This Sunday, the Chicago Bears will host the Baltimore Ravens. The Bears are coming off a bye week which concluded the first half of their season. The bye week followed a tough but fun loss the week prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers -- one that saw Justin Fields take a major leap in his development.
Meanwhile, the 6-3 Baltimore Ravens had 10 days off to reflect on their brutal loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens continue to hang around in the AFC playoff picture.
The Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens don't have a long-standing history against one another. Since 1996, when the Ravens became their own entity, these two teams have played only six times. In those six games, the Bears hold a 4-2-0 lead all-time. However, the Ravens are outscoring the Bears 101-97 in those contests.
The last time the Bears and Ravens took the field together was on October 15, 2017. The Week 6 game saw the 1-4 Bears make the trip over to Baltimore to take on the 3-2 Ravens. At the time, the two starting quarterbacks were Mitchell Trubisky and the elite Joe Flacco. On the sidelines were John Fox and John Harbaugh.
As for the game, it got off to a roaring start. Both teams exchanged five punts, consecutively. Then, the Bears broke the sluggish start. They marched 60 yards on 10 plays before Connor Barth connected on a 24-yard field goal, thus giving the Bears a 3-0 lead.
On the following drive, the Ravens marched deep into Bears' territory before coughing up the football. Tight end Maxx Williams hauled in a six-yard pass only for Christian Jones to rip the ball out of his hands, which gave possession back to Chicago. However, the Bears went three-and-out and punted the ball back. Once again, the Ravens turned the ball over. This time, Bryce Callahan intercepted a Flacco pass intended for Breshad Perriman. Callahan returned the interception to the Ravens' 20-yard line.
Then, after a loss of one yard, the Bears pulled off some trickery to expand their lead to 10-0. Tarik Cohen dropped a dime to Zach Miller for a 21-yard TD.
After the Bears touchdown, both teams exchanged punts. Soon after, the Ravens put their first points of the game on the board. They drove 55 yards on 12 plays, which resulted in a Justin Tucker 27-yard field goal.
The Bears held a 10-3 lead heading into halftime.
The second half started much like the first half. Both the Bears and Ravens traded punts to begin the third quarter. However, the Bears then stormed 66 yards on seven plays. A 27-yard touchdown pass from Trubisky to Dion Sims capped off the drive. This extended their lead to 17-3.
On the ensuing kickoff, Ravens returner Bobby Rainey took the kick 96 yards to the house. The special teams touchdown cut the Bears lead to just seven points. Once again, the Bears and Ravens traded punts. Then, the Bears committed their first turnover when Tarik Cohen coughed up the football near midfield. On the following drive, the Ravens went 26 yards on 10 plays but settled for a 31-yard field goal. The Bears lead shrunk to just four points.
The Bears responded to the Ravens' score with yet another turnover. This time, Trubisky fumbled when sacked near midfield. However, the Bears defense responded by making a huge play at a crucial time in the game. Adrian Amos stopped a Ravens drive by intercepting a Flacco pass and returning it 90 yards for a pick-six to extend the Bears' lead to 24-13. In response, the Ravens went 44 yards on 10 plays before Tucker connected on a 50-yard field goal. The Bears led 24-16 at this point.
On the following drive, the Bears offense punted the ball back after going three-and-out. Although, that proved to be costly as returner Michael Campanaro brought it back 77 yards for a touchdown. To follow it up, Flacco found Nick Boyle to successfully convert the two-point try. The game was tied at 24 apiece. Now with just 1:37 left in the game, the Bears went three-and-out once more and punted. As a result, the Ravens ran one play which ended regulation.
The Bears received the ball first in overtime. After four plays and 12 yards, they punted it back to the Ravens. However, the Bears' defense held tough and forced a three-and-out from the Ravens offense and forced them to punt. As a result, the Bears started their drive at their own seven-yard line. On the first play, Jordan Howard broke loose for a 53-yard run. Then, on third-and-11, Trubisky connected with Kendall Wright for a gain of 18, which gave the Bears a first down at the Ravens 23.
Then the Bears ran three running plays for a net gain of just one yard, which brought up fourth-and-nine from the Ravens 22-yard line. At this point, John Fox sent Connor Barth out to attempt a game-winning 40-yard field goal try. The decision paid dividends as Barth drilled the kick right through the uprights. As a result, the Bears went into Baltimore and upset the Ravens by a final score of 27-24 in OT.
The Bears victory featured Mitch Trubisky attempting 16 passes while completing only eight. He threw for 113 yards and a single touchdown. Meanwhile, Jordan Howard popped off for 167 yards on 36 carries and an average of 4.6 per attempt. This win marked Trubisky's first as starting QB and improved the Bears record to 2-4. However, the Bears finished 3-7 in their remaining 10 games and ended the season with a 5-11 record. Obviously, they missed the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Ravens dropped to 3-3 following the loss and went 6-4 in their last ten games. After finishing the season at 9-7, they missed the playoffs by just a hair. The Buffalo Bills earned the final spot with the same record, which ultimately meant the loss to the Bears may have cost them their season. Oh well.