Neither the offense nor defense displayed any sort of readiness to start the game, and special teams were beset by penalties, something that was an issue for every unit. Baltimore drove for a touchdown and field goal and 104 yards on the first two possessions, while the offense was going three-and-out twice in three possessions with poor play design and poorer execution.
The change after the rain interruption was dramatic. Players said Marc Trestman was playing catch with Brandon Marshall and the team collected itself. “The wind and that stuff is part of it,” said quarterback Josh McCown, “but Marc always talks about embracing adversity. That was our adversity for today.”
The offense made smart accommodation for the wind, running the ball all eight snaps it had in the third quarter. That didn’t produce points, but it also didn’t produce turnovers and kept the Bears within the four points they trailed by at halftime.
Defensively the Bears surrendered too many rushing yards but produced plays from packages that routinely used four ends on the front and was pushed to play nickel most of the game because of Ravens personnel.
On the downside, the Bears began the game as the fourth-least penalized team in the NFL, with 40 walkoffs assessed. They had 10 through three quarters, 13 for the game including one even on the overtime kickoff.
Moon's Grade: A-