Bears beat Ravens 23-20 in OT after long delay

Josh McCown spent a few quiet moments trying to figure out what
would happen. He probably didn’t envision this.

The Bears waited out a long rain delay and put in extra time to
come away with a much-needed win.

Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal in overtime to lift the
Bears to a 23-20 victory over Baltimore Sunday in a game delayed
about two hours by a torrential downpour.

Justin Tucker tied it for the Ravens with a 21-yard field goal
at the end of regulation.

The big delay came after Tucker kicked a 52-yarder with 4:51
remaining in the first quarter. Fans were ordered to take cover as
players headed to the locker rooms while heavy rains and winds
whipped through Soldier Field. They emerged about two hours later
with the sky clearing and the sun coming out, but the rain and wind
returned in the third quarter, turning the stands into a sea of
ponchos.

During the delay, Bears players stretched and went over the game
plan.

”Closed my eyes and just trying to think about the game,
visualize the game a little bit,” McCown said. ”And kind of
assess what happened the first two series. What did we do wrong?
Why weren’t we moving the ball? What are they going to do to
us?”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh wouldn’t say what his team did during
the down time, although his team is no stranger to delays. The
Ravens experienced a power outage in the Super Bowl, after all, and
the start of their season-opener at Denver was pushed back by
lightning. Both were just 34 minutes, though.

”I think we’ve led the league in delays over the last few
years,” Harbaugh said.

Gould won it with a 38-yarder on third-and-8 at the 20 with 8:41
left in OT after McCown connected with a leaping Martellus Bennett
on a 43-yard pass to put the ball on the 22, and the Bears (6-4)
came away with the win after dropping four of six.

They were leading 20-17 with 10:33 remaining in regulation after
Matt Forte scored on a 14-yard screen from McCown, dodging three or
four defenders along the way, but the Ravens (4-6) made one big
push down the stretch to send it to overtime.

They drove from the 16 to the 2, getting a one-handed catch from
Dallas Clark on a fourth down at 44. After Joe Flacco overthrew
Torrey Smith in the back of the end zone on third down, Tucker tied
it at 20-all with 3 seconds left.

McCown threw for 216 yards without an interception, subbing for
Jay Cutler (high left ankle sprain). In four games and two starts,
he has five touchdowns and no turnovers, and he came through under
brutal conditions.

”It’s definitely one of those days where you look across the
field and (see) Joe Flacco and look on the sideline and Jay’s over
there,” McCown said. ”And I’m like, `Can I borrow somebody’s
arm?”’

Alshon Jeffery had seven catches for 83 yards. Forte added 42
receiving and 83 rushing.

Julius Peppers had two sacks. David Bass returned an
interception for a touchdown, and Jonathan Bostic set up a field
goal by Gould at the end of the first half with an
interception.

The Ravens were able to get their ground game going, with Ray
Rice rushing for 131 yards and a touchdown against a team that’s
struggled to stop the run. He scored from the 1 early on after a
47-yard dash on Baltimore’s first drive. But Flacco had a rough
day, throwing for 162 yards and getting picked off twice.

”Every time you get the ball, it either was wet or had all
kinds of mud on it,” he said. ”It was an issue for the timing
stuff, getting a grip on it quick enough.”

The Bears scored 10 points in a 12-second stretch in the second
quarter, on a 20-yard field goal by Gould and a 24-yard
interception return by Bass. He picked off Flacco at the line and
ran untouched to the end zone, Chicago’s fourth interception return
for a TD this season, but Baltimore immediately answered with an
80-yard scoring drive.

Flacco lofted a 5-yard scoring pass between two defenders to
Smith to put the Ravens back on top, 17-10, with 4:08 left in the
half. But an interception at midfield by Bostic with a minute left
led to a 46-yard field goal by Gould as time expired, making it a
four-point game at the half.

And what a strange half it was.

Play was stopped just after 12:30 p.m. CT and didn’t resume
until 2:25. There were reports of at least one tornado touching
down in Illinois and extensive damage in at least one part of the
state. At Soldier Field, long lines formed in the upper deck as
drenched fans tried to make their way toward the tunnel with
lightning striking near the stadium.

”It was pretty muddy, windy,” Bennett said. ”I feel like I’ve
been fishing all day.”

NOTES: Bears DT Stephen Paea left the game with a toe injury.
… Harbaugh wouldn’t comment on the condition of S Matt Elam, who
limped off the field in the fourth quarter after making a tackle on
Forte.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org