Keys To The Game: Week 11 Against Baltimore

Keys To The Game: Week 11 Against Baltimore

The Chicago Bears need a win.

They welcome the defending champion Baltimore Ravens to Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon. The Ravens offense ranks 29th in the NFL averaging 307.6 total yards per game.

Baltimore’s running game has been ineffective this season 30th in the league with only 73.1 yards per game on the ground.

Sixth-year running back Ray Rice has been a huge disappointment this season. Looking for his fifth consecutive 1,000 yard season, the 26-year-old has just 289 yards and three touchdowns on 115 carries.

Meanwhile quarterback Joe Flacco, who inked a six-year, $120.60 million deal to remain under center with the Ravens has struggled. Flacco has a career worst 77.3 QB rating along with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

The Bears’ defense has struggled at stopping the run this season. They made old-man Brandon Jacobs look like a stud back in Week Six, let the Redskins Alfred Morris and Roy Helu carve them up in Week Seven and last week couldn’t handle Lions’ Reggie Bush at times.

The Bears’ offense has been successful no matter who is under center, Jay Cutler or Josh McCown. Keeping McCown clean should help the Bears put up points early and often.

The Ravens offensive line has been very weak allowing 30 sacks, which ranks eighth worst in the league.

Here are three things the Bears need to do in order to win their sixth game of the season on Sunday.

Keep Throwing To #15 and #17

I said it last year, even when Alshon Jeffery was just a rookie figuring out his role on this team. Brandon Marshall and Jeffery have combined for 1,521 yards this season, the most by two NFL teammates. Marshall has 60 catches for 786 yards and eight touchdowns, while Jeffery has 47 receptions for 735 yards and three touchdowns. Jeffery’s emergence has made things easier for Marshall and things tougher for opposing defenses. Marshall and Jeffery each have posted 100 yards or more in four games this season. Jeffery was targeted a career-high 18 times last week, while Marshall reeled in two touchdown grabs. Keep feeding them the ball and that makes things a whole lot easier for Josh McCown and Co.

Be Patient

The Bears need to be patient on both sides of the ball. With two rookie linebackers, Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene and a cornerback, Zackary Bowman that hasn’t made a start since 2009 things won’t be easy. But the Ravens have taken a step back on offense this season. Get some pressure on Flacco and force him to throw it should lead to some good things for them. Offensively, they have to get back to pounding the rock. 17 carries for Forte is not enough. He needs to be more involved especially in the passing game. The offensive line had their worst performance last week against Detroit, they need to create some holes for Forte. Patience is key on defense and offense for Chicago.

Capitlize On Opportunities

Last week against the Lions, the Bears failed way too often to get points on the board. Jeffery had a couple key drops, Matt Slauson had a horrible holding penalty and key fourth-and-one took a possible three points away from them. That’s not even mentioning the Jay Cutler interception that came right before the end of the first half. Jeffery needs to make those grabs. Slauson needs to more focused in a big-time situation like that and Marc Trestman needs to call better plays. If the Bears don’t hurt themselves they can win this Sunday easily. Don’t overthink anything especially the play calling, but some creativity needs to used.

 

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