What History tells us with Ravens and Bears
|Friday, November 19, 2021, 6:00 PM- -|
Coming out of their bye week at 3-6 and riding a four-game losing streak, the Chicago Bears need to start piling together wins in a hurry. Matt Nagy has been known to go through slumps like this as a Bears head coach, but also has seven three-game winning streaks since taking the job four years ago. That means if he can make that his eighth such streak, the Bears can get back to .500 and make things interesting the final month of the season.
This week will peg the Bears against an unfamiliar foe as AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens come to Chicago sporting a 6-3 record. Like Chicago, the Ravens benefitted from a partial bye week, playing last Thursday against the Dolphins and dropping that contest 22-10. Many thought that was the worst showing of the season for the Ravens, which may not bode well for Chicago this weekend.
Baltimore is no stranger to the NFL, spending time as the Baltimore Colts back in the day, but the Ravens joined the league in the late 1990s after taking the Cleveland Browns football team at the time. Over the last 25 years, these teams have met six times, with the Bears holding the 4-2 series lead at this point.
The first meeting between the two came in 1998 when the Bears greeted the Ravens rather rudely with a 24-3 win. This was a late December game between two struggling teams that season and one that saw James Allen run all over the Ravens for 163 yards on 23 carries. Curtis Conway hauled in five receptions for 83 yards to go with one score in the win.
Three years later, these teams were back at it again, and this time, the Ravens got the upper hand topping the Bears 17-6 to even the series. It was the Matt Stover and Paul Edinger show early until Elvis Grbac found Sam Gash for the game-winning TD pass. Terry Allen added another touchdown later to give the Ravens a nice win.
Four years later, it was a similar story as these teams loved to play defensive games against each other. All it took for the Bears to win this game was a late first-quarter touchdown from Kyle Orton to Marc Edwards as the Bears defense held the Ravens to a pair of Stover Field goals. Robbie Gould added a late field goal for some extra cushion to give the Bears a 10-6 win.
The last win for the Ravens in this series came in 2009 as they evened things up 2-2 in the process. This was also the only game decided by more than 11 points as the Ravens pummeled the Bears 31-7. Joe Flacco had a massive day, tossing for four touchdown passes with two of them going to Todd Heap. An Earl Bennett punt return touchdown was the lone score the Bears could muster as the Ravens have outscored the Bears 101-97 in their six games because of this one blowout win.
Since that loss, these teams have met just two times, with the first coming in 2013 and the second in 2017. Not only have fans been treated to two incredible games, but both games went into overtime with the Bears emerging victors in both of them. The first of those overtime wins was a 23-20 November game in which Gould kicked home a game-winning 38-yard field goal.
Ray Rice and Matt Forte found the endzone on the ground in that game, while the Bears returned an interception for a touchdown to help pave the way to another win.
Four years later and another similar story as both these teams battled back and forth, with the Bears coming away 27-24 victors in overtime. This time it was Connor Barth putting home a game-winning 40-yard try as this was also the last time the Bears played in Baltimore. Not only did Barth make a pair of field goals, but the Bears pulled out all the stops with Zach Miller hauling in a 21-yard TD pass from Tarik Cohen while Dion Sims hauled one in from Mitch Trubisky later to help the Bears build a 17-3 lead.
Following a 96-yard kickoff return from Bobby Rainey and a Justin Tucker field goal to bring the Ravens within four, Adrian Amos picked off Flacco at the 10-yard line and returned it 90 yards for the score to put Chicago up 24-13. Tucker would connect for another field goal before Michael Campanaro took the punt return for a 77-yard score to help set up the game-tying two-point try. If history shows us anything about these teams, throw records out the window as this should be a great game.