Bears Beat Ravens 23-20 In OT After Long Delay
CHICAGO (AP) — Bears coach Marc Trestman kept himself busy, talking to players and throwing the ball around with Brandon Marshall.
He’d never experienced this. So he made the best of the situation.
The Bears waited out a long rain delay and put in extra time to come away with a much-needed win.
Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal to lift the Bears to a 23-20 overtime victory over Baltimore Sunday in a game delayed about two hours by a torrential downpour.
Justin Tucker tied it for the Ravens with a 21-yard field goal at the end of regulation.
The big delay came after Tucker kicked a 52-yarder with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter. Fans were ordered to take cover as players headed to the locker rooms while heavy rains and winds whipped through Soldier Field.
They emerged about two hours later with the sky clearing and the sun coming out, but the rain and wind returned in the third quarter, turning the stands into a sea of ponchos.
“No sir. We had one up north, up in Canada, where we had a storm that forced us to delay the start of the game for half an hour, but nothing like this. Ever,” Trestman, a former CFL coach, said.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh wouldn’t say what his team did during the down time, although his team is no stranger to delays.
The Ravens experienced a power outage in the Super Bowl, after all, and the start of their season opener at Denver was pushed back by lightning. Both were just 34 minutes, though.
“I think we’ve led the league in delays over the last few years,” Harbaugh said.
Gould won it with a 38-yarder on third-and-8 at the 20 with 8:41 left in OT after McCown connected with a leaping Martellus Bennett on a 43-yard pass to put the ball on the 22, and the Bears (6-4) came away with the win after dropping four of six.
Here are five things to know about Sunday’s game.
BEARS STILL IN IT: Both teams were trying to stay in playoff contention, but the Bears got a big boost. They’re tied for the NFC North with Detroit, although the Lions swept both meetings.
“It’s always going to come down to the last few weeks, the last few plays, the last few seconds,” Brandon Marshall said. “So, we know that. It’s also good to win when the Lions lose.”
RAVENS FADING: A season after winning the Super Bowl, the Ravens might not make the playoffs. They’ve dropped four of five to fall 2 1/2 games behind Cincinnati in the AFC North.
MCCOWN COMES THROUGH AGAIN: What more could the Bears want from McCown? The veteran came through again subbing for Jay Cutler (high left ankle sprain), throwing for 216 yards without an interception. In four games and two starts, he has a 100 rating with five touchdowns and no turnovers, and he came through under brutal conditions.
“I’m the backup quarterback on this team, and the way that I serve my team is to play when the starter’s not healthy,” McCown said. “Jay’s our starting quarterback. There’s no doubt about that.”
So he has no designs on Cutler’s job. McCown would have liked having Cutler’s arm on a day like this.
“It’s definitely one of those days where you look across the field and (see) Joe Flacco and look on the sideline and Jay’s over there,” McCown said. “And I’m like, `Can I borrow somebody’s arm?”‘
RUN GAME RE-EMERGES: The Ravens were able to get their ground game going, with Ray Rice rushing for 131 yards and a touchdown against a team that’s struggled to stop the run. He scored from the 1 early on after a 47-yard dash on Baltimore’s first drive.
“We showed drastic improvement in the run game today,” said Rice, who was averaging 2.5 yards per carry coming into the game. “That’s something that’s been criticized a lot. For us to go out and did what we did in the run game, that’s a positive.”
Here’s a negative: Flacco throwing for 162 yards and getting picked off twice.
DEFENSE MAKING A STAND: Despite all their injuries, the Bears are performing better on defense than when they were healthy.
Chicago has allowed just 20, 21 and 20 points the past three games after allowing about 30 on average through the first seven.
Even though the Ravens were able to run the ball, the Bears prevented big plays in that area after the first quarter and contained Flacco (162 yards, two interceptions) throughout the game.
Julius Peppers had two sacks. David Bass returned an interception for a touchdown, and Jonathan Bostic set up a field goal by Gould at the end of the first half with an interception.
Overall, it was a solid showing by a group missing Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, Henry Melton and D.J. Williams.
Note: Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome remained in Chicago following the game because he was not feeling well. In a statement, the organization said the team doctor “recommended that Ozzie not fly tonight.” The extent of his illness was not clear.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)