As the Baltimore Ravens prepare for their week 11 matchup with the Chicago Bears, there’s going to be a natural perception that wants to sneak into the minds of the team — but that absolutely cannot happen.
The Bears are without Jay Cutler, now because of a high ankle sprain. That means, yet again this year, Josh McCown will step up and into the starting role for Chicago. The Ravens will need to prepare for a Marc Trestman offense, regardless of who is under center.
Baltimore cannot afford to take this situation lightly and assume that just because the Bears are without Cutler, that the game will be easier to win. That is not the case.
The truth is, McCown has been magnificent this year in three games. On the season, he’s gone 42-for-70 passing with 538 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has also not fumbled once — thus, zero turnovers on the season for McCown.
The Ravens will have a tough time matching up against the Bears’ wideouts Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, so the way they can beat Chicago defensively is going to be by getting pressure on McCown. Of course, McCown is not as experienced in this offense as Cutler this year, so getting pressure on him and trying to throw him off his game will be key.
Baltimore can’t afford to let McCown get even a little bit of time, because as we’ve seen, Trestman adjusts his play calling toward McCown’s strengths and toward how the defense is playing him. McCown has been one to take off and run ever so often this year as well, as he has five rushes for 53 yards with a long of 20.
It’s no wonder that McCown has posted the best rating of his 11 year career this season at 103.2 in three games under Trestman. He’s no slouch at the backup position, and Baltimore has to prepare as if they are going up against a full-time starter.