The 4-5 Baltimore Ravens head to the Windy City to face the 5-4 Chicago Bears. The good news is that temps will in the low 60s which is quite balmy for Chicago this time of year. The bad news is that it will be windy with rain the forecast; Soldier Field is made of grass so it could get quite messy on Sunday.
Bears starting quarterback Jay Cutler is injured; backup Josh McCown will make the start. McCown’s stats are impressive for a backup QB; he’s played well in his three starts with a quarterback rating of 103.2.
The Bears have an explosive offense with wide receivers Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffrey and running back Matt Forte. The Ravens defense needs to step up their pass rush and contain Forte.
Fortunately for the Ravens the Bears run defense is 31st in the League against the run and they rank 26th in total defense. It goes without saying that the Ravens need to step up their struggling run game, but this is THE week where they *should* be able crank up it up.
The Ravens often struggle on the road; they are 1-4 on the road this season. A win would put them at .500, a place they really need to be if they want to keep playoff hopes alive.
Hopefully the Ravens can get off to another fast start; if they succeed, they need to keep it up the entire game and not fall flat like they did last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. They may utilize backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor again to switch up the offense and throw the Bears off track.
The injury bug came back this week and attacked some key players including defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and middle linebacker Daryl Smith. Both missed some practice time this week and are questionable for Sunday.
Who will prevail…The Ravens defense or the Bears offense? Mother Nature may have a hand in this matter; hopefully she will cooperate so there isn’t a mud bowl at Soldier Field.
I have seen all kinds of predictions for this game and while I believe the Ravens can pull off a win, I honestly don’t know what to expect.
Thankfully the Ravens defense is playing better than the offense since the defense is the side that needs to step it up this week to stop the explosive Bears. Too bad Cutler was injured last week; I’d rather face him than McCown.