Jonathan Bostic #57 of the Chicago Bears intercepts a pass intended for Dallas Clark #87 of the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field on November 17, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
In a game that more closely resembled an old-school slugfest in the mud of Soldier Field, it was the aerial game that ended up proving the difference for the Chicago Bears, as Josh McCown made two huge completions to set up Robbie Gould to kick a game winning field goal to beat the Baltimore Ravens by a 23-20 score in overtime.
The beginning of the game saw the Ravens dominating on the offensive side of the ball. Ray Rice unleashed a big run on their first drive of the game, and Chris Conte followed that play up with a pass interference penalty in the end zone to give Baltimore the ball at the one-yard line. Rice ended up running off right tackle and took advantage of a massive block by Jordan Shipley on Bears cornerback Tim Jennings to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead.
The Bears went three and out on their next drive, and the Ravens once again took advantage, as Justin Tucker kicked a lengthy 52-yard field goal to give Baltimore a 10-0 lead. Then, the rains came, and the game was suspended by officials as the storms rolled into the area.
After a one hour and 53 minute delay because of the weather, both offenses traded unsuccessful drives as the first quarter ended, but the Bears began to show some life in the second. McCown threw a couple of key passes to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to put the Bears deep into Ravens’ territory, but despite having SIX opportunities from inside the five-yard line, they couldn’t punch it in for a touchdown, and Robbie Gould had to kick a short field goal to bring the Bears to within 10-3.
Despite the momentum-killing failure in the red zone, the Bears’ defense immediately got the team back into the game. On the Ravens’ first play from scrimmage, Rice whiffed on a block attempt of Bears DE David Bass, and Flacco’s pass ended up sticking to Bass’ hands, and the result of the play was a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown to tie the game at 10-10.
Unfortunately for the Bears, that defensive momentum proved to be unsustainable. On Baltimore’s next drive, they picked up a couple of key third down conversions, and a sneaky good pass from Flacco to Torrey Smith on a slant route gave the Ravens a five-yard touchdown and a 17-10 lead.
The defense did tighten up as the second quarter came to an end, and thanks to Julius Peppers’ second sack of the game and a Jon Bostic interception, the Bears got the ball back with a minute left and two timeouts from midfield. They weren’t able to get to the end zone, but Gould did boot a field goal as time expired in the first half to bring the Bears to within a 17-13 margin at halftime.
On the Ravens’ first drive of the second half, the conditions began to deteriorate quickly. The wind picked up and the rain began to come down again, and both teams looked like they were taken aback by the turn of events. The Bears committed a couple more bad penalties on that drive, with a neutral zone infraction by Peppers allowing the Ravens to pick up a first down. Fortunately, the Bears were able to stop the Ravens on a fourth down play in Chicago territory, as Cheta Ozogwu burst around the edge and knocked the ball out of Flacco’s hands.
Jeffery and Marshall both stood tall on the Bears’ ensuing drive, making key catches to get first downs and extend the drive. Then, deep in Ravens’ territory, Forte stole the show, catching a pass in the flat and taking advantage of a key block by Kyle Long to scamper into the end zone to give the Bears a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Thanks to an unexpected drop by Tandon Doss on a 3rd-and-2, the Ravens were forced to punt the ball away on their next drive. The Ravens looked like they had stopped the Bears after tackling Jeffery at the line of scrimmage, but a roughing the passer penalty against Elvis Dumervil allowed the drive to continue. The Bears managed to get the ball just past midfield, but then Marc Trestman elected to punt on a 4th-and-1 situation instead of going for it, and gave the Ravens the ball back with less than five minutes left in the game.
The Bears appeared to have forced the Ravens into another three-and-out when Zack Bowman tackled Smith short of the first down marker, but Bowman was flagged for a horse-collar tackle, and the Ravens were able to continue their drive with a nice run from Rice up the middle. After a great pass deflection by Wootton at midfield, the Ravens opted to go for it on fourth down, and Dallas Clark made a spectacular one-handed catch to give Baltimore the first down.
Despite the Ravens' threatening, Trestman opted not to use any timeouts as Baltimore marched up the field, and the team's defense rewarded his faith. They made a huge stop on third down, and forced Tucker to kick a field goal, which he made to send the game into overtime.
On the Ravens' first drive of the extra frame, it was Jennings who defended Doss on a third down play to force the Ravens to punt the ball, and the Bears got the ball at their own-20 yard line. McCown threw a nice pass to Jeffery over the middle to get a key third down conversion, then stunned the Ravens with a deep throw over the top that Martellus Bennett was able to come down with to set the Bears up in the red zone.