NFL Week 11 Matchup, Game Time and TV Info: Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears (1 p.m. ET on CBS)
Predicted Point Spread: Bears by 3 (Early spread: Bears by 2.5)
This figures to be a battle of strengths against weaknesses when both teams have the ball. The Ravens offense has often looked anemic. Part of this can be traced to the rapid aging of worn-down Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce‘s inability to really seize more carries on merit, both rarely topping 3 YPC in a contest. We’re also talking about a Ravens offensive line that’s been dominant on the ground right up until falling off a cliff completely at the start of this year. When Joe Flacco isn’t hitting deep with Torrey Smith — seventh in receiving yards entering today — this unit struggles.
“Struggles” would be a major understatement in describing the Bears defense this year. Without Lovie Smith or the benefit of youth this unit has gotten torn apart by opposing running games. Safeties Major Wright and Chris Conte have become huge liabilities and teams get their backs to the second level with ease. Now Chicago’s chances of hanging in lies completely on Marc Trestman‘s offense. In Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, they do have the weapons to make this feasible. When the latter three find the end zone — as they did at Lambeau on Monday night — Chi-town can drag a poor defense to victory.
Key Matchup: Ravens edge rusher Elvis Dumervil vs. Bears RT Jordan Mills
Dumervil ranks near the top in Pro Football Focus’ pass-rush productivity metric and should see some time against one of its worst-graded tackles in the Bears rookie RT.