RAVENS SPECIAL TEAMS: Kicker Justin Tucker’s 46-yard field goal in overtime to beat the Bengals was his 16th straight make. He is 18-of-20 on the season. Sam Koch had a bounce-back game, putting three punts inside the 20. While Tandon Doss is second in the NFL in average yards per punt return (16.1), kick returner Jacoby Jones has had limited opportunities to make a big play. The Ravens could use one to help out their slumping offense.
BEARS SPECIAL TEAMS: Return man Devin Hester may not be as dangerous as he once was, but his resume alone strikes fear with the opposition. Hester is one of seven players in NFL history with 3,000 punt return yards and 4,000 kickoff return yards. Hester’s 19 career return touchdowns tie him with Deion Sanders for the most in NFL history. Robbie Gould is 16-of-17 on field-goal attempts this season, solidifying his reputation as one of the NFL’s best kickers.
RAVENS INTANGIBLES: The Ravens’ issues this season have been more pronounced on the road, where they are 1-4 this season and have scored 20 points or fewer in three of those games. The Ravens have yet to find a way to jump start their offense, gaining under 300 yards for three straight games. After losing three straight games, the Ravens are hoping that the victory over Cincinnati is the spark they need. They are pretty healthy for this time of year but penalties and turnovers remain issues.
BEARS INTANGIBLES: After winning their first three games, the Bears have hit some turbulence under first-year head coach Marc Trestman, losing four of their past six games. Injuries have taken a toll, specifically on a defense that is ranked 26th in the NFL. However, the Bears have done a good job of not beating themselves. They have a plus-eight turnover ratio, tied for the fourth best in the NFL. They also have committed the fourth fewest penalties in the league. They are 3-2 at Soldier Field this season.
PREDICTION: If the Ravens are able to run the football and sustain drives on offense, this should be a game that they win. The Bears have one of the worst defenses that they’ll play all year and the group was further weakened by the injury to Tillman. However, the Ravens just have no offensive momentum. Flacco hasn’t played a strong game in about a month and the running game hasn’t done anything but spin its wheels all season. Even with a backup quarterback at the helm, the Bears’ offense is the better bet to go down the field late in the game and get the winning score.Bears, 27-24