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Bears Outlast Storms, Ravens To Win In OT

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 18, 2013 4:40PM

We're not sure who thought it best to stick with Sunday's noon kickoff given the forecast for severe weather and storms barreling through Illinois toward Chicago. Sure enough, wind and rain forced the players off the field and fans from the seats in the first quarter and resulted in a two hour weather delay. But while the Bears went into the unscheduled intermission down 10-0, they came back against the Baltimore Ravens and won in overtime, 23-20.

Following an opening drive in which the Bears did little, the Ravens took an early 7-0 lead when Ray Rice punched the ball into the end zone from a yard out. His 47-yard scamper was the highlight of the drive while a Chris Conte pass interference call set up Rice's score. Baltimore tacked on a field goal on their next possession, following a Bears three-and-out. With Baltimore up 10-0, officials halted the game and evacuated the stadium for nearly two hours before play resumed.

The Bears finally got on the board in the second quarter when Robbie Gould kicked a 20-yard field goal. The Bears drove from their own 10-yard line to the Ravens' 2-yard line but couldn't find the end zone despite six plays from inside the 6-yard line. However, the Bears defense did what it does best on the next play from scrimmage when rookie defensive end David Bass tipped a Joe Flacco pass, made the interception and rumbled 24 yards for a game-tying touchdown. The Ravens regained the lead when Flacco hit Torrey Smith in the back of the end zone to cap an 80-yard drive but the Bears cut the Ravens lead just before halftime with a 46-yard field goal by Gould set up by another Flacco interception, this one by rookie linebacker Jon Bostic.

Neither team scored in the third quarter but Baltimore chewed up nearly half the period on their opening drive before turning the ball over on downs. The Bears scored their first offensive TD and took their first lead of the day early in the fourth quarter when Matt Forte caught a short pass from Josh McCown and broke a number of tackles as he plowed 14 yards for a 20-17 Bears lead. The Ravens then marched deep into Bears territory looking for the win but the Bears' defense held. With three ticks on the clock in regulation, Justin Tucker squeaked the game-tying kick just inside the upright to send the game into overtime.

After Baltimore failed to score during their first possession in OT, the Bears moved down field in large part due to Martellus Bennett's 43-yard catch from McCown. After conservatively keeping the ball on the ground to pick up a few more yards, Gould booted the game winner almost five and a half hours after the game's opening kickoff.

With Jay Cutler out because of a high ankle sprain, McCown again capably stepped in to manage the offense. While the team struggled with moving the ball at times, McCown finished the afternoon having completed 19 of 31 passes for 216 yards in awful weather conditions. Most important, McCown once again did not turn the ball over. Alshon Jeffrey was again McCown's favorite target and caught seven passes for 83 yards. Bennett racked up 48 yards on two catches, most of that in the critical OT catch. Brandon Marshall caught 4 passes for 42 yards, while Matt Forte also picked up 42 yards through the air on five catches in addition to his 83 rushing yards.

The defense had another decent afternoon, with two interceptions—both by rookies—that led to 10 points. Julius Peppers recorded 11 tackles and two sacks on the afternoon. While the defense let Ray Rice run for 131 yards (he'd run for just 289 all year heading into Sunday's game) the defense came up big on the Ravens' final drive of regulation.

The Bears improved to 6-4 with their victory, and both Green Bay and Detroit lost. The Bears move into a tie with the Lions, although the two losses to the Lions give Detroit the tie-breaker. Next up are the Saint Louis Rams, who are 4-6.