Ravens-Bears: 5 Keys to the Game

5 keys - RavensInsider's regular weekly article. 5 things the Ravens must do in order to beat the Chicago Bears this weekend.

1. Win a field goal battle.
The Baltimore Ravens are facing if not their mirror image, an extremely close resemblance today when they take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. This football game is all about defense and field position. Which defense will exploit the other side's offense and give their yardage-challenged offense a prime opportunity to score? The Ravens are second in yards allowed, the Bears are third. The Bears are 30th in total yards, and the Ravens are 26th. In such a potentially slow-paced game, it will likely come down to the accuracy of the field goal kickers. Bank on the Ravens demonstrating a lot more confidence in veteran kicker Matt Stover than the Bears have in Baltimore castoff Robbie Gould. The Bears went for it on 4th-and-1 against the Vikings rather than attempt a 40-yard field goal.


2. Create turnovers.
The Bears' defense has proven superior thus far to the Ravens in taking the football away with a 13-6 turnover advantage over Baltimore. The Bears have lost the ball 14 times, and the Ravens have coughed it up 13 times. It's no coincidence that the Ravens had a plus-two turnover ratio in last week's win.


3. Generate enough of a running game.
The Bears allow only 3.3 yards per carry, so Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor will have their work cut out for them. Cutting off middle linebacker Brian Urlacher is a key along with getting blocks on the second level on outside linebacker Lance Briggs and safety Mike Brown.


4. Account for Muhsin Muhammad and Desmond Clark.
These are the Bears' chief playmakers downfield and both are athletic enough to create separation. It will fall to Chris McAlister and Chad Williams to cover them primarily. It's critical to get a jam on them, so they don't get a quick release into their patterns.


5. Throw it to Derrick Mason.
Charles "Peanut" Tillman is a strong, fast cornerback, but he lacks the quickness to stay with the Ravens' leading receiver on slants and out patterns.

Aaron Wilson is the chief writer for RavensInsider.Com He is also the Ravens' reporter for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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