Ravens fall 23-20 to Bears in OT after long delay
Ray Rice was looking like a Pro Bowl running back again, and the Baltimore Ravens were leading by 10 early in the game.
Then, the rain came. And disappointment followed.
Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal to lift the Chicago Bears to a 23-20 victory over Baltimore on 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, but they lost for the fourth time in five games.
''It's pretty frustrating,'' quarterback Joe Flacco said. ''You come out and you put 10 quick ones up and you feel like you're going pretty good. You feel like you're able to do what we want to against them and then you have the delay and come out in the second half and the weather is just crazy, kind of got out of rhythm.
''It's frustrating, because I felt like we had the ability to really let go today and explode on offense and we just didn't do it.''
The big delay came after Tucker kicked a 52-yard field goal 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.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh wouldn't say what his team did during the down time, although it 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 Josh 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 Flacco overthrew Torrey Smith in the back of the end zone on third down, Tucker tied it at 20-all with 3 seconds left.
The Ravens were able to get their ground game going, with 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.
''We showed drastic improvement in the run game today,'' Rice said. ''That's something that's been criticized a lot. For us to go out and did what we did in the run game, that's a positive.''
Here's a negative: Flacco 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.''
McCown threw for 216 yards without an interception, subbing for Jay Cutler (high left ankle sprain).
''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?'''
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 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: Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome remained in Chicago following the game because he was not feeling well. In a statement, the organization said the team doctor ''recommended that Ozzie not fly tonight.'' The extent of his illness was not clear. ... 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.
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