This Sunday, the 4-5 Baltimore Ravens will travel to play the 5-4 Chicago Bears. Both teams need the win to help improve their playoff positioning. I won’t be doing my typical format of listing the possible scenarios that could go down during the game. This is because I see this game going down just one way with the classic bad Ravens road game. Bad Ravens road games pretty much have the same flow to them, so I’ll go over some of the characteristics.
Slow starts are a must for the bad Ravens road games. The first couple of drives on offense start out promising but are constantly stalled by holding or false-start penalties. Before you know it, the Ravens will be going in the locker room for halftime with single-digit points, wondering what the hell happened. The fourth quarter will be when the Ravens finally open up the offense as opposed to stubbornly running the corpse of Ray Rice into a brick wall for two yards a pop (two yards if lucky). Maybe it will be too late for it, maybe not.
Another reliable trait of a bad Ravens road game is either a crucial turnover that swings the momentum of the game (Tandon Doss with a muffed punt in Week 9 against the Cleveland Browns) or a questionable coaching decision that boggles your mind and has the gloom-and-doom fans talking all week (John Harbaugh a few times in Week 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers). I don’t know why, but I’m feeling the ole Joe Flacco standing in the pocket so long he’s hoping his hair turns gray, gives up the strip-sack-fumble. I feel like we’re due for one of those.
Finally, we have the classic “get trampled by a stud running back/can’t get of the field to save your life”. The Ravens run defense typically can bottle up teams with not much of a running game. But when they actually play against the better backs, they get run over. Just take a look at Week 4’s C.J. Spiller/Fred Jackson, Week 6’s Eddie Lacey and Week 7’s LeVeon Bell. I can only imagine what Matt Forte is going to do. I’m also forecasting that Josh McCown will convert two third-and-longs by scrambling out of the pocket with nobody near him for five miles.
Despite all the negativity I’m spewing about my home team Ravens, I think this game is very winnable for them. I don’t think the Bears are that good. The problem is I just can’t trust this Ravens team on the road. They’re 1-4 on the year away from home with the lone win coming against the Miami Dolphins (this is where half of the stadium was Ravens fans). Hopefully last week’s win against the Cincinnati Bengals wasn’t just a blip. Prove me wrong Ravens; I dare you.
Bears 20–Ravens 16
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