3-and-out: Bears vs. Ravens

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown reception with guard Matt Slauson (68) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Nam Y. Huh)

3 Quotes

1. “I thought [Lardarius Webb] had good coverage. It was a well-thrown ball in those circumstances. The tight end is a big man. He was kind of out of Lardarius’s reach, and made a nice play.” – John Harbaugh on Martellus Bennett’s overtime catch

2. “It was definitely some backyard football going on. A lot of fun to play in those conditions, and even better to get out of here with a win.” – Kyle Long

3. “Marc made a comment, ‘When it’s breezy, swing easy’ before the game. It was funny because it’s so true.” – Josh McCown

3 things that worked

1. Edge pressure — Julius Peppers had his best game of the season, recording 11 tackles, two sacks and four tackles for loss. David Bass had an interception for a touchdown off the opposite end, and neither Ravens running back got much of anything going east-to-west against the Bears.

2. Forte’s runs — Coming off his worst game of the season, Matt Forte carried the ball 18 times for 83 yards, an average of 4.6 yards a carry against one of the league’s better run defenses. He somehow made impressive jukes in the beaten-down Soldier Field turf during his 14-yard touchdown catch and run.

3. Ball security — On a brutally windy day with rain and all the elements involved, McCown protected the football by not throwing an interception. Alshon Jeffery was able to recover his own fumble, and the Bears won the turnover battle 2-0.

3 that didn’t

1. Pre-snap discipline — The Bears had committed one false start penalty on offense all season, and Martellus Bennett had two. They had two neutral zone infractions on defense and two other offside penalties that were declined. Michael Ford’s offside penalty on the opening kickoff of overtime could have been costly as well.

2. First-half defense — The Ravens converted 5 of 8 third-down opportunities in the first half and gained 99 yards rushing, almost matching their season-best before halftime. They had 14 first downs in the first half and Ray Rice averaged 7 yards a carry.

3. Red-zone offense — The Bears were 1 for 4 on converting red-zone opportunities into touchdowns, including a situation in the second quarter when they had first-and-goal at the Ravens’ two-yard line and threw three consecutive incomplete passes.

3 moments that mattered

1. Ray Rice’s longest run of the season was 14 yards, but he ripped off a 47-yarder on the Ravens’ first drive, helping set up his 1-yard touchdown. The play was a statement, and showed that the Bears’ run defense would struggle with the league’s most inefficient rushing attack.

2. On fourth down on the Ravens’ final drive of regulation, the Bears blitzed but couldn’t get to Joe Flacco. He completed a pass to Dallas Clark, with Chris Conte on him, and the veteran Clark made a one-handed grab. The play gave the Ravens a first down, and they kicked the game-tying field goal later in the drive.

3. Before the big throw to Bennett to set up the game-winning field goal, the Bears faced a third-and-9 from their own 21-yard line. If they didn’t convert, the Ravens would have great field position. McCown stepped up in the pocket and found Jeffery for a 14-yard gain and the crucial first down.

What now?

Record: 6-4

What it means: Losses Sunday by the Lions and Packers mean the Bears are squarely in the NFC playoff hunt, and got out of an ugly, weird game with a victory.

What’s next: The Bears are on the road for three of their next four games, starting Sunday in St. Louis against a Rams team also fighting for wild-card contention.

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