TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens At Chicago Bears

Baltimore Ravens
Chicago Bears
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner The Ravens have a Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Joe Flacco who may be at his best when the Ravens are involved in big-time postseason games. However, Flacco has looked ordinary this year when the team has needed him to be an All-Pro. Flacco’s 12-11 TD-interception ratio demonstrates that he makes a lot of mistakes and that the Ravens are vulnerable as a result.
The decision to play Jay Cutler in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions was a mistake. The Bears would have been better off with a healthy Josh McCown than an injured Cutler and it probably cost them the game. Look for McCown to get the nod this week because Cutler’s mobility appeared to be impacted by his groin injury and a sprained ankle.
Offense
The Ravens were lucky to pull out their Week 10 overtime victory over the Bengals. Their running game has been missing in action as Ray Rice (289 yards, 2.5 yards per carry) simply has not gotten the job done and the offensive line has failed. Wide receiver Torrey Smith has explosive speed and can get downfield, but he needs more support.
Winner The Bears have an explosive offense when their quarterback is healthy. Matt Forte is one of the most versatile running backs in the league. He can cause problems as a runner or a receiver. Brandon Marshall is a powerful receiver who can dominate, while second-year wideout Alshon Jeffery has become a dangerous option. TE Martellus Bennett is a good third-down option.
Defense
Winner The Ravens’ defense is not the dominating unit it was during Ray Lewis’ heyday, but the unit has been getting better as the season has progressed. The Ravens will put pressure on opposing quarterbacks as they have registered 32 sacks, and they will smell blood in the water if Cutler starts for the Bears. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs has a team-high 9.0 sacks.
The Bears are no longer the dominant defensive team they were in past years. They have been getting torched by the run, and if they can’t stop the slumping Rice they may not be able to stop anyone. The Bears rank 26th on defense and they are not likely to improve until Lance Briggs (shoulder) returns to the lineup and Charles Tillman (knee, groin) is healthy again.
Special Teams
Winner The Ravens do solid work covering kickoffs and punts, while Tandon Doss gave the Ravens a lift earlier this season with a punt return for a score. Head coach John Harbaugh has confidence in placekicker Justin Turner, who has been successful on 18-of-20 FG attempts this season.
Winner The Bears have had some miscues on special teams this year, and that’s quite unusual for a team that has dominated in this area in the past. Devin Hester is a threat once again returning punts, while Robbie Gould has made 16-of-17 FG attempts and he may be the best kicker in the league.

The Winner Is

(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Winner Baltimore Ravens
3 out of 4

A vital game for both teams, but the Bears cannot afford to drop a second consecutive home game. The Bears’ quarterback decision will be vital in this game. Does Trestman go with a less than 100 percent Cutler or a healthy McCown?
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Restaurant Week 365

Listen Live