Bears- Ravens: Gameday inside slant

Week 7 in the NFL sees the Ravens (2-3) visiting the Chicago Bears (2-3) at Soldier Field. We take a quick look at what to look for on each side of the football and what each team needs to do to win.

When the Ravens have the football

Expect offensive coordinator Jim Fassel to try to set up the run with some short to intermediate throws from quarterback Anthony Wright. The running game was successful last week, but the Ravens rarely challenge a team that's as stingy against the run as the Bears. Reference recent encounters against Tennessee and Pittsburgh, and you'll find that Baltimore often abandons the run once it learns it's ineffective. This time, they may try to reverse that trend by going to the air earlier rather than throwing after they fall behind. It's a more aggressive approach that could pay dividends if Wright is careful with the football.


Key matchup

QB Anthony Wright vs. S Mike Brown

It's imperative that Wright not fall prey to Brown's expertise at setting a quarterback up for a fall. Brown often jumps routes by making it appear he's heading elsewhere then swoops in for the interception.


When the Bears have the football

Anticipate offensive coordinator Ron Turner testing the middle of the Ravens' defense. Although the Ravens haven't given up many yards, All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis looks more and more like he has less impact in taking on blocks from larger players. Thomas Jones is a solid runner who's having his best season ever. Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan will try to confuse rookie quarterback Kyle Orton and might throw a batch of the 46 defense at him in Chicago two decades after Ryan's father, Buddy Ryan, helped the Bears win a Super Bowl with a dominant 46 scheme and athletes.


Key matchup

CB Chris McAlister vs. WR Muhsin Muhammad

McAlister has allowed only one touchdown this season and leads the team with eight pass deflections. This should be an ultra-physical matchup between the 6-1, 206-pound McAlister and 6-2, 215-pound Muhammad.

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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