What The Baltimore Ravens Must Do To Win vs. Chicago Bears

Ravens Bears

The Baltimore Ravens (6-3) are coming off a tough loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. In a defensive slugfest of a game, Miami was able to knock off Baltimore 22-10. The Ravens have quite a favorable matchup looking forward, where they will take on Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. Taking a dive into both teams’ strengths and weaknesses, the Ravens will need to do a few key things in order to come away with a win on Sunday.

Ravens Heading to Bears After Primetime Loss in Miami

Bring Pressure

First things first, it will be extremely crucial for the Ravens to bring consistent pressure on the Bears’ rookie quarterback Justin Fields. Though Fields has looked great in his last few games, Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale has been known to bring out the worst in rookie quarterbacks.

Take, for instance, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow. In the 2020 season, when Burrow faced the Ravens for the first time as a rookie, Martindale brought pressure on Joe Burrow all game long. Burrow finished the game with less than 200 yards passing as well as one interception. He was sacked seven times, and his offense was held out of the end zone for the whole game.

All of this was due to Martindale’s creativity with blitz packages. He has been known to design some of the most interesting blitzes the league has seen, and fans can be certain that Wink will bring several of these blitzes to the table.

Rookie quarterbacks are simply unable to handle that pressure and speed that Martindale’s defense shows them, and there should be no reason Fields will be any exception, especially considering that the Bears’ offensive line ranks bottom in the league in almost every statistical category. You can expect to see defensive backs coming on blitzes multiple times during this weekend’s matchup.

Wrap, Wrap, Wrap

The Chicago offense may not be performing very well thus far this season, but they do have some dynamic playmakers in David Montgomery, Darnell Mooney, and Allen Robinson.  It will be crucial for the Ravens defense to step up and wrap up ball carriers as soon as they are met. This is an area in which the Ravens have struggled greatly, and they will need to find a way to address it in Sunday’s matchup.

A big reason why the Ravens defense has underperformed this season is due to their lack of ability to bring ball carriers down. It will be especially crucial this week, where the Bears will most likely look to their run game and short pass game, that the Ravens wrap up ball carriers and minimize the amount of yards gained after the catch. If the Ravens can do this, there is a very good chance they can finish this game and get back on track in the AFC North.

Run the Ball

Switching to the offensive side of the football, Baltimore should consider running the ball heavily in Sunday’s game. Chicago ranks 23rd in the league in average rushing yards allowed per game, and considering how dominant the Ravens’ run game has been, there should be no reason to stray from that.

Devonta Freeman has done quite a nice job filling the gap left by J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards (ACL) and has brought a dynamic dimension to the team’s run game. In addition, quite a few designed quarterback runs by Lamar Jackson should be expected in Sunday’s game.

The run game will also be crucial because the Ravens banged-up offensive line has not allowed much time in the pocket for MVP candidate Lamar Jackson. The Bears pass rush has been very good this season, and there is a chance that their all-pro pass rusher Khalil Mack returns from injury for this game. If he plays, it will be even more important for the Ravens to stick to their run game, so as to limit any opportunity for him to expose the Ravens injuries along the offensive line.

At the end of the day, all the Ravens need to do on Sunday is bring pressure, run the football, and wrap up ball carriers. If those three keys can be carried out on Sunday, there is a very good chance the Ravens will be flying home from Chicago with a record of 7-3.

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