- The Bears played a light box against the run. Presumably that’s
because the Ravens had lost both their starting guards (Alex Lewis and
perennial Pro Bowler Marshal Yanda) to season-ending injuries and
center Ryan Jensen is in his first year as a full-time starter.
- Having said that, the Ravens had some success running up the middle
against the Bears. Middle linebacker is still a weakness with
Christian Jones starting for the injured Jerrell Freeman.
- In addition, the Ravens were able to take advantage of Danny Trevanthan’s aggressiveness. Trevanthan otherwise had a great game, though.
- I loved the aggressiveness that the defensive backs played with this game. The Ravens evidently thought they had a mismatch with Kyle Fuller because they tried to pick on him but he generally did a good job in coverage. Fuller, Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos all played fast and hit hard.
- Kudos to Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense for handling the Bears blitz so well. They picked it up well, Flacco stayed calm and dealt the ball effectively.
- The Ravens did what you’d expect and crashed the line of scrimmage and challenged the Bears to throw the ball. As in all of the previous games it generally worked. The Ravens have a good, tough secondary and the Bears passing game with no wide receivers is limited.
- Like the Vikings before them, the Ravens did a good job of eliminating cut back lanes for Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and the outside zone runs weren’t working well. Terrell Suggs ate Dion Simms alive on the outside.
- However, the Bears did have success running up the middle. There are probably two reasons for that. Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams is still out and he’s their best run defender. On the other side, the Bears interior line of Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long are healthy and they were doing a good job of blowing Ravens off of the line of scrimmage.
- I thought Howard could have been more patient on some of those runs in the first half. It looked to me like he came out after half and did better in that area.
- The Ravens obviously wanted to show Mitch Trubisky a lot of different
looks and the Bears did a good job of limiting that by going to the hurry up in any obvious passing situation, mainly third and long.
- The Bears really need to open up the deep passing game and, at least for now, Trubisky is showing some limitations in that area. He had some opportunities to complete some long passes and some of them were way off today. We heard that he was throwing a good deep ball all through camp. I haven’t seen it yet.
- Trubisky did do a good job of taking care of the ball, though. He
apparently got the message that the one cardinal sin he could
commit at this point is giving the ball away. Yes, he did have a
critical fumble and he’s going to have to eventually do a better
jhob of picking up blitzes and he’s going to have to develop a
better feel in the pocket. But more importantly, Trubisky threw
the ball away a lot to live to fight another day rather than
forcing it. When you’ve got a good defense, that’s what you have
- Someone has to do something about Whitehair’s bad snaps. This is ridiculous.
- Is there anything Tarik Cohen can’t do? 25 yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller. You can’t win consistently with gadget plays, though. Eventually these guys have to execute. But, hey, it worked.
- Sam Rosen and Ronde Barber did this game and I think Barber really had a good day. He wasn’t always on point but he made a lot more sharp comments than duds and was pretty much on top of the action all game.
- Bears special teams allowed a boneheaded touchdown when everyone stopped but the runner, Bobby Rainey, who was tripped up by his own man and wasn’t down. They then allowed the game tying touchdown with less than 2 minutes left in the game. Pat O’Donnell shanked a unt in over time. Needless to say they’ve had better days.
- The Bears had no notable drops. The Ravens had only one or two.
- The Bears reportedly stressed the fact that they had to cut down penalties if they were going to win and they did with only 4 penalties for 34 yards in regulation. Unfortunately they were still at critical times but they did still cut them down.
- Trevathan recovered a fumble in the second quarter with the Ravens driving. Unfortunately the Bears failed to take advantage as they followed it with a three and out. Bryce Callahan had an athletic interception in the second quarter after a crushing hit to Breshad Perriman by Eddie Jackson. The Bears took advantage of that ohne and followed it with that Cohen touchdown pass. On the Bears side Tarik Cohen had a critical fumble in Bears territory near the end of the third quarter with the Bears up by only a touchdown after that idiotic kickoff return for a touchdown. The Ravens eventually kicked a field goal to cut into the lead. That was followed by a back breaking Trubisky fumble on a delayed blitz but Lardarius Webb, also in Bears territory. That one was floowed by a pick six by Adrian Amos.
- The Bears did a pretty good job of cleaning up a lot of things today. There were no notable dropped balls, they had on;y two penalties and, probably most important, they won the turnover battle. Indeed, no game that I remember so drastically showed how important it is to do the last. The Bears fortunes literally varied as the ball got passed back and forth and while you’d like to see the offense clean up their requisite two turnovers (fumbles by Trubisky and Cohen), the defense carried the day with not only good, fast, aggressive play but by getting three turnovers, themselves. I and many others with me have said it time after time. The defense has to get turnovers if the team wants to win consistently.
And yet they still tried so hard to find ways to lose this game. While cutting the penalties down they committed them at critical times late in the game and then again in over time. Special teams were a disaster and it cost them dearly at the end. As Barber said near the end of the game, this is what 1-4 (now 2-4) teams look like.
Kudos to the Bears for winning it in the end. But, man… give us a break, will you?