5 bold predictions for Bears’ Week 11 matchup vs. Ravens

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Football resumes this weekend for the Chicago Bears as they come off their bye week to face the Baltimore Ravens on the lakefront. All eyes will be on the two young quarterbacks, Justin Fields and Lamar Jackson, but this game is also about two teams looking to get back on track.

The Bears have dropped four games in a row and are dealing with significant injury issues, particularly on the defense. Khalil Mack and Danny Trevathan have been placed on the season-ending injured reserve, while Akiem Hicks and Allen Robinson are both likely out as well. For the Ravens, they were rolling until they were bottled up by the Miami Dolphins on a Thursday night.

Which team will find themselves back in the win column? More importantly, what exactly will we see from this Bears team coming off extra rest down multiple key leaders? Here are my bold predictions ahead of this week’s matchup.

Justin Fields gets his first 300-yard game

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We came so close to seeing Fields eclipse the 300-yard mark during his last game when the Bears lost a heartbreaker to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The rookie led the offense on a comeback in the second half, throwing for 291 yards and a touchdown. It was easily his best performance of his career and this week, he’ll top it.

Fields is facing a Ravens defense allowing the most passing yards in the league per game with 283.3. Quarterbacks have been having field days (no pun intended) against them for much of the season. Fields was able to dissect one of the best pass defenses in the NFL in his last game and with him growing the last few weeks, there’s a real possibility he lights it up on Sunday.

Marquise Goodwin has his best game as a Bear

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Aside from a nice play here and there, we really haven’t seen much of Marquise Goodwin this season. The speedster was brought in to be the WR3 and take the top off of the defense at will. That hasn’t happened nearly enough as he only has 12 catches for 173 yards. But with Allen Robinson likely missing this game due to a hamstring injury, Goodwin is in line for a big day.

Not only will he see more snaps than he normally does, Goodwin will have his chance to burn a Ravens secondary that doesn’t defend the deep ball well. Receivers are running free behind safeties and corners. We also know Fields isn’t afraid to let it rip either, making this the perfect storm for a huge game from Goodwin. I’m picking him to have four catches for 85 yards on Sunday.

Robert Quinn notches another sack

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Robert Quinn has been sensational this season, but he’s going to have to keep up the production now that Mack is out for the season. Fortunately, he has a matchup that goes in his favor against Alejandro Villanueva. The Ravens left tackle has allowed six sacks on the season already and Quinn has no problem blowing past left tackles.

Even facing a quarterback like Jackson who can avoid the pressure with ease, Quinn’s found an extra step in his 11th-year, showing quickness and speed that we didn’t see last season. He’ll get home yet again at least once on Sunday and add to his team-high 6.5 sacks.

Eddie Jackson creates a turnover

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This is the one prediction that feels like a broken record, but hear me out. Prior to getting hurt, Jackson actually played pretty well against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a month ago. He was close to getting a turnover and did a sold job of reading Tom Brady. The next week, he goes out early with a hamstring injury and misses the last game as well, but now coming back, I think he takes advantage of Jackson’s desire to throw the ball deep.

The Ravens have a solid group of wide receivers, from Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to rookie Rashod Bateman, but they’re not world beaters by any means. It’s easy to pick on Jackson but I see him playing this weekend and finally coming up with a turnover. It has to happen sometime, right?

The Bears have their fewest penalties since Week 1

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The Bears like to talk about the four phases of the game: offense, defense, special teams, and the fans. But the fifth phase recently has been penalties and they haven’t been on the right side of that. During their last game, the Bears had a season-high 12 accepted penalties for 115 yards. Some of those calls were egregiously bad, but it still calls into question this team’s discipline. I think that finally gets rectified this week.

Penalties were discussed the last two weeks at nauseum. Players and coaches had to address the issues and it’s become a focal point for Matt Nagy’s staff. Perhaps I’m giving them too much credit for believing they’re drilling the basics back into the players, but I think with being at home and having extra time to address it, this team commits three penalties at most. It also helps that Shawn Smith’s crew will be officiating the game and he rarely calls taunting penalties.

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