The first half of the game between the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens on Sunday certainly was memorable–at least for the fans in attendance. The first half of play saw a 2-hour suspension of play as the Chicago land area was hit with Tornado like weather conditions.
Nov 17, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive endDavid Bass
(91) is congratulated by his teammates for scoring a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
On the field, the Ravens had the clear advantage over the Bears. The Ravens were running the ball with ease with running back Ray Rice as Rice was the reason for most of the team’s success in the first half. The Bears, however, managed to pick off Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco twice in the first half and that is the reason why the team only trailed 17 to 13 at half-time.
The second half of the game began with a lengthy drive by the Ravens offense. The Ravens offense drove into Bears territory while taking up nearly the first 8 minutes of the third quarter. The Ravens drive halted on a failed fourth down conversion attempt. It was an interesting decision by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh as he opted to go for it on fourth down as opposed to attempting the field goal under extreme windy conditions.
The Bears offense was unable to convert on the opportunity as the team was forced to punt. That result was echoed by the Ravens offense on their following series.
The fourth quarter began with the Bears offense trying to convert on a third down. Bears quarterback Josh McCown connected with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery on the play for 15 yards and a new set of downs. McCown continued to drive the Bears down the field often connecting with Jeffery. After a 10-yard third down run by Forte set the Bears up with a first down in the red-zone, McCown connected with Forte on a screen pass for 14 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown gave the Bears a 20-17 lead at the time.
Forte was expected to be a main contributor in the Bears game-plan against Ravens and the running back lived up to that expectation. Through the first three quarters of the game, Forte was one of the main contributors to the Bears offense and is the reason why the team had the lead in the fourth quarter.
The Bears offense was faced with a fourth and 1 situation at the Ravens 44-yard line. Instead of opting to go for it as Bears head coach Marc Trestman has elected to do in recent weeks, Trestman opted for a punt. The Ravens recovered the Adam Podlesh punt at their 16-yard line.
Trestman was putting trust in his defense. A defense that was keeping the Ravens scoreless in the second half at the point Trestman made the decision to punt the ball. The Bears defense failed to come off the field as the team allowed a fourth down completion by Flacco to tight end Dallas Clark for a first down at the Bears 30-yard line. The Ravens offense continued to drive the ball into the red-zone as they were faced with a goal-line situation. The Bears defense managed to force a fourth down with 7 seconds remaining in the game. That is when Ravens kicker Justin Tucker tied the game with a field goal.
Something that should be noted on that Ravens drive is Trestman refused to call a timeout. Trestman had all three timeouts at his disposal and did not use any of them until the team was forced to take one with seven seconds left because of an injury to cornerback Tim Jennings. One would wonder how much time the Bears offense would have had to orchestrate a game-winning drive had Trestman utilized his timeouts.
Nonetheless, the game headed into overtime.
In overtime, the Ravens won the toss and elected to receive the ball. The Bears defense forced the Ravens offense to stall near the 50-yard line. The punt by Ravens punter Sam Koch was downed at the Bears 20-yard line. McCown proceeded to connect with Jeffery and tight end Martellus Bennett as that drove the Bears offense deep into Ravens territory. On a third down play, Trestman opted to attempt the game-winning field goal. Bears kicker Robbie Gould converted the 38-yard field goal to give the Bears the 23-20 victory.
The Bears improved their record to 6-4 on the season and that pulled the team even with the Detroit Lions as the Lions lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier on Sunday.
The Bears go on the road to face the St Louis Rams next Sunday.