The Chicago Bears welcome the Baltimore Ravens to the windy city this Sunday in what I see as a very close game between two very evenly matched teams. The Bears have only faced the Ravens four times since their move from Cleveland to Baltimore and the all-time mark is dead even at 2-2. In 2009, the last time these two teams met each other, the Ravens thrashed the Bears 31-7. Both teams lost their long time defensive leader over the offseason and both defensive units have failed to recapture their defensive dominance so far this season. With that out of the way, Let’s get to some analysis:
Offense: I don’t expect too many problems for the Bears offensively this week. The Ravens haven’t been as good on the defensive side of the ball this season and Chicago’s offense has been solid to this point. Whether it’s Jay Cutler or Josh McCown under center, the Bears have shown that they have the weapons (and more importantly the know how to use said weapons) around the quarterback position to be successful. I fully expect Chicago to put up plenty of yards and points in this one.
Defense: And here we are again! How many times am I going to say I expect a shootout this week? Seriously, I’m running out of ways to say the Bears’ defense is bad. Yes, the Ravens’ offense has been less than stellar this season, but I have a feeling that the Bears are exactly the cure for what ails them. There is no doubt in my mind that a slumping, half-injured Ray Rice will still be able to find gaping holes in Chicago’s porous run defense. Get ready for another long day.
Special Teams: As always, special teams is important, but incredibly difficult to predict. Devin Hester has been having a solid year. Not up to his 2006 standards, but solid all around. Robbie Gould has been his predictably awesome self. I think Adam Podlesh needs to be replaced and I’ve been disappointed by the coaching on special teams in general this year. Coverage seems worse, the protection schemes seem shaky, and would it kill Joe DeCamillis to design a trick play every now and again?
All in all, I think this will be a close game. It’s a game that the Bears could definitely win if everything lines up for them, but I don’t think they will be able to run away with this one. Some turnovers on the defensive side of the ball could go a long way, and it feels like the Bears are due a couple, but turnovers are just too hard to predict. What do you guys think? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comment section.