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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 untilĀ  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

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