Sun, 28 Nov 2021

Game Recap: Bears fall to Ravens

Chicago Bears
23 Nov 2021, 00:37 GMT+10

Larry Mayer

The Bears suffered a painful case of dejà vu all over again Sunday at Soldier Field.

For the second straight game, the offense capped a 75-yard drive with a go-ahead touchdown pass with just over 1:40 remaining-only for the defense to immediately surrender the game-winning points in the final :26 of regulation.

On Sunday, Andy Dalton's 49-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin on fourth-and-11 gave the Bears a 13-9 lead with 1:41 to play. Dalton had entered the game early in the third quarter after Justin Fields exited with an injury to his ribs.

Highlights: Bears vs. Ravens | 2021 Week 11 Quick Hits: Bears lament failure to finish Every Darnell Mooney catch from 121-yard game

But the Ravens answered with a 5-play, 72-yard drive capped by Devonta Freeman's 3-yard TD run with :22 remaining, giving Baltimore a 16-13 victory. It was the first and only touchdown the Bears allowed Sunday. A very similar scenario Nov. 8 in Pittsburgh led to a 29-27 loss to the Steelers.

"Compliment the Ravens for playing hard and finishing that game with the win," said coach Matt Nagy. "For us, it's unfortunate to lose the game the way we did back-to-back weeks like that. The guys are battling, but in the end we're not finishing."

The Bears offense was unable to build on its productive performance in the second half against the Steelers. The unit was held scoreless until Dalton replaced Fields on the second possession of the second half and threw a short pass that Darnell Mooney turned into an electrifying 60-yard TD that gave the Bears a 7-6 lead.

Fields completed 4 of 11 passes for 79 yards and a 62.3 passer rating. He lost a fumble on one of two sacks and rushed for 23 yards on four carries. It appeared that he was injured on the final play of the Bears' opening possession of the second half when he was tackled by outside linebacker Tyus Bowser on a 6-yard run.

Nagy said that he didn't know whether Fields suffered broken ribs or what his status would be for the Bears' Thanksgiving game against the Lions in Detroit.

"I don't know any of that right now," Nagy said. "I've got to see exactly what type of injury he has. So, we'll get into all that, and that's not where we're at right now."

Seeing his first extended action since leaving a Week 2 win over the Bengals with a knee injury, Dalton completed 11 of 23 passes for 201 yards with two TDs, no turnovers and a 107.3 passer rating. On his first two snaps, the veteran quarterback completed passes of 23 yards to Jimmy Graham and the 60-yard TD to Mooney.

"I want to compliment Andy Dalton for being able to come in this game in this environment and right away have two plays and get going there with that," Nagy said. "In the end, in a crucial situation, for him to make plays the way he did I think it shows who he is as a quarterback, who he is as a person."

The Ravens were quarterbacked by Tyler Huntley, who made his first NFL start. The second-year pro replaced Lamar Jackson, who was deactivated before the game due to an illness that had prevented him from practicing Wednesday and Thursday.

Huntley completed 26 of 36 passes for 219 yards with one interception and a 76.0 passer rating. The Bears recorded six sacks and didn't permit a touchdown for the game's first 59 minutes and 38 seconds. But they once again failed to protect a late lead.

"The defense, I thought, swarmed all day long," Nagy said, "did what they had to do with the tackles and the sacks. But in the end I know that they're frustrated because of not being able to close that game and finish the game.

"You've got to finish. You've got to be able to end the games, close them out. In the end, it's situational football. You have the lead in two games to be able to close it out and win both of those games and we didn't do that."

With their fifth straight loss, the Bears fell to 3-7. They have not registered a win since Oct. 10 when they defeated the Raiders 20-9 in Las Vegas to improve to 3-2.

Here's what transpired in Sunday's game:

First half

The Ravens led 6-0 at halftime on two Justin Tucker field goals late in the half. His first kick came with 2:11 remaining, capping a 10-play, 49-yard drive that was highlighted by Huntley's 19-yard scramble on third-and-10.

After a Bears punt, Huntley engineered an 11-play, 55-yard drive that resulted in Tucker's 27-yard field goal with :02 left in the first half.

The Bears defense performed well in the first half. On each of the Ravens' first two possessions, Robert Quinn recorded third-down sacks of Huntley that led to punts. Quinn also caused a fumble on the second sack, but the ball rolled out of bounds.

The Bears' best chance to score in the first half came on their first possession, but Cairo Santos missed a 40-yard field goal attempt wide left. It was his second straight miss after he had made a franchise-record 40 straight field goals.

The Bears were shut out in the first half for the first time this season, generating just 126 total yards and six first downs.

Second half

The Bears turned the ball over on downs at their own 49 early in the fourth quarter when David Montgomery was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 after taking a direct shotgun snap out of the Wildcat formation.

The Ravens advanced to the Bears' 22, but Tashaun Gipson Sr. followed with an impressive diving interception at the 14, plucking the ball off tight end Mark Andrews' chest while they were both on the ground.

But the Bears offense went three-and-out, and the Ravens took over at the Chicago 45 after Pat O'Donnell's punt was deflected and rolled dead after 28 yards.

The Ravens marched to the Bears' 28 and Tucker booted a 46-yard field goal, giving Baltimore a 9-7 lead with 3:41 remaining.

The teams then traded touchdowns, with the Bears taking a short-lived 13-9 lead before the Ravens rallied for a 16-13 victory.

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