Is this the week the Ravens are finally able establish some sort of run game? The Bears are allowing over 129.4 rush yards per game, which is 31st in the league. The Ravens need to run the ball on early downs and use play action to stretch the field. Bernard Pierce needs to see more carries. Not knocking Ray Rice, but Pierce has been more effective. The Bears defense is banged up, playing without Peanut Tillman, Jay Ratliff, and Lance Briggs. Flacco and company should be able to move the chains all game(SHOULD).
The Bears offense will be a tough matchup for the improved Raven’s defense. They are 8th in passing yards (261.7) and 16th (111) in rushing. Playmakers Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and TE Martellus Bennett will be a handful for the secondary and linebackers. Luckily, Jay Cutler is not playing, although Josh McCown has been decent in his reserve duties. Limiting Forte will be huge. They will go to him early and often. Shutting down Forte will allow the Ravens to keep the safeties back in passing situations, which will be help the corners with the 6’4 Marshall and 6’3 Jeffery. The pass rush should pressure McCown all game. Dumervile and Suggs should have no problem against the Bears offensive tackles. The secondary, especially the corners, will need to play like they did last week.
Prediction: 27-20 Ravens. Rice and Pierce combine for 120 and 1 TD. Dumervile and Suggs each get at least 1 sack. Secondary holds McCown to under 250. Forte held under 100.