Baltimore Sun reporters, columnists and editors give their thoughts on the Ravens' game against the Chicago Bears in Week 11 of the NFL season.
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: All the talk will be on the nearly two-hour delay and the field and weather conditions. Perhaps, there will even be talk about Joe Flacco's two interceptions and the defense's failure to stop the Bears in overtime. But the reality is this: The Ravens had the ball on the Bears' 5-yard line with 52 seconds left. They had two timeouts and a first down. Their offense was gouging the Bears on the ground. But they couldn't get in the end zone. Of all their close calls the Ravens have had this year, this one will probably be the most damaging to their playoff hopes. A quality team scores a touchdown there and the Ravens couldn't, and they paid the consequences later.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens don't always play like a championship team, but they play with the hearts of a defending champion.
Aaron Wilson, reporter: In another disheartening loss, the Ravens lost the game after squandering an early 10-0 lead and have fallen to 4-6 overall after this defeat to the Chicago Bears. The Ravens rallied late on a field goal by Justin Tucker with three seconds left in regulation to force overtime. However, a long pass to Martellus Bennett behind cornerback Lardarius Webb proved costly as it set up the game-winning field goal by Robbie Gould. The Ravens left their momentum and intensity in the locker room following a nearly two-hour delay due to extreme weather conditions at Soldier Field. There were some costly gaffes, including Ray Rice whiffing on a block on David Bass leading to an interception return for a touchdown, Tandon Doss' late dropped passes and Elvis Dumervil, besides having an extremely quiet game on defense after recording three sacks last week, being flagged for a personal foul on a late hit. Corey Graham and Daryl Smith also missed tackles on a touchdown run by Matt Forte.
Matt Vensel, reporter: In a game that was completed a little over five hours after it started, the Ravens and Bears both played well in an entertaining football game, one that left both teams soaked with sweat and rain and mud. But that will understandably be disregarded as the Ravens' playoff hopes took another hit in an overtime loss to the Bears. The offense played well at times, but didn't make enough plays after that long weather delay. The defense was solid, but allowed another late scoring drive. The Ravens finally had a running game, a silver lining on this rainy day, but with six games left in the season, they have little margin for error if they want to make the playoffs.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: Mother Nature apparently has joined the NFL's anti-Ravens conspiracy. The New Orleans blackout and now this? The Ravens were outscored, 23-10, after the weather delay and now they've got a big mountain to climb to remain in contention for a playoff berth. On the brighter side, welcome back to the offense, Ray Rice.
Childs Walker, reporter: This season just refuses to take on any shape. With their running game finally working, the Ravens put themselves in strong position to back up their big win over Cincinnati last weekend. But between more mistakes from quarterback Joe Flacco and a modestly disappointing effort from the defensive front, they couldn't hold on under difficult conditions in Chicago. With so many AFC wild-card contenders floundering, it's hard to call the result devastating. But it sure could end up high on a list of close losses that haunt the Ravens come season's end.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: Let's not blame this on the Ravens losing momentum because of the delay. How about on Joe Flacco's two interceptions resulting in 10 points for the Bears? You can't turn the ball over. The Bears took care of the ball, and along with their creative play calling, simply beat the Ravens. Give the Ravens credit for that last drive in regulation and sending it to overtime, but ultimately the 10 gift points were too much to overcome.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun