6 burning questions for Bears against the Ravens in Week 11

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The Chicago Bears (3-6) will face the Baltimore Ravens (6-3) on Sunday, where the Bears are looking to return from the bye week with an upset win over the Ravens.

While Baltimore are heavy favorites and no one is giving Chicago a chance, this is certainly a winnable game — if the Bears play near-flawless, complementary football.

To get the inside scoop on the Bears’ Week 11 opponent, we checked in with Kevin Oestreicher at Ravens Wire, who offered his insight on what we can expect for Sunday.

Here’s what we learned:

Bears Wire: The Ravens have one of the best records in the AFC, but they’ve also been a mixed bag with some impressive wins but losing to the Dolphins and nearly losing to the Lions. What do you make of this Ravens team?

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Ravens Wire: Baltimore has been a bit inconsistent this year, but still have a 6-3 record and are currently on top of the AFC North. Injuries have played a massive part in some of the Ravens’ struggles, but every team deals with that aspect of the game. It’s just that Baltimore has been the team hit the hardest by injuries in 2021. They are an extremely resilient bunch and have had some great come from behind wins, but in missing so many key pieces, things were never going to go perfectly. All things considered, it’s been a mostly impressive season by Baltimore through 10 weeks.

Bears Wire: The Ravens are coming off their worst offensive performance of the Lamar Jackson era against the Dolphins. How much of those struggles fall on Jackson?

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Ravens Wire: Some of those struggles certainly fall on Jackson. The fourth-year quarterback has overall taken a massive leap as a passer in 2021, but in Miami he struggled with an aggressive Dolphins defense. Part of the blame also falls on offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who arguably had his worst game as a play caller on Thursday night. A combination of execution and play calling are to blame for Baltimore’s performance in Week 10.

Bears Wire: If there’s an area of weakness to exploit on this Ravens defense, where is it?

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Ravens Wire: The pass defense for Baltimore has been a big struggle for them this season. The team lost cornerback Marcus Peters for the year before the season began, and recently lost safety DeShon Elliott. Those injuries have contributed, but as a whole the Ravens have struggled to defend the pass, ranking in the bottom-five in both yards allowed through the air and net yards per attempt allowed.

Bears Wire: Which matchup most intrigues you in this game?

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Ravens Wire: I’m really interested to see Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and Bears linebacker Roquan Smith go up against each other. Smith is arguably one of the biggest leaders on the Chicago defense, and he’s an absolute stud. However, so is Jackson, and I’m excited to see the two lead their respective units.

Bears Wire: Finish these sentences. The Ravens win IF… and the Bears win IF…

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Ravens Wire: The Ravens win IF they can get off to a fast start and avoid miscommunications on defense. There were multiple factors that contributed to Baltimore’s Week 10 loss to Miami, and those were two of the biggest ones that could have changed the outcome of the game if executed better. The Bears win IF they can keep the Ravens defense on the field and convert on third down. Baltimore has one of the best third down defenses in the NFL so far, so if Chicago can extend drives by converting, it could be a long day for the Ravens’ defense.

Bears Wire: With that said, what’s your prediction for Sunday’s game?

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Ravens Wire: I think that the Ravens are hungry for a victory after such a disappointing loss in Week 10, and will come out with motivation and energy. Both teams could be missing multiple key contributors who appeared on the injury report this week, but I think that Baltimore will avoid many of the mistakes they made last Thursday night and move to 7-3. Ravens 27, Bears 17

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