By Chris Schisler
The Baltimore Ravens need to take down the Chicago Bears. It’s imperative that the Baltimore Ravens start taking care of their business, especially against teams with a losing record. The Chicago Bears may be a tough-looking three-win team, but it’s time for the Ravens to start looking like contenders. If the Ravens are for real they have to show up in this game and get the job done. Here are four predictions and a score for the Ravens clash in Chicago.
1. The Baltimore Ravens have an uncharacteristic fast start:
If the Baltimore Ravens are going to come out with a chip on their shoulder and guns blazing at some point, you’d think that this would be a good game to do it. The Ravens had no sense of urgency in their humid battle with the Miami Dolphins. Baltimore was quite nonchalant against the Vikings until they snapped out of it and won in overtime. The trend of slow starts will at the very minimum get the pause button in Week 11.
Look for the Ravens to try to get the run game going early. The Bears give up 122.3 yards of rushing per game. Elijah Mitchell had 137 yards against the Bears when the San Francisco 49ers went to Chicago. In a game where the Buccaneers crushed Chicago, Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II combined for 144 yards. The Packers saw Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon pick up a combined 135. While the Ravens running backs haven’t been overly impressive, they have a viable chance of picking up the pace this week.
The Ravens will feature both Devonta Freeman and their quarterback, Lamar Jackson in the run game. The Ravens will control the football on offense for their first two drives. The payoff will be two touchdowns off a play-off action pass. Let’s give one to Mark Andrews. Let’s give the other one to Rashod Bateman (Which would be his first career touchdown). By getting back to their identity, the Ravens offense will find its groove earlier than usual, in a week where John Harbaugh and the whole city of Baltimore demand it.
2. Justin Fields will gift the Ravens the ball twice:
Justin Fields is an exciting rookie quarterback, yet he has nine interceptions in eight starts. Against the Buccaneers, Fields had three interceptions. Fields has only gone without a pick in four of the nine games this season. The Ravens defense has been doing a lot of things right. The big problem is that this defense is giving up big plays that nullify that impressive effort. The Ravens need to have a get right game by making big plays of their own.
Let’s give the Ravens a turnover on an Odafe Oweh strip-sack in which Fields mistankingly thinks he can outrun Oweh and doesn’t protect the football. Oweh has had four sacks this season and gets in quarterbacks’ faces rather frequently. Let’s give the second turnover to Brandon Stepehns as an interceptions.
3. Justin Tucker will be a huge weapon in the windy city:
Chicago is a notoriously tough place to kick the football. This time of year the ball gets hard in the cold and the wind has an impact on the game. The current forecast has the Ravens picking a good weekedn to go play the bears as it looks like a day just under 50 degrees. As of now, the Ravens are looking at winds at 20 miles per hour.
One way or antoher, this is a road trip the Ravens will asbolutely need Justin Tucker. Let’s give the Ravens three field goals in this game. Let’s say Justin Tucker hits a 56 yard field goal to give Baltimore an extra three points before the half. I’ll give Tucker two other field goals in the second half. Tucker will make sure points come at the end of promising drives gone wrong. This will be a key to this game.
4. Devonta Freeman and Lamar Jackson both run for 100 yards:
Devonta Freeman has started to heat up and he’s established himself as the top running back. With Le’Veon Bell gone and Latavius Murray just coming back from injury, Freeman has a chance to continue to be the main running back featured in this offense. It’s not that crazy that Freeman could have 100 yards on the ground. Freeman had 79 yards rushing on just 13 attempts against the Vikings. So put me down for 100 yards out of Freeman.
Lamarhe Jackson is always a threat to take off and run the football. I’m looking to see a proactive Jackson against the Bears. I don’t expect him to be timid; a frustrated quarterback is about to force the issue. Put Jackson down for a by any means neccesary kind of game. It’s also qute possible that he’ll have to scramble away from Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn creating extra rushing yards. Jackson dealt with a non-Covid illness this week, though he should be squared away to take on the Bears. The Ravens will rush for over 200 yards getting 100 from their emerging top back Freeman, and 100 yards from their MVP quarterback. Book it.
And a score: Baltimore Ravens win 30-24
This is a game on the road against a team with a rookie quarterback who is beginning to figure some things out. Okay, it’s not going to be as easy as Baltimore wants it. That’s the thing though, from here on out there are no more easy games. The level of the opponent can’t continue to matter to the Baltimore Ravens, they have to go out and win football. Baltimore will give you a heart attack once again, but they’ll get back on track with a big win.
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