Weather delays have become a common occurrence for the Baltimore Ravens during the last nine months.
In Super Bowl XLVII the Ravens and 49ers had to sit through a 34-minute delay after the power went out at the Superdome. In Week 1 to start the 2013 season, the Ravens-Broncos game was delayed for 34 minutes once again due to weather. Fast-forward to Sunday, and Baltimore found themselves in the midst of an hour-and-53-minute delay with severe thunderstorms in the area.
After sitting in the locker room for almost two hours, the Ravens came back on the field with all their momentum gone from an early 10-0 lead on the Bears.
"That’s how it’s been treating us with some delays," Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "They had to sit around there the same amount of time that we did"
Baltimore seemed to be clicking on all cylinders before the harsh weather struck down at Soldier Field. Its defense only allowed the Bears to register 19 yards of total offense on their first two possessions.
“That little ‘intermission’ turned out to be a blessing for us because it let us hit the reset button and start over,” Bears defensive lineman Julius Peppers said. “It was a chance for us to regroup and come out the way we wanted to play.”
After a quick series by the Ravens offense, the Bears were able to march down the field for a Robbie Gould field goal. Just 12 seconds later, Bears rookie defensive end David Bass picked off Joe Flacco and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown. And just like that Baltimore's lead evaporated.
"It’s part of the game, the delays, but we came out and still played a good game but we just came up short," Ravens defensive back Jimmy Smith said.
In what was a sloppy game for the most part due to the weather, one play stood out that showed neither team really had the advantage in the conditions.
With the Bears trailing in the fourth quarter, Josh McCown hit Alshon Jeffery on a quick slant. The second-year wideout bobbled the ball and slipped on a divot just short of the first down. As he was going the ground, Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith jarred the ball loose and the wet football lay on the ground for the taking. Jeffery was able to retain possession.
"The field was messy, the ball was wet, hands were everywhere," the linebacker said. "The ball was slick, we both were slick, I just couldn’t quite grab it like I wanted to.
"It was tough, but they had to play on it as well. We were both sliding on there, and we knew it was going to get sloppy like that."
[RELATED: GIFs: Weather conditions at Soldier Field]
In the end, the Bears were able to make more plays when it mattered in the sloppy conditions.
And maybe it was because their starting quarterback was no stranger to picking up a victory in a lengthy weather delay-filled game.
"My senior year at Sam Houston State, which seems like a long time ago, we were down at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La," McCown said. "We were in the second or third quarter, and we had a good one. It was a two-and-a-half or three-hour delay — it was a long delay. We were able to come out after that and get the win. It kept raining and it was nasty — it was very similar to today. I was joking around because I thought about that today when we were in there. It was a crazy day."