How our reporters and editors saw the Ravens' 27-24 overtime loss to the Bears Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium:
Jeff Zrebiec: Joe Flacco said it best after the game when he noted that the Ravens are a 3-3 football team because the offense has prevented the team from being better. The defense doesn't get an excuse because it is not playing up to the standard it set for itself. Eric Weddle's missed tackle on Jordan Howard's 53-yard run in overtime was a huge play. But the team's offensive ineptitude still permeates everything right now.The Ravens wide receivers can't get separation or make contested catches. The tight ends don't run away from anybody. The offensive line has overachieved for much of the year but it isn't consistent enough. The team has no red zone offense to speak of. And Marty Mornhinweg calls plays like he's perennially worried about the Ravens making a mistake and it's hard to blame him sometimes. A solid week in Oakland doesn't change the fact that the Ravens don't have a playoff-worthy offense, and it's hard to see that changing.
Mike Preston, columnist: This is the type of game that could haunt the Ravens the rest of the season. Physically, they got dominated on both sides of the ball by a team operating on a short week after losing to Minnesota on Monday night. The Ravens receivers couldn't hold onto the ball and they have few players they can count on consistently. Hopefully, defensive tackle Brandon Williams returns soon.
Edward Lee, reporter: Many fingers will be pointed at the defense for giving up that 53-yard run to Jordan Howard that set up Chicago's game-winning field goal in overtime. But just as many fingers should be aimed at an offense that did not score a touchdown and looked dreadful without Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman on the field. The loss wasted a spectacular special teams effort from Bobby Rainey (96-yard kick return for a touchdown) and Michael Campanaro (77-yard punt return for a score).
Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Ravens started slow and never really got into any kind of offensive rhythm, as evidenced by the fact that they could not score an offensive touchdown at home against a team that came in with a 1-4 record and an NFC-worst -46 point differential. Barring a big Steelers upset in Kansas City, the Ravens will still be tied for first place in the AFC North at the end of the day, but they were not a very good team for the third time in the last four weeks, and there was really no excuse this time. Give them credit for a couple of special teams TDs and some overtime drama, but this was a game they'll continue to regret down the road.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens lost this game twice. Credit to the special teams and the defense for pulling them out of the fire once. But the offense was so anemic that they couldn't capitalize on the miracle. The Ravens' receivers let them down. Joe Flacco threw accurate passes on both of the interceptions that helped cost his team the game. The first bounced off Breshad Perriman's hands, the second off Chris Moore's chest. Tight end Maxx Williams also fumbled away a potential scoring drive. Flacco didn't play well, but he played competently enough to win against the unimpressive Bears. So did the defense, at least until Eric Weddle missed a key tackle in overtime. The Ravens simply don't have enough skill-position talent, and that leaves them vulnerable against teams they should handle. Generally, you'd think a loss like this would haunt a season, but the AFC North is so mediocre, no team other than the Browns can be discounted.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: The Ravens had no business winning this game, and they didn't. Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky made plays when he had to and veteran quarterback Joe Flacco did not. Dropped passes, penalties, turnovers and poor tackling did the Ravens in. Losing this game at home could ultimately cost the Ravens a playoff spot. This is going to sting for a long, long time.
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