Bears carry 4-game skid into ‘fist-fight’ game with Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens look to get back on track when they visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
After a thrilling comeback overtime win against the Vikings in Week 9, the Ravens (6-3) laid an egg in a 22-10 Thursday night loss in Miami, though they continue to lead the AFC North division.
“It’s all about trying to find the mistakes and correct them,” Ravens tight end Mark Andrews said. “We’ve been super honest in this building about things we’ve been really good at and some things that we need to work at. We’ve got a driven, focused group that’s ready to go this weekend against Chicago.”
The Ravens’ offense, held in check by the 29th-ranked Dolphins, faces the 12th-ranked Bears (3-6), who may get outside linebacker Khalil Mack (sprained foot) and safety Eddie Jackson (hamstring) back on Sunday, though neither practiced mid-week.
The Bears don’t blitz as often as many teams, but that could change after seeing the Dolphins succeed with it.
“In terms of blitzing, scheming, we certainly have to be prepared for it,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I would expect them to blitz based on what they saw on Thursday. We’re preparing for that.”
The Ravens counter with the NFL’s second-ranked offense, which is averaging 414.1 yards per game, including 154.1 yards on the ground.
Baltimore could have both running back Latavius Murray (ankle) and tight end Nick Boyle (knee) back on Sunday. Boyle practiced and Murray, practicing for the first time since his injury in Week 6, was limited on Wednesday.
The team cut running back Le’Veon Bell, but Harbaugh said he could return at some point if available.
Lamar Jackson missed Wednesday’s practice due to illness, but Harbaugh said it was not COVID-related. Jackson ranks fifth in the AFC in rushing (639 yards) and 10th in passing yards (2,447) to go with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
“What I’ve seen over the years is someone that’s really grown as a passer,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said of Jackson. “He’s without a doubt an unbelievable NFL quarterback that can do great things with his legs, which is just a stresser.”
The Bears carry a four-game losing streak out of their bye, their latest a 29-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rookie quarterback Justin Fields threw for a season-high 291 yards and ran for 45 more in his second straight solid outing. He is averaging 5.54 yards per carry.
“Well, he’s just his own kind of quarterback. All these guys are unique in their own way. He’s got a very strong arm,” Harbaugh said when asked to compare Fields to Jackson.
“And then he can take off and run, too. They have some designed runs that they use. All the things that he brings to the table, that’s what we’re working hard to try and defend.”
The Baltimore defense has been stout against the run, but is last in the NFL against the pass, giving up 283.3 yards per game. Chicago’s offense is 31st in the league, generating just 280.7 yards per game.
“Baltimore, Pittsburgh, these are physical teams,” Nagy said. “The mentality for our team in general is to understand that this is one of those fist-fight games where Baltimore is a team that’s played in three overtime games and won two. You’re going to have to play every snap as hard as you can.”
Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II (hamstring) also did not practice Wednesday.
–Field Level Media