Baltimore Ravens (6-3) at Chicago Bears (3-6)
Kickoff: Noon, Sunday, Soldier Field, Chicago
TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson)
TV Streaming: CBS on fuboTV, free trial
Radio: WBBM AM-780, FM-105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote)
National Radio: Sports USA (Larry Kahn, Mark Carrier).
Spanish Radio: TUDN AM-1200, Latino Mix FM-93.5 (Omar Ramos, Miguel Esparza)
The line: Ravens by 5 (over/under 43 1/2). Betting information at SI.com.
BearDigest.com Pick: Ravens 27, Bears 20
BearDigest Record to date: 8-1 (8-1 vs. the spread)
The Series: Seventh meeting, Bears lead the series 4-2. The Bears won the last two, both in overtime. The last one in 2017 was 27-24 in Baltimore. The Bears are 3-0 against the Ravens at Soldier Field.
The Coaches: Ravens coach John Harbaugh is 135-82 in his 14th season and is 11-8 in the playoffs. He has a 1-2 record against the Bears. Bears coach Matt Nagy is 31-26 in his fourth season and 0-2 in the playoffs. He is facing the Ravens for the first time.
Last Week: The Ravens lost at home on Thursday night to the Miami Dolphins 22-10 as Jacoby Brissett and Tua Tagovailoa combined to throw for 314 yards and Lamar Jackson was limited to 26 of 43 for 238 yards with a touchdown and an interception while being sacked four times. The Dolphins held Jackson to 39 rushing yards on nine attempts, his second lowest total this year. The Bears had a bye week and in their last game on Nov. 8 lost 29-27 at Pittsburgh after Justin Fields led a fourth-quarter comeback with a TD pass to Darnell Mooney, and Mooney also scored on an end-around. The Bears had six completions of 20 or more yards, a season high, and Fields threw for a career-high 291 yards but Chris Boswell's 40-yard field goal won it in the closing seconds of a game marred by unusual officiating calls.
Injuries: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was a game-time scratch due to illness. He missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, returned on Friday but on Saturday was put back on the injury report as questionable due to the illness, which is not COVID-19. NT Brandon Williams (hip/neck), OLB Pernell McPhee (knee), WR Marquise Brown and WR Myles Boykin (finger) are out. TE Nick Boyle (knee), OL Patrick Mekari (ankle), RB Latavius Murray (ankle), CB Jimmy Smith (hip/neck), CB Taven Young (foot), CB Anthony Averett (thigh), WR Devin Duvernay (knee), T Cedric Ogbuehi (thigh) and LB Kristian Welch (foot) are quesitonable.
The Bears have lost edge rusher Khalil Mack for the season on IR and he will have foot surgery in the coming days. Akiem Hicks (ankle) and Danny Trevathan (knee) will miss the game and Trevathan has also gone on IR. Wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring) and running back Damien Williams (calf) are doubtful, while Elijah Wilkson (back) and safety Eddie Jackson (hamstring) are questionable. Wide receiver Darnell Mooney (foot) practiced all week on a limited basis and has been removed from the injury report.
What to watch: Will the Ravens bounce back after their most embarrassing defeat of the year? ... Can Baltimore's pass defense stiffen after the Ravens dropped to last in the league against the pass this week? ... Will it be another extra-long, wild Ravens game. They've been in three overtime games, winning the last two including one over the Vikings Nov. 7 34-31. They have three wins when they trailed by double digits in the second half. ... Can the Bears end a four-game losing streak and set themselves up for a return engagement with the Lions on Thursday, one of the three teams they've beaten. ... Is it possible for the offensive momentum with Fields that the Bears had against Pittsburgh in the fourth quarter to continue, as it's allowed them to pull out of last in the league in total offense. They had a season-high 414 yards in that game. ... Will the Bears defense be able to compensate for the losses of Hicks, Mack and Trevathan, three veteran leaders? Are the Bears finally going to end this seven-year jinx with losses after the bye week.
Matching Up: Through Thursday, the Ravens are second on offense, 10th passing and first rushing the ball. Baltimore is 24th on defense, 32nd (last) agianst the pass and fourth against the run.
The Bears are 31st on offense, 32nd (last) passing and fifth running the ball. The Bears are 12th on defense, 10th against the pass and 22nd against the run.
Notable: Baltimore's defense is giving up 6.2 yards a play, the worst in the NFL. ... Baltimore failed to cover the spread on six of its nine games. ... Ravens WR Rashod Bateman has 18 receptions in the last four games including a career-high six last week. ... Jackson has a rushing or passing TD in 45 straight games, the NFL's longest streak. ... Jackson has 10 100-yard rushing games, tied for the most in NFL history for a quarterback with Michael Vick. ... Baltimore is without LB Odafe Oweh, is third among rookies in sacks with four. ... The Bears have 926 yards rushing in the last six games. ... The Bears have gone 137 straight pass attempts without making an interception.
Key Individual Matchups
Bears LG Cody Whitehair vs. Ravens DE Calais Campbell
Whitehair will not be the only Bears offensive lineman who will face this challenge because the Ravens move the 6-foot-8, 300-pound Campbell up and down the line. Campbell is now 35 years old and has only half a sack on the year but somehow has been a dominant force up front from numerous spots on the line, usually matching up against a guard. Sometimes they'll even put him over the center. What he has done is provide teammates on the line or at linebacker with assistance making plays all year, and he's disrupted so much all year that Pro Football Focus ranks the former Cardinal and Jaguar as the fourth-best interior defensive lineman in the league this season. Only Cameron Heyward, Aaron Donald and Jonathan Allen grade out ahead of him. Campbell's long reach could make it tough on Justin Fields, who has had a few problems with batted passes going for interceptions. Heyward did it to him in the last game. Whitehair had a shaky start according to PFF's blocking grades but has since turned it around like many of the other Bears offensive lineman. PFF grades him No. 27 out of all the league's guards at 66.8, including 68.4 as a run blocker. Whitehair has allowed three sacks this year. That matches a career high, but he still has eight games to avoid adding to the total.
Bears S Tashaun Gipson vs. Ravens TE Mark Andrews
Finding a way to cover Andrews is a real Bears problem. He is on track for a career-best season as a receiver and has 48 receptions for 623 yards with four TDs, all while posting his best catch percentage at 69.6% of targets. The Bears will need to cover him with a defensive back in man-to-man situations because Roquan Smith will need to be spying on Jackson and their other two inside linebackers are not going to adequately blanket a former Pro Bowl player. Gipson has battled through injuries and played in just six of the nine games, with a passer rating against of 110.6, his worst in the last four seasons, and has given up 77.8% completions when targeted. He also has missed on 14.8% of tackles, another high count in the last four years.
Bears TE Cole Kmet vs. Ravens LB Patrick Queen
The second-year inside linebacker from LSU has endured pass coverage issues for Baltimore and it's an area of the field the Bears can exploit with tight ends Cole Kmet, Jimmy Graham or Jesse James. More likely it would be Kmet as the Bears seem to think Graham's best usage is in deeper ranges or the red zone when he turns 35 in a week. Kmet enjoyed his best NFL game overall against Pittsburgh as a receiver and has gained momentum as Justin Fields developed more confidence in him. In the last four games, all four opponents hurt the Ravens with tight end receptions and even Adam Shaheen found a way to make three receptions against them Thursday for Miami. Queen has a 39.6 PFF grade, 73rd out of 86 linebackers graded.
Bears OLB Robert Quinn vs. Ravens LT Alejandro Villaneuva
Villaneuva left the Steelers as a free agent and landed in Baltimore and is hardly a punching bag for anyone in a career with two Pro Bowl berths. However, the 6-foot-9 Villaneuva hasn't been at his best this year as a pass blocker. PFF gives him a steady 65.5 overall grade but only a 53.5 grade as a pass blocker. Quinn leads the Bears with 6 1/2 sacks and key offsides penalties marred his last effort. His goal in this one is not entirely beating Villaneuva but actually doing it while staying in his rush lanes. This makes it tricky. Edge rushers who take too wide a path to the QB or get too caught up with the inside lanes will run the risk of Jackson breaking free for good yardage scrambling or on RPO plays.