Edgar Allen Poe penned one of the greatest poems of all-time in “The Raven”. We all know the gist of it — a man is disturbed by what he thinks is just the wind rapping against his window, but it turns out to be a raven that only says “Nevermore”. Incensed by this, the man tries to pry more words out of the raven. No luck, and the man loses his sanity.
The philosophical undertones of this poem can be discussed elsewhere, but I can not help but notice how close this poem resembles what fans of the Baltimore Ravens (4-5) go through when they watch the team.
Like the raven, they knock on the windows and show up on the televisions of unsuspecting fans, who have no idea what they are about to see. They wonder if the team will gift wrap yet another game, or if they will finally win a game they are supposed to win. Just like the raven drove the man insane, they continue to drive their fans insane with their mediocre play when they have the talent to be much, much better than the product they throw on the field every week. The Chicago Bears (5-4) are in a similar situation, but a poem titled “The Bear” does not seem to conjure up the same story and tone made famous by Poe.
This is a game both teams need to win. For the Bears, a loss can only mean the worst for their playoff hopes. For the Ravens, they are in a logjam with the Cleveland Browns for second place in a surprisingly tough AFC North.
Keys to victory for Chicago Bears
The Windy City will live up to it’s name, as wind gusts are projected to be over 25 miles per hour. Above all else, the Bears must use this to their advantage. They have played in this type of weather many times before, and they have been successful in rattling the opposing team’s offense. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has a strong arm, but there is nothing like the wind in Chicago. The defense needs to be on their toes and look out for any wobbly passes and be sure to pick them off.
The weather may not be best for passing, so the run game for the Bears is something to keep an eye on. Running back Matt Forte, who ranks seventh in the NFL with 691 rushing yards, can take advantage of a Ravens defense that allows about 100 yards a game. If the Bears want to have a successful run game Sunday, ball security must be at the top of their priority list as it will be difficult to handle in the rain.
Quarterback Josh McCown will have a tall task ahead of him with those tough linebackers in Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs among others lined up across from him. He will need to make smart decisions and not divert from the game-plan, especially with the weather.
The importance of Sunday’s game can not be understated. Win, and the Bears move in to much better playoff position. Lose, and the team’s playoff outlook will look very bleak.