|Other Week 15 Game Recaps|
|ARI at DET||ATL at NYJ||CHI at BAL||CIN at SD||CLE at KC||DAL at NO||GB at PIT||HOU at STL|
|IND at JAX||MIA at TEN||MIN at CAR||NE at BUF||NYG at WAS||OAK at DEN||SF at PHI||TB at SEA|
Week 15 Game Recap: Chicago Bears 7, Baltimore Ravens 31
|QB Jay Cutler, Pass: 10 - 27 - 94 - 0 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 4 - 23 - 0|
Even though Cutler had some of the worst numbers of his career, on the way to the worst season of his career, he did move the offense well in the first half. He showed that with good mechanics, he can put the ball anywhere he wants downfield on a rope. Still, when his mechanics and composure left him, he was beyond terrible. Cutler's first INT was a blind throw to a well-covered receiver, his second was a tipped ball by a rushing linebacker in the red zone, and his third INT was a throw to a well-covered receiver when the game was in hand for the Ravens. Cutler and his receivers were off on timing based throws in the end zone on the drive that ended with an incompletion to Greg Olsen on 4th and goal. His mechanics and execution got worse as the game went on. Cutler's body language showed that he was discouraged after a few early setbacks in a scene we've watched many times this year. Cutler did run well when given the chance, but that was one of the only positives in this game from the disappointing would-be franchise QB. In Cutler's defense, he was often under intense pressure, although he didn't handle that pressure well.
|QB Caleb Hanie, Pass: 2 - 5 - 8 - 0 TD / 1 INT|
Hanie got in late for a struggling Cutler and did no better. An errant throw was tipped in the air by the intended receiver and picked. At least there were won't calls for him to start from the Bears fans.
|RB Matt Forte, Rush: 20 - 69 - 0, Rec: 2 - 0 - 0 (3 targets)|
Forte actually started warm in this game, with the offensive line getting a good push and the playcalling mixing up the run and the pass. Forte was getting yards after contact by falling forward after hits, and he also made a nice cutback run in the red zone to get the Bears inside the Ravens 10, but he fumbled at the end of the run, one of two on the day. The second was deep in the Bears own end and effectively ended their chances of winning. Forte looked more like his 2008 self in this one against a tough defense, but he made 2009 mistake, and was playing with the 2009 QB, Jay Cutler.
|RB Kahlil Bell, Rush: 6 - 30 - 0 (1 targets)|
Bell got some touches in the red zone, including a first down conversion to set up first and goal, but he looks like an average backup RB with good enough burst, quicks, and toughness to hang on a roster, but not do much more.
|WR Johnny Knox, Rec: 4 - 29 - 0 (5 targets)|
Knox was not a factor in this game. He only had a handful of short catches, because Cutler never had time to target him deep.
|WR Devin Aromashodu, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (10 targets)|
Aromashodu wasn't nearly as favored in the game plan as he was last week, even though Devin Hester missed another game. He had a bad drop, and was only targeted on quick throws. You can slow down the Aromashodu train in dynasty leagues.
|WR Earl Bennett, Rec: 2 - 50 - 0 (4 targets)|
Bennett had a nice gain early on a quick throw that he took upfield through traffic with nice moves and a good burst. A back shoulder throw that worked last week with Aromashodu in the end zone was off this week when it went to Bennett, although Bennett did score the Bears only TD on a punt return that showed off the same tough running in traffic and good speed we saw on the early reception.
|TE Greg Olsen, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (5 targets)|
Olsen was well-covered all day, including on his end zone fade on 4th and goal. He was double covered on some downfield throws and the Ravens seemed to make a concerted effort to take him away.
|QB Joe Flacco, Pass: 21 - 29 - 234 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0|
Flacco's play was as good as his numbers in this one. He made plays with superior arm strength, impeccable timing, and great touch and accuracy. He hit Todd Heap for the first two TDs on the day, one on a route when Heap got inside the defender to shield him from the ball in flight, and the other on a nice touch pass when Heap got behind the defense. Demetrius Williams rewarded Flacco's trust with a good catch in double coverage in the end zone, and Derrick Mason ran another perfect route to account for the fourth TD. Flacco moved well and correctly anticipated where his receivers were going to be all day. He's hot heading into a matchup with major playoff implications against the Steelers.
|QB Troy Smith, Pass: 2 - 4 - 10 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 17 - 0|
Smith got in early for a few option snaps, and then came in for mop-up duty. He was very late on one of his throws and got it broken up, and he underthrew a ball in the red zone for his INT. Smith didn't flash anything as a QB to suggest that he deserves a longer look by another team in this game.
|RB Ray Rice, Rush: 16 - 87 - 0, Rec: 5 - 17 - 0 (5 targets)|
The Ravens line was creating big holes for Rice early, and he maximized those gains with good moves in the open field, a legit second gear, and the balance and strength to break weak tackle attempts. He set up a first and goal in the first half, but the Ravens called a passing play that Flacco and Heap converted on the next play. The Bears clamped down on Rice in the passing game, finding him quickly in space, and they also kept him from being effective in the second half when the game was getting out of hand. Rice did have a long catch and run negated by an incidental penalty. This game represents his floor on a day that the passing game took away all of his scoring opportunities.
|RB Willis McGahee, Rush: 4 - 9 - 0, Rec: 3 - 13 - 0 (5 targets)|
McGahee got most of his touches in the second half. He didn't show anything too impressive, but he did follow up a bad drop in the passing game with a nice one-handed catch. Joe Flacco was so efficient passing in the Bears end of the field that we never saw McGahee get a shot on a goal to go carry.
|RB LeRon McClain, Rush: 3 - 6 - 0|
McClain only got a few touches and never had a chance to get rumbling in the open field.
|WR Derrick Mason, Rec: 6 - 87 - 1 (10 targets)|
Just another day at the office for Mason, who was getting wide open with precise routes. His timing with Flacco was on point, and Mason was working both the sidelines and middle of the field like he has all season. Mason scored on a nice deep out route, and he almost caught a deep hail mary type throw from Flacco at the end of the first half, but Mason slightly mistimed his bid for the towering deep ball. He also caught another ball in the end zone, but couldn't get down in inbounds. He remains Flacco's favorite target heading into a matchup against the poor Steelers secondary.
|WR Demetrius Williams, Rec: 4 - 71 - 1 (6 targets)|
Williams deep ball tracking skills were on display in this one as he came down with a 32-yard TD despite double coverage and pass interference. He also made a third down conversion earlier in the game. He may get his foot in the door for a bigger role next year with a strong finish to 2009.
|TE Todd Heap, Rec: 5 - 56 - 2 (6 targets)|
On a day when the Ravens were short-handed at WR, of course they would lean on the veteran Heap. He was lined at WR and ran a terrific route to account for the Ravens first TD, and he seemed to be on the same page with Flacco for the first two quarters. Heap made a sprawling catch downfield at the sideline, and he was also targeted on a deep throw from a trick play formation. He has Flacco's trust and Heap is reasserting his place in the Ravens passing game as they make a playoff push.