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Morning Box Score: Ravens Dispatch Hapless Bears

By Jake Guidry in News on Dec 21, 2009 4:00PM

7.9. It's not today's high temperature, nor is it the amount of lines you will read before we mention Lovie Smith's job security. 7.9 was actually Cutler's passer rating in the Bears' 31-7 losing "effort" against the Ravens yesterday, begging the question, So what's the deal with Lovie?

While putting Lovie (whose future is "murky") under heavy fire seems to be the first reaction to a Bears skid that has left them losing six of their last seven, the contest against the Ravens (that was essentially over with 2:20 to go in the first) indicates much more is wrong than mismanagement at the helm. In what was Cutler's career-worst passer rating in a game, the free-throwing QB completed 10 of 27 passes for 94 yards, zero touchdowns, and three interceptions, upping his NFL-leading total to 25. When Cutler and the offense did make the plays, promising drives were halted by ill-advised throws into the hands of Baltimore defenders. It wasn't all Cutler's fault, however, as the team coughed up the ball an additional three times for a total of six turnovers, a hefty amount for any team to overcome.

Baltimore, on the other hand, looked more like the Ravens of old, playing strong defense and executing on offense, most notably converting Chicago's turnovers into 24 points. Joe Flacco, to contrast his counterpart, threw a career-high four touchdown passes and had a passer rating of 135.6, possibly making it the best game of his young career. The truth is, a number of quarterbacks would've enjoyed the comforts of a flat Bears defense that enabled Flacco's prolific day. "The game looked like one team was playing for something and the other one really wasn't," coach Lovie Smith said. The Bears' single score (and lone shining moment) came from special teams when Earl Bennett returned a punt 49 yards to pay dirt in the second.

On a bittersweet note, we can now fully begin to consider who the Bears should take in the first round of the 2010 draft. Oh, wait.