifling them on a third down in the fourth quarter only to be charged with an idiotic roughing the passer penalty with 7:30 left, giving the Bears a fresh set of downs.
- David Bass had a nice pick six. Jon Bostic had a nice interception near the end of the half which set up and eventual field goal.
- Kudos to all of those people who stuck around through trying circumstances to make a lot of noise in the fourth quarter to urge the Bears on.
- I loved watching the field crew out there trying to stomp down all of the divots in the field before the over time period. It was like trying to keep dry by catching individual drops the pouring rain.
- Most of the story of this game for me is told in the Miscellaneous section. I was happy with the fundamentals on defense as the Bears were in their gaps and their tackling was reasonably good. I was happy to see them win the turnover battle with some good plays. But they don’t have the talent on either side of the ball to be dropping passes and, especially, committing penalties all game. Offense is about getting all 11 guys to do their jobs and its hard to do that when you are shooting yourself in the foot play after play. They aren’t going to win many games doing this.