Despite Ray Rice having his first 100-yard rushing game of the 2013 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens couldn’t overcome a nearly two-hour rain delay as they fell to the Chicago Bears in overtime 23-20.
This loss drops the Ravens to 4-6 and improves the Bears to 6-4 on the season, but for Baltimore, it is the fourth loss where the outcome was decided by three points or less. This loss not only means the Ravens will avoid the .500 mark once again, but they were also unable to grab hold of the second Wild Card spot in the AFC playoff picture.
If I had one sentence to describe this game, it would be simple: this was a football game.
Mud all over the jerseys, sloppy field conditions, completely bizarre weather patterns — it was a back-and-forth game that the Ravens could have avoided to seal the deal.
You can’t blame the weather delay as a momentum killer for the Ravens because it was like they played a completely different game afterwards with the Bears. The teams essentially went through pre-game warmups for the second time and it came down to the Ravens shooting themselves in the foot more often than not.
The bad part? Baltimore can’t blame their running game or their offensive line entirely too much for this one. Joe Flacco didn’t come to play and it cost his team dearly.
I understand that it’s hard for either quarterback to get anything going consistently through the air, but Flacco’s accuracy has been virtually absent this season and was magnified once again in this game. Sometimes, his receivers did let him down, but Joe is airmailing and throwing balls into the dirt that he shouldn’t and hasn’t in the past.
The one horrible incompletion that sticks out has to be the failed short pass to Rice. While it remains to be seen whether or not Rice was going to break a big gain, Flacco has to hit him in the hands and expect him to do the rest of the work.
Flacco had a similar type of throw earlier when tight end Ed Dickson dropped an easy flat route that Flacco threw a little too high, but touched Dickson’s hands. Dickson traditionally drops easy ones, so that can’t be entirely pegged on Flacco, but even some of the easy passes look difficult for Flacco this season.
His favorite target, Tandon Doss, lead the team in receiving yards with a mere 37 on three catches. Torrey Smith had five catches for 32 yards and a touchdown through the air. Tight end Dallas Clark did make two big catches for the Ravens for 31 yards. Those aren’t numbers that “wow” anyone though and it’s partly because Flacco was a below-average 17-31 for 167 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, including a pick six to David Bass that tied the game at 10.
It’s easy to beat up the quarterback after each and every loss as he plays the position that requires the most responsibility on the team. While his completion percentage wasn’t bad, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Josh McCown was the best quarterback on the field today. Joe has to be better or fans will continue to beat him and the organization up over a lack of performance after signing such an illustrious contract back in March.
Big money quarterbacks are supposed to win close games like these. This isn’t a season-killer for the Ravens, but it’s pretty close. They are now forced into “must-win mode” pretty much for the rest of the season. Baltimore will look to rebound at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday against the New York Jets. They will have three straight home games to try and get back into the AFC playoff picture.
Check out all of the fan rants from the Ravens-Bears tornado game at our Fan Rant page and vote for your favorite!