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Week 11 Preview: Ravens at Bears — November 21, 2021

Chicago Bears

The Bears will welcome the Ravens to Soldier Field this weekend, as they look to snap a four-game losing streak coming out of the bye. This will be the first meeting between the Bears and Ravens since Chicago topped Baltimore 27-24 in overtime on October 15, 2017, and it will mark the first time that the Bears have seen the Ravens with Lamar Jackson under center.

So, yes, it will be Justin Fields vs. Lamar Jackson, a battle of two young and dynamic dual-threat signal-callers on Sunday, and I can’t friggin’ wait for this matchup. If you were down on the Bears heading into the bye week after a tough Monday Night Football loss to Pittsburgh, a matchup like this is the perfect way to get excited again. This game will also cap the Bears season series against the AFC North. The Bears are 1-2 against the AFC North thus far with a win over the Bengals and losses to the Browns and Steelers.

“Never Tell Me The Odds”

The DraftKings SportsBook lists the Bears (3-6) as 5-point underdogs against the Ravens (6-3). Over/under: 43.5. More on the odds and ATS picks here.

Series History:

The Chicago Bears lead the Baltimore Ravens 4-2 in the all-time series. The Bears have won the last two meetings with the Ravens, both overtime victories against Baltimore. However, this is the first time the two teams have met since Lamar Jackson was drafted in Baltimore in 2018.

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: Soldier Field

Broadcast Info: Sunday, November 21 at noon CT on CBS-TV (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson), WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote), SportsUSA: Larry Kahn, Mark Carrier

Officials: Shawn Smith (referee)

Expected Starters and Lineups:

CHICAGO BEARS (3-6, 1-1 NFC North)
POINTS FOR:
150 (16.7 PPG, 29th)
POINTS AGAINST:
224 (24.9 PPG, 23rd)

Offense
•   QB Justin Fields
•   RB David Montgomery
•   WRs Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd
•   TE Cole Kmet
•   LT Jason Peters, LG Cody Whitehair, C Sam Mustipher, RG James Daniels, RT Larry Borom

Unavailable: RB/PR Tarik Cohen, WR Allen Robinson II

Defense
•   DT Angelo Blackson, NT Eddie Goldman, DE Bilal Nichols
•   OLBs Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson
•   ILBs Roquan Smith, Alec Ogletree
•   CBs Jaylon Johnson, Kindle Vildor
•   FS Deon Bush
•   SS Tashaun Gipson Sr.

Unavailable: OLB Khalil Mack, ILB Danny Trevathan, DT Akiem Hicks

Specialists
•   Cairo Santos (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Jakeem Grant Sr. (punt and kick returns)

Expected Starters and Lineups:

BALTIMORE RAVENS (6-3, 0-1 AFC North)
POINTS FOR:
 231 (25.7 PPG, 12th)
POINTS AGAINST:
217 (24.1 PPG, 22nd)

Offense
•   QB Lamar Jackson
•   RB Devonta Freeman
•   WRs Sammy Watkins, Rashod Bateman
•   TE Mark Andrews
•   LT Alejandro Villanueva, LG Ben Powers, C Bradley Bozeman, RG Kevin Zeitler, RT Tyre Phillips

Defense
•   DT Justin Madubuike, NT Brandon Williams, DE Calais Campbell, RUSH Justin Houston
•   MLB Josh Byrnes, WLB Patrick Queen, SAM Tyus Bowser
•   CBs Anthony Averett, Marlon Humphrey
•   FS Brandon Stephens, SS Chuck Clark

Specialists
•   Justin Tucker (kicker), Sam Koch (punter, holder), Nick Moore (long snapper), Devin Duvernay (kick and punt returns)

Three Bears

Roquan Smith will have to have one of his best games of the season if the Bears hope to slow down Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ offense. Jackson is essentially Baltimore’s starting quarterback and running back, and Roquan Smith will be tasked with making sure that Jackson can’t kill the Bears with his legs on Sunday. Smith has turned into one of the best interior linebackers in the NFL and has been playing with Brian Urlacher-like speed this season. He’s always on the ball or in the backfield. Roquan just knows how to make plays, and make plays aplenty he will have to this weekend against the dynamic Lamar Jackson.

Justin Fields’ breakout game came before the bye week when the rookie quarterback threw for 291 yards and a touchdown while completing 17-of-29 passes and rushing for 45 yards on eight attempts in a narrow loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cole Kmet was mic’d up during that game and was heard telling Justin Fields, “let’s build on it” as the two headed to the visitor’s locker room after the loss, and let’s hope that is precisely what Justin Fields does on the other side of the bye week.

Fields will go up against a Ravens defense that has allowed 24.1 points per game (22nd), 371.6 total yards per game (24th), and 283.3 pass yards per game (32nd). It’s a perfect opportunity for Justin Fields to cook this weekend against Baltimore’s league-worst pass defense, and it’ll be essential for Fields and the Bears to exploit that area of the game because the Ravens’ rushing defense is allowing only 88.2 yards per game and ranked 4th in the NFL.

Darnell Mooney and Justin Fields continued their blossoming relationship last Monday when Mooney and Fields hooked up five times for 125 yards and the late go-ahead touchdown that would have won the game had the Steelers not driven down the field to kick a game-winning field goal on the ensuing possession. Mooney has been excellent the last six games, catching 24 passes for 349 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His 24 catches and 349 yards are good for a 14.5 yards per catch ratio, which is very good. With the Ravens at the bottom of the league in pass defense, Fields and Mooney have a shot at doing some significant damage against Baltimore on Sunday.



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.