12/20/09 Gameday: Bears at Ravens

A snowy good morning to you.  What a bizarre weekend of rumors and speculation we have had. There were the rumors of today’s game  possibly being moved to Monday night. No one was sure whether the Bears would actually be in town to play the game until their plane landed safely at BWI airport last night a few minutes before 11 p.m. And how about the snow removal! Great job by the workers at M&T Bank Stadium getting the seats, ramps, stairs, and field ready for today’s contest.

As for the actual game: The Ravens mindset is where right where it needs to be right now. They realize that they have to win out to get a spot in the playoffs. They will not take any teams lightly, just ask last week’s opponent, the Detroit Lions.

At the beginning of the season, hopes were high in the windy city. They had traded inconsistent Kyle Orton to Denver and in return got one of the best young arms in the game in Jay Cutler. But Cutler’s 2009 campaign has been quite disappointing. He has been very prone to turnovers, throwing 22 interceptions! That number leads the entire league. He is still very capable of making all the throws necessary to win a ballgame. This season has been a combination of bad luck and poor decision making for Mr. Cutler.

At the running back position, the Bears have a solid foundation in Matt Forte. The 2nd year back out of Tulane is having a bit of a sophomore slump. He had a tremendous rookie campaign, rushing for over 1200 yards and eight touchdowns. He was also able to add four more receiving TD’s. Similar to Cutler, the talent is there, but things just haven’t gone Forte’s way this year.

Defensively, the Bears suffered a major setback in their season opener at Green Bay when middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was lost for the season. He is the heart and soul of their unit. And accross the board, the numbers are not the same as usual for this defense.

As for the Ravens, they had a nice little confidence boost last week, beating up on the lowly Lions 48-3. I believe that the way Ray Rice is playing right now, is just too much for the Bears. If they focus on shutting down #27, they will likely leave many open opportunities for Joe Flacco and his receivers to do damage. I honestly think Chicago will put up a solid fight on offense, but not enought to topple a team that smells postseason. RAVENS 31 – BEARS 21

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