It took over five hours and overtime to determine a winner, but the mud-caked Chicago Bears managed to withstand a late charge from the Baltimore Ravens and win in overtime, 23-20.
Sunday's game became a battle of which team could better manage the weather conditions. The first quarter was affected by the incoming storm, but even after the delay, winds inside Soldier Field died down and picked up in cycles, unpredictably altering how the teams could run their offense.
Throwing deep became a liability, too easily influenced by the wind. Heavy rain left the playing surface pitted and muddy, making it difficult for the teams to run. Ray Rice and Matt Forte managed the conditions as well as they could, but both teams were forced to dink-and-dunk to avoid the conditions as much as possible.
Joe Flacco was better able to throw in the wind, but the Bears offense operated better down the stretch. Chicago's big passing targets paired with the sure-handed Forte allowed Josh McCown to throw short and control the offense. Flacco had big plays, but margins in this game were too small to afford him throwing two interceptions. There weren't many offensive opportunities, too few to be squandered.
Sunday's win was huge for Chicago. The Detroit Lions melted down against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but still hold the lead in the NFC North with two head-to-head wins over the Bears. Sunday's win allows Chicago to remain in the Wild Card spot, and still in a position to take over the NFC North. Meanwhile in the AFC North, it's hard to see Baltimore being able to make a push to the playoffs following its sixth loss of the season on an afternoon when the Cincinnati Bengals extended their lead.
Fantasy studs and duds
Matt Forte had a big game as the Bears running back finished with 125 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
Ray Rice bounced back after a series of rough starts to run for 131 yards and a touchdown.
Did they cover?
11/24: Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets
11/24: Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams