The defending Super Bowl champions fall to a disappointing 4-6 while the Bears climb to 6-4 and 2-0 with Josh McCown as a starter.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the interconference showdown.
Joe Flacco Isn’t Worth $120.6 Million
Both Flacco and Bears quarterback Josh McCown attempted 31 passes on Sunday. Flacco is getting paid millions (with a capital S) more than McCown. That didn’t stop McCown from completing two more passes for 54 more yards and two fewer interceptions than Flacco.
Caliber of opposing defense isn’t an excuse. Chicago entered Week 11 ranked No. 23 in the NFL in passing yards allowed, surrendering 10.1 more per game than Baltimore.
Given that he just led the Ravens to a title, Flacco should without a doubt remain the starter through next season. If his struggles last weeks into the 2014 campaign, though, Baltimore needs to think about trying to find a successor.
Chicago Needs Jay Ratliff and Lance Briggs
Ratliff, former four-time Pro Bowl Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle, has yet to play a down as a Bear due to groin surgery, but—according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN—he could suit up as early as Nov. 24. Jeff Dickerson of ESPN originally reported after Briggs’ shoulder injury that he would miss at least six weeks, which would bring the linebacker back before the playoffs.
Chicago needs both badly. Ray Rice’s breakout performance made that more apparent than ever.
The halfback entered the game averaging 2.5 yards per carry, but he exploded for 131 yards and a touchdown on 5.2 yards a pop.
He exploited the Bears’ second-to-last ranked run defense, and so will their NFC playoff opponents without Ratliff and Briggs.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.
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