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