Five Things We Learned about the Ravens' 23-20 loss to the Chicago Bears
Childs Walker analyzes what we can take from the Ravens' overtime loss in Chicago.
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1. This season defies any attempt to understand it
In many ways, the Ravens played one of their best games of the season Sunday.
Facing wild weather on the road against a solid opponent, they jumped to an early lead and ran the ball more effectively than they had all season. When they lost the lead late, they responded with a long, balanced drive to force overtime. They kept themselves to 65 fewer penalty yards than the Bears and outpaced Chicago in both first downs and time of possession.
This time, the Ravens weren't looking to save their season. They had a chance to establish strong position in the AFC wild-card race. With the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns having lost earlier, everything seemed to set up their way.
Yet the Ravens' supposed strengths -- quarterback Joe Flacco and a fearsome defensive front -- let them down just enough that the game became a cruel twist on the previous week's overtime victory against Cincinnati.
Flacco's interceptions let the Bears hang around. And a defense that had played superbly the previous week couldn't keep the Bears from reeling off an 83-yard drive in the fourth quarter and a 60-yard drive in overtime.
So we're back to the drawing board with this team. It sits smack in the middle of the AFC's mess of mediocrity -- not a strong contender, not out of it either. The Ravens still don't have a defining strength, given that the pass rush couldn't bother Josh McCown when it mattered. Their franchise quarterback is scuffling through arguably the worst season of his career.
It's not a boring show, but my it's devoid of comfort.