The Ravens jumped out to a 10-point lead before storms wreaked havoc on Soldier Field, leaving quarterback Joe Flacco feeling quite optimistic about his offense.
"I felt like we had the ability to really let it go today and explode on offense," Flacco said.
But whether it was the delay, the conditions or something else, Flacco and the Ravens offense wasn't the same after the nearly 2 two-hour break. And Flacco played a part in letting the Bears back in the game.
Flacco threw two costly interceptions in the Ravens' 23-20 overtime loss, both in the first half. One was returned for an easy touchdown and the other led to a field goal. The 10 points essentially wiped out the Ravens' early advantage.
"It's pretty frustrating," Flacco told reporters after the game.
"You come out and put 10 quick ones up and you feel like you're going pretty good. You feel like we were able to do what we want against them. Then you have the delay and you come out in the second half and the weather is just crazy. We kind of got out of rhythm."
Flacco has now thrown a career-high 13 interceptions this season. He has tossed five in his last three games: one in Cleveland, two to the Bengals and two more in Chicago.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP has just as many touchdowns as interceptions this season. He tossed just 10 picks all of last year (including four playoff games), and his previous career-high was 12 interceptions, which he threw in 2008 as a rookie, 2009 and 2011.
Flacco's first pick came in the second quarter right after Chicago got on the board with a field goal. The Ravens were trying to respond and Flacco dropped back, throwing a simple pass into the flat to fullback Vonta Leach.
Running back Ray Rice tried to take out the legs of 6-foot-4 defensive end David Bass, but Bass was able to shake off his block. Bass leapt into the air and got his fingertips on the pass and caught his own deflection. He returned it 24 yards, untouched, for the score.
"I saw Vonta open in the flat and next thing you know I saw a guy running the other way with the football," Flacco said. "He was just a lineman. You're not really paying too too much attention [to him]. You're trying to get a read downfield and we had a little curl, flat combo and Vonta came pretty open."
Flacco's second interception came when he was trying to make a play on third-and-16 near the end of the first half. The Ravens got the ball with less than two minutes left and were trying to get a quick score. But a sack, then false start penalty backed them up.
From his own 22-yard line, Flacco tried to thread a pass to tight end Dallas Clark in the seam. However, Bears rookie inside linebacker Jon Bostic made a nice play,* *turning his head and making a tough catch.
"I was just trying to give Dallas a one-on-one shot up the middle running with the Mike linebacker and the guy made a pretty decent play," Flacco said.
Flacco said the wind wasn't as much an issue on the field as the wet rain and mud. He said gripping the ball was difficult, throwing off the timing of some of the passing plays.
The Ravens signal caller did make some very nice throws despite the conditions, and outside of his interceptions. He squeezed a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Torrey Smith in the second quarter. He also hit wide receiver Tandon Doss for a few clutch completions.
Flacco finished 17-for-31 for 162 yards a touchdown and the two interceptions. Bears backup Josh McCown was 19-for-31 for 216 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
McCown hit a big 43-yard pass in overtime that proved to essentially be the game winner. Flacco had a pass on third-and-5 intended for Doss go incomplete to end the Ravens' only overtime drive.
"I think he got held. That's just me game-time. You guys probably had a better view of it than I did," Flacco told the media.
"We've just got to take care of business right now and it will all play itself out."