It's game day Ravens Nation and that means it's time for Ravens101's key matchups to watch for as the Baltimore Ravens find themselves in practically another must win game today against the Chicago Bears.
There are always several key matchups to watch for in every game, but we have narrowed them down to the five most important for the Ravens to win this football game.
Daryl Smith vs Matt Forte
It is almost unfair to list it as Smith vs Forte as really it will be a group of players, but Smith will be the key to defend Forte today. Forte is one of the best duel threat running backs in the league and presents several mismatches for opposing defenses, but Smith will have to find a way to slow him down in the passing game and keep him from getting to the third level in the running game. Smith should be keeping one eye on Forte at all times, especially on passing plays where Forte could be the check down option.
Lardarius Webb vs Brandon Marshall
This is going to be fun to watch as two of the top guys at their respective positions will be going at it for most of the game today. Earlier this week Marshall mentioned how Webb has dominated him in the past, and Lardarius is going to almost have to do that again today in order for the Ravens to be successful. Chicago has another threat in Alshon Jeffery on the other side, so if Webb can handle Marshall on his own, that would be a huge lift for the Ravens secondary.
Justin Tucker vs Soldier Field
The weather is supposed to be downright brutal for today’s game and that will not help with the field conditions. Soldier Field already has a playing surface that receives a lot of scrutiny due to its choppiness and poor footing and when you throw in the bad weather that is expected today, Justin Tucker is going to have to be extremely careful when attempting field goals. Tucker’s ability to handle to poor playing surface is going to be huge in this game.
Ravens pass rushers vs Bears O-Line
Chicago protects the quarterback about as well as anybody in the NFL as they allow the third fewest sacks per game in the league, but will be going up against a defense that averages the second most sacks per game, thus it will be a classic battle between one team’s strength against another team’s strength.
Composure vs Weather
It does not happen very often, but today appears to be one of those days where the weather is going to be one of the biggest factors in the game. Whichever team can keep their composure the most in regards to the brutal weather that is predicted to occur today will likely find themselves with a victory at the end of the day. The ball will be slick, the wind will be blowing and the field will be treacherous, but the team that handles the conditions the best will come out on top.
These are our key matchups to watch for in today’s game between the Ravens and Bears, what are yours? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment!
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