Matchup: Baltimore Ravens vs. Chicago Bears
Date/Time: November 17th, 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Bears -2.5
Both the Baltimore Ravens and the Chicago Bears are a game back in the loss column of their respective division leads. They’ll both try to get back on terms with a win against the other this week at Soldier Field.
The Ravens saved their season last week when they knocked off the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime in a game that they absolutely had to have. They’re still a game back of the last Wild Card slot in the conference though, and they are in some trouble when it comes to the AFC North still as well. The biggest issue that this team is having is that it can’t run the football. RB Ray Rice had a bad start to the season, and he has had it worse in the last few weeks. These last two games, he has a total of 47 yards on 29 carries, and RB Bernard Pierce really isn’t doing all that much better. The bottom line is that someone is going to have to successfully carry the football on the ground to take some of the pressure off of QB Joe Flacco who, in fairness to him, has had a pretty darn good season. The defense came up big when it had to against the Bengals, and if not for a fluky Hail Mary at the end of the game, it would have a scoring average of less than 17 points per game allowed since the opener against the Denver Broncos.
The Bears have had a strange season. They are just a game back in the NFC North, and they are right there for the two Wild Card slots in the NFC to boot. It’s not a bad spot to be in, but if this game is lost, Head Coach Marc Trestman will be answering questions as to why his team is 5-5 through 10 games. Part of the problem is that there have been a number of injuries defensively, which has been a part of why the club has allowed at least 20 points in all of its games this season. The rest of the issues revolve around QB Jay Cutler. Cutler came back from a groin injury perhaps too early, and now he has an ankle sprain as well. QB Josh McCown is going to start in this one, and he is going to have to be quite good to beat another team that could contend for the Super Bowl. McCown went on the road and beat the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago, and he has been excellent in relief, but the Ravens have been playing quite well defensively, making this an awfully tough task.
That said, the Bears only have two covers this year, and one of the two came with McCown calling the shots. The Ravens are overrated as we see it, and even though McCown is going to be the man under center in this one, we think that he is going to extend the streak of home teams covering in this series up to seven straight games dating back to 1989.
Baltimore Ravens @ Chicago Bears Pick: Chicago Bears -2.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.