Week 11 NFL Game Preview: Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears

Week 11 NFL Game Preview: Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears

The Baltimore Ravens (4-5) and the Chicago Bears (5-4) will meet for only the fifth time ever this Sunday afternoon. The Ravens crushed the Bears the last two time the two teams met in 2009, 31-7.

Josh McCown will make his second start of the season after relieving a hobbled Jay Cutler (ankle) last week in a tough loss to the Lions.

In three games this season, McCown has completed 60 percent of his passes for 538 yards and four touchdowns, zero interceptions.

The 34-year-old Sam Houston State product will have to work extra hard with the winds expected to be a problem for most of the day.

On a day where the weather is expected to be in the mid 60’s, the winds are anticipated to increase to around 25-35 mph with possible gusts of 60 mph.

This could be horrible news for a Ravens offense that has been so dependent on the passing game this season. Well that is because they have basically no running game.

Running back Ray Rice is averaging a measly 2.5 yards per carry this season and quarterback Joe Flacco is averaging 38 pass attempts a game, which rank sixth most in the league.

The Bears have to come out running the ball or at least get Matt Forte the ball in the passing game. When Forte gets involved it only leads to better results.

McCown should be able to stay effective against an average Ravens defense because the weapons our on his side. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett are very dangerous in the open field.

A better performance by the Bears’ offensive line is needed this week as like I said before Forte needs a better day. If not it could be a long afternoon.

The Bears need this game bad, but so do the Ravens. Can Chicago capitalize this week on opportunities something that they couldn’t quite do effectively last week?

Injury Report

Bears– Quarterback Jay Cutler (ankle), linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (groin) have all been ruled out. Long snapper Pat Mannelly (calf) and defensive end Shea McClellin (hamstring) are both doubtful after not practicing all week.

-Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle) is listed as questionable after not practicing Thursday and getting in a limited practice on Friday. He should be out there playing through pain.

Ravens– Baltimore has six players listed as questionable. Wide receiver Marlon Brown (knee), safety James Ihedigbo (toe), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (knee), linebacker Daryl Smith (thigh), cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin) and cornerback Ladarius Webb (groin). Ihedigbo, D. Smith and Webb all got in limited practices on Friday, while the other three sat out.

Players Who Must Step Up

David Bass

 

The seventh-round rookie who was picked up after the Raiders cut him at the end of training camp will get his second straight start opposite Julius Peppers. It certainly hurts to have a guy like Shea McClellin out, but Bass has had his moments. He hasn’t recorded a sack yet in five games played, but the 6’4″ defensive end had three tackles a week ago in his first career start. The kid from the Missouri Western State has a real chance to be something special. It would be huge for him to upstart this Bears defense and generate some sacks.

Tim Jennings

The 29-year-old corner has 14 tackles in his past three games and has really helped prevent any big plays. He is playing for one last big contract as he will be a free-agent come season’s end. He needs to step up and take the reigns with Charles Tillman out for the rest of the season. He has a good matchup against a speedy Torrey Smith and a group of very young receivers on Baltimore. I expect a big game for the 5’8″ cover corner, who plays way bigger than his frame most games.

Alshon Jeffery

As well as the second-year South Carolina product played last week. He had no excuse dropping either of those touchdown passes in critical situations of last week’s game. There’s no question he is talented, but he needs to stay focused throughout. He has some mental lapses at times that really hurt him. With Marshall coming in hot as well it will give the Ravens fits for most of the afternoon. Jeffery needs to take advantage of his opportunities especially in the redzone.

Final Score Prediction 

Bears 27, Ravens 20

Qwikcast.com Weather Report

Very windy. Cloudy. Showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some thunderstorms may be severe with damaging winds and isolated tornadoes in the early afternoon. Highs in the upper 60s. South winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph
becoming southwest and increasing to 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. Chance of precipitation 90 percent.

 

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