Five hours and 13 minutes later the Bears pulled out the win.
A win that may have saved the Bears season.
It was a classic that’s for sure, but before the hour and fifty three minute weather delay things looked hopeless for the “Monsters of the Midway.”
Josh McCown and the offense were ineffective and we’re staring at a 10-0 deficit.
But things turned around for Marc Trestman’s team. Despite 13 penalties, horrible game conditions and a key stalled drive, the Bears were victorious for the sixth time this season.
Many of the penalties were mental mistakes. Julius Peppers made a stupid decision to try and hit Joe Flacco after he gave himself up on a quarterback run.
Also, Zackary Bowman had a terrible game, which included a couple of boneheaded penalties. A horse collar on a third-down stop gave the Ravens life late in the fourth quarter.
You can certainly say the Bears shot themselves in the foot way too often which stalled drives. But they fought to the very end, something that has been a theme under the new Trestman regime.
Even when the Ravens were driving late in the fourth quarter and it looked like Baltimore had the game won they battled. The young defense made a huge stand.
I think most teams in the NFL would come out on the losing end if they had 13 penalties for 111 yards like the Bears did on Sunday.
The key drive of the game, which I thought would come back to bite the Bears came early in the second quarter. The Bears went down the field with ease and were set up inside the Ravens’ 25-yard line after just five plays.
The Bears had six plays from inside the Baltimore six-yard line, but failed to score a touchdown. They settled for a 20-yard Robbie Gould field goal.
Luckily, rookie David Bass stepped up when the Bears needed it most. The Ravens still had the momentum on their side until he made the big play.
Bass, a seventh-round rookie out of Missouri Western State intercepted Flacco and took it back 24 yards for the score to tie it up, 10-10.
The Ravens would score only one more touchdown on the day.
The Bears’ defense did their part. Some veteran guys, who have struggled at times this year stepped up and some unknowns stepped up as well.
Peppers stepped up with a season-high 11 tackles and two sacks. Bass made his contribution with a big pick six and some other quarterback pressures on the afternoon.
Rookie Jon Bostic reeled in his first interception of his young career on a Flacco pass that was thrown into double coverage.
Last but not least, Cheta Ozougwu, a pre-season standout from a year ago made his first career sack. The speedy defensive end, who was promoted from the practice squad this past week also forced a fumble.
The kids stepped up and so did the veterans. It was great to see from a defense that has been struck hard with injuries.
Unfortunately defensive tackle Stephen Paea was lost with a toe injury that should keep him out a couple of weeks.
Corey Wootton will see more playing time at defensive tackle with the kids, Bass and Ozougwu filling in opposite Peppers if McClellin is still out.
I thought Tim Jennings had one heck of a game. He was only credited with three tackles, but he made a huge pass deflection in overtime to force a Ravens punt.
The offensive line played really well giving Matt Forte running lanes for most of the game. Alshon Jeffery was consistent, Brandon Marshall only had a couple of big catches and Martellus Bennett well what can we say about the “Black Unicorn” the guy is so clutch.
McCown once again posted a solid game. A 92.9 quarterback rating in an environment like that is very impressive. The guy is smart. He simply doesn’t make stupid decisions.
That 43-yard completion to Bennett to set up Gould’s 38-yard winning field goal was right on the money. Just as good as Cutler. But one thing is for sure, this offense lacks that explosiveness without Cutler.
Not anything against McCown who has been phenomenal filling in, but Cutler can fit the ball into some tight windows, some many quarterbacks can’t.
Next Sunday the Bears travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams. Expect plenty of runs from Zac Stacy and the Rams offense.
With a solid pass rush, the Bears should be able to rattle veteran Kellen Clemens.
It will be fun to see the Long (Chris, Rams and Kyle, Bears) brothers go up against each other for the first time in the NFL.
If the Bears can keep the momentum going from Sunday’s thrilling win, then they might be where they want to be during the most crucial time of the season.
Tied a top the NFC North with Detroit is good, but they have to find a way to generate a winning-streak here with only six games left.
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