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Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears Game Preview

| November 14th, 2013

bear ravenIt seems, win or lose, the 2013 Bears get sucker punched every week. This week they got Peanut Punched as Charles Tillman was lost for the remainder of the season to a triceps injury. The Bears will now face the Baltimore Ravens without their starting quarterback, their starting defensive tackles, two/thirds of their starting linebackers and the best member of their secondary. So…

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

BUT WHAT FOOTBALL REASONS, JEFF?

  • I think the storyline lost from the Lions game Sunday was just how brilliant Josh McCown was AGAIN coming off the bench. McCown has been the revelation of the 2013 season and I don’t think the Bears offense will struggle Sunday as a result of his starting.
  • Marc Trestman is dealing with the first real criticism of his coaching tenure after deciding to stick with Cutler last Sunday against the Lions. I think Trest responds.
  • Hard not to like to some degree what is developing in the middle of the Bears defense with Corey Wootton and Jon Bostic. Both are learning on the job but show tremendous potential. Be interesting to see where they are at the end of December.
  • Baltimore turns the ball over more than they take it away and the Bears take it away more than just about any team in the league.
  • Ravens have corners with size and can match up with the Bears on the outside. Expect the Bears to attach Baltimore underneath with an intense amount of Matt Forte. Forte will be the best player on the field Sunday.
  • I think the Bears are the better team. They are at home. And they are absolutely desperate for the game.

DA BEAR CONCERNS

  • Concern #1: You can tell me all you want about how difficult it’s been for the Ravens to run the ball this season but nobody has had a difficult time running the ball against the Bears. Brandon Jacobs walked off the street and put up a hundo so are you trying to tell me Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce aren’t capable of having his best game of the year?
  • Concern #2: If the Bears don’t pressure Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith will beat them deep at least once. (One would think the Bears would have used Charles Tillman exclusively on Smith – the Ravens only legitimate receiver threat.)
  • Concern #3: People have not paid much attention to him but Terrell Suggs has nine sacks through nine games and has actually played better than his numbers. The Bears offensive line has been arguably the most improved unit in the NFL this year but if Suggs is motivated they’ll have hell to deal with.

MATCH-UP OF REMARKABLE IMPORTANCE

  • Devin Hester vs. Baltimore’s Punt Coverage Units. Almost remarkably, Baltimore has punted the ball 58 times this season. That is second only to the Cleveland Browns. (The Bears have only punted 39 times.) What does this mean? It means Hester is going to have ample opportunities to make plays and – if his blockers can execute their assignments – this could be the Sunday The Skunk dominates. Hester was good Sunday against Detroit, with Trest admitting missed blocks cost him at least one score. Will this be the Sunday Joe D’s boys deliver?

MORE ON MCCOWN

I am not a big God guy. Actually I am not a God guy at all. But this is a nice video on Josh McCown – a player I’ve rooted for to an almost insane level over the last month.

GREAT QUOTES

President Barack Obama to the Baltimore Ravens, June 5th 2013:

Best of luck next season. You’re going to need it in Week 11 when you go to my hometown of Chicago to play the Bears.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh to reporters, this week:

I’m sure he’ll be watching this game very closely, and we’ll do our best to disappoint him.

One political point. The internet is actually something this country does better than the rest of the world. How was it possible that our government, our genius government, didn’t put the health care program in the hands of the best minds Silicon Valley could provide?

MOST INTERESTING PLAYER ON THE FIELD

  • Let’s be fair. Bears WR Alshon Jeffery had an opportunity to beat the Lions Sunday and he failed. Were there other reasons for the loss? Yes. Was Jeffery the primary? Absolutely. The climb of a receiver from solid to star is steep and Jeffery won’t reach the peak of his position until  he makes the catches he failed to make against Detroit. It will only take a drop in the wrong moment Sunday to turn the Soldier Field faithful against him.

THIS VIDEO HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FOOTBALL

When you’re playing Baltimore, you have to share a clip from the best film ever set there.

A SINGLE STAT PREDICTION

  • Josh McCown will throw for two touchdowns and no interceptions.

WRAPPING IT UP IN A FEW SENTENCES

  • The Bears defense catches as a break at home by facing one of the least-dimensional, least-dynamic offenses in the sport. Josh McCown plays another four quarters of smart, mistake-free football and ushers the Bears to 6-4.

FINAL SCORE

  • Chicago Bears 23, Baltimore Ravens 13

Tagged: ,

  • SC Dave

    Certain people did not lose sight of how well McCown played last week.

    It seems to me that Trestman’s offense suits him extremely well, and as has been said first elsewhere, McCown has been engaged since the beginning.

    I have more confidence in McCown than any backup the Bears have had since Neckbeard at least.

  • Trac

    Why the disclaimer Jeff? It’s not like any of the guys were afraid you’d skip the game for a Church service.

  • SC Dave

    By the way, Jeff, nice picture for this one

  • EnderWiggin

    Hopefully, in December, Wootton will be back to DE. But that will depend on production from Ratliff and Paea.

    • DaBearsBlog

      I don’t get the Paea thing. Never have. Wootton has showed more inside than Paea has.

      • MB30SD

        paea has shown flashes jeff.

        • know who else showed flashes? i’ll give you a hint: he ruined our season.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEYStCeTRLE

          • MB30SD

            I thought we all agreed that we’d never mention his name here again… never mind post a visual evidence. Shame on you Ev. I’m voting you down expeditiously.

          • 1. i didn’t mention his name.
            2. the visual evidence was a tribute to johnny knox.
            3. your down vote makes me think you’re still not over the Brandon Hardin injury.

          • MB30SD

            1. True enough
            2. Thin (your alibi, not johnny knox)
            3. Maybe a little

  • BerwynBomber

    In regard to “concern #2”, I don’t know if Peanut would match up that well with Smith even if Tillman were healthy. From a sheer speed standpoint, I might be more inclined to put Jennings on Smith. Tillman would have been ideal for someone like Boldin who, of course, is no longer with the Ravens.
    Btw, given this game is at home, this might be our easiest one of the remainder. Baltimore is arguably a better team than the Rams, Browns and Vikings, but since we will face the latter list of teams on the road this one might count as our best-chance at a gimme.

  • johnnywad
    • Big Mike

      I get so pissed off by macho bullshit from coaches. It infuriates me. That coach is a criminal.

      • Cormonster

        One of my favorite coaches was Mr. Zamborini or something like that. He was a very small eastern European guy who was our soccer coach and a hothead. We were getting our asses kicked early in a game and he protested a goal and then forfeited the game. We were like 8 years old. I had some good and bad coaches in between, but quit hs football and baseball because of the coaches. The football coach had won 3 D1 state championships, but was a megalomaniac. Many of my friends stuck it out through hs, but hated playing for that guy.

  • MB30SD

    fucking brutal. the government sucks, the system is broken. shaking my fucking head: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20131113/sam-hurd-sentenced-15-years/?eref=sihp

    • Thompson Way

      @MB30SD Buck up dude, the system has only been broken for the last 25 to 30 years. I sure it will be fix tomorrow. Besides, this is what we get when the population votes on charisma and not talent. So, crack a cold one, and sit back and watch the game and don’t be a hater.

      • MB30SD

        Oh, ok thompson. thanks again for the great insight. Pretty fired up you’re posting now! Thanks!

  • Erik

    I think McCown has his worst game this week. I hope he doesn’t though.

    I think you are being a little too rough on Jeffery. Marshall dropped a pretty big touchdown last year versus the Packers. For a second year player, Jeffery has shown incredible development and poise. Whether he makes that catch or not, he’s still a starting wide receiver on my team.

    I remember when we didn’t have a starting wide receiver.

    • MB30SD

      And I remember when you were a reg.

      Don’t worry about the little guys that made it all possible now that you’re a big football blogger. Sigh.

    • DaBearsBlog

      I don’t think I was hard on Jeffery at all. I simply related what did happen and what will happen should it continue.
      Why are Bears fans supposed to act like we’re being given daily
      Christmas gifts because the organization finally decided to get wide
      receivers and join the modern game?

    • AlbertInTucson

      I still maintain the one in the corner of the endzone was well-defended, not “dropped”.

      However, the post pattern at the goal line could be season-defining.

      • DaBearsBlog

        I really believe Alshon Jeffery has the potential to be one of the five best receivers in the sport. One of the five best receivers in the sport holds that ball.

        • MB30SD

          wow… pretty big props.

        • bearsfantillend

          i believe Jeffery has the potential too but he is not there yet. To say that top 5 receivers catch everything is ridiculously funny. We have all witnessed top 5 receivers get alligator arms at times, drop passes when wide open, passes ripped out of their hands for interceptions. It happens the post pattern pass was dropped. I am with Al on the corner of endzone pass, it was well defended.

          • SC Dave

            +++ Jerry Rice dropped passes too.

          • AlbertInTucson

            As I recall, early on in his rookie season, Rice was so PLAGUED by drops and the 49ers were more than a little concerned.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Sorry, Blogfather, that second one was a good defensive play, not a “Drop”.

          Using your analysis, the Charles Tillman play you celebrated yesterday was a “drop” by Randy Moss, no?

          Of course not.

          That was a GREAT play by Peanut.

          This was a nice play by the Detroit defender.

          Let’s face it. Top five or not they ALL drop some and some BIG ones at that.

          We’ve seen Marshall drop more than one in the endzone during his tenure in Chicago.

          Are you saying HE is not a top 5 receiver?

          Heck, MEGATRON had a bad drop on Sunday on a 3rd down slant that would have been a first down and maybe a lot more.

          Last year, I believe Johnson was among the league leaders in drops along with Jimmy Graham.

          Granted, those 2 get a huge amount of “targets” but it’s not like they catch 99 out of 100, either.

      • Sactowns#1

        Jeesh this whole argument is insane. No one game comes down to a single play. These things are cumalitive. What about the drop early on by Bennett, the 4th down vs a FG, the missed block, the bounce pass to Alshon late etc etc etc. I hate when people act like a single player lost a agme for a team. If they all would have played better then it wouldnt have been close and hence it wouldnt have to come down to one play.

        • AlbertInTucson

          You have a point, but that goal line drop was 6 points.

    • Big Mike

      I’m surprised I have not seen it mentioned, but contributing to Jeffery’s drop was the fact that Cutler through it from the very brightly lit sunshine, to deep dark shadows. That could not have made it an easy catch. Still like him to catch it. But that is a complicating factor.

      • MB30SD

        Do. Your. job. Son.

        In other news, yesterday, my Outlook bogged down for a few minutes and I couldn’t retrieve an important email, so I just didn’t.

        semicolon…… close parenthesis.

        • Big Mike

          No excuse, agreed. But it was a factor that made the degree of difficulty higher. I’d post an image from NFL Replay, but we can’t put pictures in here.

          • MB30SD

            I was mostly just messing with you mike… I get it, but he just HAS to come up with those kinds of balls in those game-changing situations. period.

  • TheBigCheesy

    Only 13 points for the ravens? Sounds like wishful thinking…..

    “This is Baltimore, gentlemen. The gods will not save you”

    • TheBigCheesy

      p.s. nice levinson clip!

  • AlbertInTucson

    Better clip from DINER, and more apros pos, is in the Church at the wedding. The bridal party is marching down the aisle as the organist plays very down tempo version of LET’S GO YOU COLTS!

    • gpldan

      Robert Irsay shrine still not constructed

      • AlbertInTucson

        LOL. Ya think? Baltimore stipulated maintainig the rights to that song, too.

    • DaBearsBlog

      Couldn’t find it on YouTube but I agree. The scene where Guttenberg is giving the fiance the Colts test is a classic too.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I’ll bet that went right over the heads of non-football fans and even a lot of non-Colts fans. That is, by the way, and excellent fight song.

  • Thompson Way

    I like the new format, or maybe I was sleeping up till now but I like these blogs/posts/emails. So, keep them coming.
    How is it the I feel more comfortable with McCown than Cutler under center? Can it be that he has earned my trust in such a short period of time? Bear down

    • MB30SD

      Hey, thanks for the go ahead to keep posting thompson. Thought I was never going to be able to post again! Phew!

      • Scharfinator

        MB is sipping some hatorade.

        • MB30SD

          Oh common… if you can’t mess with new guys who come in acting like they’ve been here and giving orders… who can ya!?

          You guys are so sensitive. Should I go interview with Jay Glazer now?

    • johnnywad

      Dude. You’re lucky Waffle’s on sabbatical this week.

  • MB30SD
  • MB30SD
    • gpldan

      Anybody think that Glazer DIDN’T get a call from Rodger before that interview? Anybody think that was real journalism?

      The strategy here is to discredit Martin – make him look like a weird loner – to diffuse the potential race issue. Not a Manson level Helter Skelter level of race issue, but enough of one that black v. white starts popping up in other locker rooms and problems spread. That is Goodell’s worst case scenario. If all Incognito did is threaten and harass, this would be over. It’s the n-bombz that gives this story legs.

      • MB30SD

        I disagree maings. I think this is the mainstream media PC gestapo frothing at the mouth and ready to destroy careers over mistakes, not thinking, no-context, and bullshit.

        Let me explain… I’m not at all saying racism is ok in any way shape or form, what I am saying is from what I’ve seen, they both used the word about each other and it was accepted part of their locker room messing around culture. That entire miami locker room came out in defense of incognito on this. Not one guy said he’s a racist POS who really hates black guys.

        I’ll relay a personal story for ya.

        When I was in HS our running back was black and he and I were friends (I was the fullback too, so it kind of behooved him I guess), but we’d relentlessly mess around with each other all the time about me being Jewish and him being black. I never ever called him the N word (even though he called me “jew” all the time), but we def played around with race/religious affiliation by telling jokes about each other a lot.

        One day at a track meet, he and I were the last two legs of the 4 X 100 team. We were warming up and talking smack to each other as usual. Now, his dad was our oline coach and he was a big man… who happened to love me btw. So we are talking smack to each other and we’re right by the football locker room.

        My buddy says to me, “you’re gonna be fast today man… I can feel it. All you need to do is visualize a big pile of money at the finish line and a big ham chasing you and you’ll run as fast as you can.”

        I’m cracking up and just as I retort, “ok,well, then you can picture some watermelon at the finish punkass”… his dad comes out of the locker room and hears this. His eyes got huge and he was PISSED.

        His son tells him that he started it and that he and I always mess with each other about our race/religion. Of course my asshole was already puckered, but he gave us both this long lecture about never doing that to each other and there’s enough hate especially when we are such good friends etc….

        He was 100% right and it was bad of us to do. My point is, that given the context (no matter how immature and dumb it was), our joking was totally and completely innocent and we both actually really enjoyed messing around with each other about it. it was fun and funny to us. there was never a single bit of hurt or hate attached to any of it from either side.

        Now, taken out of context, he or I looked like anti-Semite and/or a racist pigs. My point is that there’s a helluva lot to be said about context.

        Now… I would never use the N word, and that big dumb roided out meathead definitely shouldn’t have… but I am VERY dubious about the whole ‘bullying’ label put on this given the info we keep hearing from teammates and people that have been around both of them. It seemed like it was all much more akin to what I did in HS (I just grew out of being a dumbass… well, some of the time), than a bullying to death scenario. Seems like Martin has some mental issues and used this as a springboard to get out of something that didn’t make him happy.

        • CanadaBear

          I don’t think you’re a racist but that kind of kidding around can lead to hard feelings. Esp if one party gets bent out of shape and escalates the rhetoric. I’ve seen that happen many times.

        • gpldan

          But… you just made my point for me.

          Your story shows that for all your BS with your pal, it was the race stuff that turned it.

          And that’s what happened here. If Incognito had called him at night and said he was gonna shit in his mouth (nice Ritchie, you fat fuck) and made him pick up the check and harassed the shit out of him until he quit like he did – people would let it go.

          But BECAUSE Incognito used race in his attacks, now it becomes a bigger issue. Alex Brown was on 670 and for all these guys, the thing that sticks in their craw is the n-bombz. Nothing else.

          Brown even said it – everything else is just the NFL – but the n-bombz means that maybe the NFL doesn’t let Incognito back in. He filed with the NFLPA against the Fish today, btw. But this is coming down from Goodell. He doesn’t need this to be about race.

          So, again – you said the same thing. You can fuck around all you want, bust balls and in this case, threaten harass and intimidate – perhaps at the request of the Fish themselves because Martin got a $5M deal but the fucker was soft like Webb Nation, and so he does what he’s told – but he injects race attacks in and BOOM – the NFL has to ban his ass.

  • MB30SD
  • gpldan

    Is Chicken Dinner cleared to play Sunday?

  • gpldan

    Hub puts BMarsh over his knee and spanks him

    http://tinyurl.com/k8clxbs

    I didn’t know BMarsh went on radio and dissed the Motor City like that. It’s kind of funny, actually, I woulda laughed if I heard him say that.

    • MB30SD

      have to say this after reading and hearing a lot from hub lately.

      Shut the fuck up Hub. You fucking douche

      • johnnywad

        Ditto. Tired of his fucking bullshit. Wet Blanket.

        • MB30SD

          he’s just constantly negative no matter what. broken record. enough

          • gpldan

            There’s an ugly rumor (the best kind) that 670 wasn’t going to give him his own show and feature him as much as they have (he’s got 3 shows of his own plus he’s a guest every day on everybody else’s show) UNLESS he agreed to be a thorn in Halas Hall’s side.

            Now – for me – I like hearing about the stuff the Bears fuck up with. The press is tough on this organization, Mully, Haugh, Hub, Biggsy – all pretty cynical on this team and it’s executives and I share that sentiment – but the difference is – here on the blog, and I personally think Jeff – you guys are kind of homers. Fans first, criticism 2nd.

            Not me. But then again, I own property in the city limits, so I have tax dollars going to fund this motherfucking team so I say what I want, because this team was once cited by Forbes as one of the most mismanaged organizations in the U.S. And that’s beyond football clubs. It’s a $2B/yr company and it’s management sucks.

            I like the reforms of middle management, and you guys may be sick of Hub – and yes, he’s being payed to be down on this club you are right – but also it’s good to see both sides.

            So if I am the lone voice dissing the Bears management and shit – well – you know – DOOOOOOONNNNT CAAAAARRREE!

      • AlbertInTucson

        He has an axe to grind.

  • gpldan

    Todd Christensen died yesterday. Not from CTE or anything, from liver failure.

    Heckuva TE. He was the Tyler Eifert of that era.

    • loved him on the raiders in Tecmo Bowl. there was a play where he ran a slant from the TE position. even if the defense picked your play and got that all-out-rush on the QB, you could still get a play off if you threw it to that slant quick enough.

    • AlbertInTucson

      In case anyone was wondering, Christiansen, a devout Mormon, did not drink so it wasn’t booze that wrecked his liver.

  • BillW

    Another “must win”. One of the papers today essentially said even Lovie / Rod would have trouble with this defense given the key injuries. Probably right. So Tucker gets another year I’m sure. Joe D too, since the STs are hindered with so much turnover – again given the injuries.

    Rosenbum wrote about Trestman’s three critical calls (4-1 and the two 2-point tries) and as much as I dislike him (Rosenberg) I have to say he had a point in there – though he didn’t quite make it. Just like I tried to say in the last post – Trestman is falling into a trap of overthinking in his play calling. “I’ll line up to pass but run; line up to run but pass; put in Michael Bush so they won’t key on Forte; go for 4-1 because… well, because.”

    I don’t know what the coach equivalent of “let the game come to you” is, but I think Trestman needs to do that. (“Use the Force, Marc.”)

    To answer a question from the previous thread – (which I realize was in jest; and whoever it was that rememered me – thanks) I’ve been going to games since the Wrigley Field days. I would guess the Bears are about 0.600 when tI’m there. I’m 2 and 2 in NFC Championship games though.
    I only go to 2 a year now; (my 2 boys split the tickets and they take to old man to 1 game each); Not going to the Ravens game; I’m 1 and 1 this year (Giants).

    I LOVE being around Bear fans at Soldier Field!

    • Scharfinator

      I do understand what you’re saying with over thinking and it’s probably a fair point.

      However, to let the game come to you gives away your battlefield initiative as it were.

  • Trac

    I definitely think the Lions and the Cheese have a great shot at losing both their contests this week and I see the Bears getting a solid win against the Ravens. 🙂

    • Sactowns#1

      I like your turn towards optimism Trac.

      • Trac

        Ha, I’ve been right evra time for the last three weeks. Yeah sure.

  • bearsfantillend

    Once again I want to say Thank you to Jeff for bringing this blog into the 21st century by moving on from ChicagoNow. The ability to post links that people can click on is FUCKING AWESOME!!

  • MB30SD

    You’re welcome. How fucking bad ass is this: https://onlycoin.com/

    So getting it. Great idea!!

    • tobijohn

      That IS a great idea…

    • MikeBrownhadaPosse

      I wants it…but spring of 2014?

      • MB30SD

        yeah, I know. but if you buy now it’s 50% off.

  • MB30SD
    • AlbertInTucson

      That guy breaks no new ground.

      It all comes down to this:
      Who are you going to get that’s better?

      Plus, don’t you think the Bears would like to see him with a year of Trestman’s system under his belt.

      He was really taking off in his 2nd year under Madman Martz. when he broke his thumb.

      Another consideration: Does Cutler want to go someplace else and have assimilate ANOTHER new offensive system?

  • MB30SD
  • MB30SD

    but the beat goes on… YEAH!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK7J0jYKpiY#t=73

    Happy 61 Macho Man

    • gpldan

      Both Sonny and Randy killed by hitting a tree. Coincidence? You decide.

  • SC Dave
  • gpldan
  • gpldan
  • AlbertInTucson

    Sorry, but it’s time to bash Dan Patrick, again.

    Twice.

    Haven’t been listen to him much of late, or ANY Sports Talk Radio for that matter, because I was sick of the Richie Incognito discussion about 30 seconds after it started.

    First: There’s absolutely no reason citicize Fritzy, in any way, especially on the air, because a cell phone connection went a bit glitchy during the Kershaw interview.

    He’s a producer, not God. No need for Dan to,basically say, however calmly, “It wasn’t MY fault, folks!” and then point a finger at somebody else to emphasize it.

    Technical Crap happens. It happens A LOT. I think the audience understands that.

    Besides, It WAS a baseball interview. Most of his audence probably dozed off during it anyway.

    Second: How come Danny, who CONSTANTLY tries to get his”DP Shoutouts” from fellow broadcasters on other shows, conveniently sidestepped the same request made of HIM when Rich Eisen turned the tables this morning and asked for a
    ” ‘Podcast’ Shoutout” in return on Sunday Night Football?

    “Well, I like to be professional’ Ho, Ho, Ho! Nyuck, Nyuck Nyuck!”
    We’ll take that as a thinly disguised “No”, Dan.

    Of course, the Dance Mr. Patrick did around EISEN’S request PALES in compared to the verbal tap dance the POTUS did this afternoon.

  • Trac

    The Incognito story has just become the Jonathan Martin story and the NFL now has it’s very own perfect storm. I don’t think Martin will ever play another down, not because the Dolphins won’t be groveling at his feet to give him an opportunity but because two Harvard Lawyers(Martin’s parents) will make sure he doesn’t have to. This kid is going to make more money than he ever would have suiting up. I sensed this several weeks back when it was reported that both his parents were Harvard lawyers.

    http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2013/11/miami-dolphons-jonathan-martin-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-depression-richie-incognito/

    • gpldan

      Radar Online, awesome source. Did they also find Noah’s Ark?

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