Bears vs. Ravens: Formula for Chicago Means Letting Joe Flacco Be Himself
All hope is no where near lost for the Chicago Bears and their 2013 playoff dreams. It’s been a rough stretch for Chicago. After starting the year 3-0, the Bears are now sitting at 5-4 and second behind the Detroit Lions in the NFC North.
Chicago has seen its starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, hurt twice now and will have to play on without him for God knows how long. Have no fear on the offensive side, though, as backup Josh McCown has come in during Cutler’s absence and played lights out. Under Marc Trestman’s offense, McCown has looked as good as he ever has during his veteran career.
It’s the defensive side of the ball that’s hurting — big time. Without Henry Melton, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman — the team’s best players at each level — this defense is in ruins. They have also lost defensive tackle Nate Collins for the year, making the tackle position a very thin list.
Chicago has given up yard after yard after yard this year, and currently rank 23rd against the pass and 31st against the run — very un-Chicago like.
The key for a victory this Sunday against the struggling Baltimore Ravens will be on the defensive side of the ball. Getting back to their roots and pressuring the quarterback, thus resulting in turnovers, will mean a win for the Bears. Luckily, they’re going against one of the most overpaid quarterbacks in league history, Joe Flacco.
This season, Flacco has tossed just 12 touchdowns versus 11 interceptions — he’s also fumbled five times. This equates to a mere rating of 77.3. Flacco has never shied away from launching the ball downfield, even under pressure. This should be great news for the Bears if they can get some pressure on him.
Flacco will undoubtedly make a mistake or two. It’s in his nature. He’s not an elite quarterback, nor will he ever be. This Bears defense simply needs to take advantage of that fact and do everything they can to speed up that turnover process by how their defensive line plays.
The quest for a second-half playoff surge begins now for the Bears. It all starts with getting past the overrated and underachieving Flacco and his Ravens.