Bears overcome Ravens and two-hour storm delay
The Chicago Bears waited out a severe thunderstorm and put in extra time to seal a much-needed 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Robbie Gould landed a 38-yard field goal in overtime seal the victory on Sunday after the game had been delayed for about two hours by a torrential downpour. The match had been tied at the end of regulation time when Justin Tucker kicked a 21-yard field goal for the Ravens.
With 4:51 remaining in the first quarter play was suspended, after Tucker kicked a 52-yarder. Fans in the ground were told to take cover while the players left the field as heavy rains and winds battered Soldier Field. The players came back about two hours later, as did the sun, but the rain and wind returned in the third quarter.
The Bears players stretched and discussed their game plan during the delay.
"I closed my eyes and just tried to think about the game, visualise the game a little bit," Bears quarterback Josh McCown said. "And kind of assess what happened the first two series. What did we do wrong? Why weren't we moving the ball? What are they going to do to us?"
The Ravens are no strangers to delays. They experienced a power outage in the Super Bowl, while lightning pushed back the start of their season-opening game at Denver. Both of those delays lasted just 34 minutes, though.
"I think we've led the league in delays over the last few years," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
With 8:41 left in overtime, Gould won the game with a 38-yarder on third-and-eight at the 20. The Bears (6-4) had lost four of their last six.
The Bears had been 20-17 ahead with 10:33 remaining in regulation time but the Ravens (4-6) sent the game to overtime. After Joe Flacco overthrew Torrey Smith in the back of the end zone on third down, Tucker made it 20-20 with just three seconds remaining.
Subbing for the injured Jay Cutler, McCown threw for 216 yards without being intercepted. He has five touchdowns and no turnovers in four games and two starts.
"It's definitely one of those days where you look across the field and (see) Joe Flacco and look on the sideline and Jay's over there," McCown said. "And I'm like, 'Can I borrow somebody's arm?'"
Flacco didn't have the best of days, throwing for 162 yards and getting picked off twice. "Every time you get the ball, it either was wet or had all kinds of mud on it," he said. "It was an issue for the timing stuff, getting a grip on it quick enough."
Play resumed at 2:25 p.m. CT after being stopped just after 12:30. At least one tornado was reported to have hit Illinois, with lightning striking near the stadium. "It was pretty muddy, windy," the Ravens' Martellus Bennett said. "I feel like I've been fishing all day."
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