Bears vs Ravens: Week 6 Preview with Ebony Bird

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 18: Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 18: Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs /
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OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 08: Joe Flacco
OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 08: Joe Flacco /

2. What’s up with Joe Flacco?  He’s never posted the biggest stats, but he’s been effective.  Is he nearing the end of his run?  Is Ryan Mallet his successor or will the Ravens look to the draft to get their new signal caller?  What can the Bears expect from the Ravens offense on Sunday?

Joe Flacco has been frustrating. The good news is that he snapped his 10 game interception streak. For the first time in two and a half seasons, Flacco stepped into his throws. Flacco looked confident against the Raiders which was something we haven’t seen for a while. The Ravens’ quarterback kind of got shell shocked in 2013 behind a bad offensive line. Since then, it hasn’t been the same.

The injury in 2015 set him back even farther. On top of that the Ravens haven’t invested in the offense. The Ravens top three receivers haven’t made a huge impact this season. The tight end position is lacking. The offensive line lost Rick Wagner this offseason, and the Ravens didn’t do much to help the offensive line. Then the Ravens offensive line lost Marshall Yanda, Alex Lewis, Nico Siragusa and John Urschel.

Flacco got banged up and it impacted his play over the past couple of seasons. Flacco has been a mess in the pocket. He’s been throwing off his back foot. He has missed throws that you just can’t miss as an NFL quarterback. Hopefully the offense can continue doing what they did in Oakland. Flacco connected on two deep bombs to Mike Wallace. Flacco was simply throwing dimes. Honestly he looked like a new man in Oakland. If Flacco can continue to do this, the Ravens are going to be one hard team to beat.

3. Speaking of guys near the end of the line, what can young Mitchell Trubisky expect from grizzled veteran Terrell Suggs and the Ravens defense?  Will the Bears be able to move the ball on the Ravens D?

Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens /

Baltimore Ravens

Terrell Suggs has 14 total tackles, 4 sacks and two forced fumbles on the season. This is the first season in a while where Suggs wasn’t dealing with an injury (knock on wood) and he looks revived. The defense has done some impressive things this season. In weeks 1-2 the Ravens forced 10 takeaways and allowed 10 points.

The Ravens defense only had one really bad performance and that was in London, against Jacksonville. The defense gave the Ravens a shot against the Steelers, the offense just couldn’t stop giving the game away. Against Oakland the Ravens defense really got back on track. This defense can takeaway the football, they can sack the quarterback too.

The Ravens run defense has been the biggest problem. The Bears need Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to have big games. That being said, the Ravens seemed to figure out their problems against the run. The Raiders had success in the first half running the football. In the second half the Ravens worked out the kinks. The reason the run defense hasn’t been great is because Brandon Williams (the highest paid Defensive tackle in football) has been out for three games. Williams may return on Sunday, which is bad news for the Bears.

The Ravens are 9-0 at home against rookie quarterbacks. They have a good secondary and they will be honed in on the Bears rushing attack. I would be surprised if the Bears score more than a field goal or two in this game. To be honest, a shutout wouldn’t surprise me. The Ravens defense is really good at baiting experienced quarterbacks into throws. Just imagine what they can do to Trubisky. The Ravens defense has recorded 12 sacks and nine interceptions this season. Both of those numbers should go up this week.