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Commentary: Ravens on wild weather: 'We didn't persevere'

It wasn't a misprint. The time of Sunday's game was five hours, 16 minutes.
Regulation, overtime and a delay of one hour, 53 minutes.
The signs were ominous all day. Fans who hadn't heard the weather forecasts were warned even before the game to be prepared for an evacuation should one be needed. It was needed.
Barely 10 minutes had elapsed, and the Baltimore Ravens were off to a quick 10-0 lead. Justin Tucker had just hit his longest field goal of the season, 52 yards.
The signs were posted at Soldier Field telling the fans to move under cover, and a moment later, referee Gene Steratore announced play would be halted.
NFL games are rarely stopped, but three times in 2013, the Ravens have had to wait.
There was the infamous Super Bowl blackout that killed Baltimore's momentum, a lightning delay in Denver in September before the season's first game, and now this.
"It was something that we dealt with," Joe Flacco said. "You kind of go back in the locker room and the biggest thing was just to get something in your stomach because you weren't going to be able to for a while."
The Ravens' postgame meal was served while they waited. Pasta, chicken, turkey and apples. Some took their pads and pants off in the interim.
Players had it much easier than the fans. Most were able to crowd into the concourses, but a few unlucky ones had to wait out the torrential rain and wind in the upper deck because there wasn't enough room.
Three died in a tornado near Peoria, Ill., and the NFL was properly cautious about restarting the game until they were certain the storms had passed.
"You can't predict the weather, and you can't control the weather, so once the delay was over, we warmed up and got ready to play the game," Ed Dickson said. "When you come to the Midwest and you come to areas with [severe] weather, you've got to prepare for that."
The Ravens and Bears were given about 10 minutes to warm up, and fans were allowed to return to their seats when the teams returned. The players were ready.
"I ate a sandwich. I stretched and tried to stay loose," Dickson said. "My hamstrings got a little tight, but when you're a professional you've got to be ready to go at all times."
Daryl Smith studied his playbook. Unlike a visiting baseball clubhouse, there weren't televisions to watch other games.
"You're just waiting. You try to stay as loose as possible and kept getting updated about when we could possibly go out and play," Smith said. "We continued to keep that mind frame about going out and playing a ballgame. We tried to keep everything as gameday-like as possible."
Baltimore looked crisp in the first 10 minutes, but once they had to stop and resume and play on a horrible field, it was difficult for them.
"It was a long game. We didn't persevere as well as we wanted to," Flacco said.
Ray Rice had his best day of the season, going on a 47-yard jaunt on the Ravens' second offensive play. But, something was clearly different when they came back. It was sunny for a time, but still very windy and footing between the tackles extremely treacherous.
"I felt like we weathered it," Rice said, and paused for a moment "not bad. When you've got momentum and your juices are flowing, you want to keep going."
Marshal Yanda dismissed the weather issue.
"I don't think that it affected us," Yanda said. "I think we have to go out and do it."
Coach John Harbaugh said contingencies were discussed before the game, but was in no mood to talk about the time spent waiting for the skies to clear.
"I haven't analyzed it," he said. "It was two hours."

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