How the Chicago Bears got the ‘W’
The Ravens jumped out to an early 10-0 lead courtesy of a 1-yard touchdown rush by Ray Rice and a 52-yard field goal from kicker Justin Tucker before the weather delay began in the first quarter. However, the Bears quickly erased the hole they were in after the two hour delay.
Rice would run for 131 yards on 31 carries in a big day for the struggling running back.
In the second quarter, Robbie Gould kicked a 20-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-3. Twelve seconds later,rookie defensive end David Bass, who replaced the injured Shea McClellin, deflected and intercepted a throw from Joe Flacco and returned it 24yards for a touchdown to tiethe game at 10. The game was close for the duration, with each team trading scores up until overtime when Gould put the game away with a 38-yarder in a seven play, 60-yard final drive.
The momentum swung in the Bears’ favor just before the half. Rookie linebacker Jon Bostic, who has been tasked with replacing the injured Lance Briggs at the middle linebacker position, made a great play on the ball and intercepted Flacco, who threw for 162 yards on 17-of-31 passing and two interceptions. The pick led to a Gould field goal which drew the Ravens’ lead to just four at the half.
The momentum reached its highest point in the fourth quarter, when Bears running back Matt Forte caught a 14-yard pass from McCown and dove over the goal line for the touchdown in a 83-yard drive that would last 11 plays. Forte ran for 83 yards on 18 carries and had 43 yards receiving. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery had 83 yards on seven catches. Tight end Martellus Bennett had just two catches for 48 yards, including a 42-yard reception from a laser thrown by McCown that set up the clinching overtime field goal from Gould.
Overall, both sides of the ball played well. The defense did give up 317 total yards, but the two sacks from Julius Peppers, who had been M.I.A for seemingly the whole season until Sunday, and the interceptions from Bostic and Bass certainly made up for the still-pourous Bears defense. Safety Chris Conte continues to struggle, as his interference call in the first quarter further illuminates his poor play this season.
The offense produced at the right times, and McCown impressed yet again. The quarterback threw for 216 yards on 19-31 passing with – wait for it – no interceptions. In his four games (two starts) in relief of Cutler, he has thrown five touchdowns with no turnovers. His performance only adds to the argument regarding his role for the rest of the season. There are those out there who say he should start the remaining games and possibly in to the playoffs, and I am one of those people.
In head coach Marc Trestman’s quarterback-friendly system, McCown seems to fit the mold perfectly. Cutler fits the mold as well, but the turnovers and stupid decisions he has made along with the injuries he has sustained hurt his case going forward.
The Bears head to St. Louis Sunday in a tie for first when their playoff hopes were seemingly doomed after their loss to the Detroit Lions just two weeks ago. Thanks to the arm of McCown and leg of Gould, they have life again.