Bears defensive ends arguably turned this game around themselves. And while the Baltimore Ravens rushed for 154 yards for the game, they were not able to sufficiently control the Bears’ front four when the game was on the line. The line accounted for three sacks, five tackles for loss and an interception for a touchdown.
Julius Peppers provided a one-man turning point in the second quarter with a tackle for loss, sack of Joe Flacco, a pressure and causing a holding penalty by left tackle Eugene Monroe. Peppers finished with 11 tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss and two additional hits on Flacco.
“He’s such a quiet guy,” said coach Marc Trestman. “He walked by me earlier in the day and said we were going to play well. We were going to do well. I just pointed out he had the two sacks, but he certainly had some juice to him today.”
After a Bears field goal, David Bass fought off a Ray Rice cut block intended to get Bass’ hands down, and the rookie lineman jumped to intercept a Flacco pass, returning it 24 yards for a touchdown. “My initial read was to close,” Bass said. “I didn’t see the quarterback do a legitimate play action ... When I saw him throw it, I just threw my hands up.”
Cheta Ozougwu delivered a sack and strip of Flacco to help end a possession. Peppers was flagged for a late hit on a sliding Flacco, which was one of the more dubious calls of the afternoon, given the slippery turf and Peppers clearly not intent on delivering a blow. But his overall energy and disruptive playmaking were much needed.
Corey Wootton delivered a stuff on a Baltimore fourth-quarter run when the defense was protecting a three-point lead. Wootton finished with four tackles and broke up a pass.
Losing Stephen Paea to a toe injury was costly to the run defense.
Moon's Grade: A-