Bears outlast Ravens for 23-20 victory

In a marathon game this afternoon, the Bears pulled out a crucial home win over the Baltimore Ravens, pushing Chicago into a tie for first place in the NFC North.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears had to wait out a long rain delay and put in extra time to come away with a much-needed win.

Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal to lift the Bears to a 23-20 victory over Baltimore Sunday in a game delayed about two hours by a torrential downpour.

Justin Tucker tied it for the Ravens with a 21-yard field goal at the end of regulation.

The big delay came after Tucker kicked a 52-yard field goal with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter. Fans were ordered to take cover. Players headed to the locker rooms as heavy rains and winds whipped through Soldier Field. They emerged about two hours later with the sky clearing and the sun coming out, but the rain and wind returned in the third quarter, turning the stands into a sea of ponchos.

Gould won it with a 38-yarder on third-and-8 with 8:41 left in OT, and the Bears (6-4) came away with the win after dropping four of six.

They were leading 20-17 with 10:33 remaining in regulation after Matt Forte scored on a 14-yard screen from Josh McCown, dodging three or four defenders along the way, but the Ravens (4-6) made one big push down the stretch to send it to overtime.

They drove from the 16 to the 2, getting a one-handed catch from Dallas Clark on a fourth down at 44. After Joe Flacco overthrew Torrey Smith in the back of the end zone on third down, Tucker tied it at 20-all with 3 seconds left.

McCown threw for 216 yards with Jay Cutler sidelined by a high left ankle sprain. Alshon Jeffery had seven catches for 83 yards. Forte added 42 receiving and 83 rushing.

Julius Peppers had two sacks. David Bass returned an interception for a touchdown, and Jonathan Bostic set up a field goal by Gould at the end of the first half with an interception.

The Ravens were able to get their ground game going, with Ray Rice rushing for 131 yards and a touchdown against a team that's struggled to stop the run. But Flacco had a rough day, throwing for 162 yards and getting picked off twice.

The Bears scored 10 points in a 12-second stretch in the second quarter, on a 20-yard field goal by Gould and a 24-yard interception return by Bass. He picked off Flacco at the line and ran untouched to the end zone, Chicago's fourth interception return for a TD this season, but Baltimore immediately answered with an 80-yard scoring drive.

Flacco lofted a 5-yard scoring pass between two defenders to Smith to put the Ravens back on top, 17-10, with 4:08 left in the half. But an interception at midfield by Bostic with a minute left led to a 46-yard field goal by Gould as time expired, making it a four-point game at the half.

And what a strange half it was.

Play was stopped just after 12:30 p.m. CT and didn't resume until 2:25. There were reports of at least one tornado touching down in Illinois and extensive damage in at least one part of the state. At Soldier Field, long lines formed in the upper deck as drenched fans tried to make their way toward the tunnel with lightning striking near the stadium.

The rain was so heavy it looked as if the Chicago skyline was gone. Fans in suites and reporters in the press box were ordered to move away from the glass. At one point, a spectator ran across the field and got tackled by about three or four security guards before being escorted away.

Fans were finally allowed to return to their seats at 2:07 p.m. CT as the skies temporarily cleared, and they let out a big roar when Bears players started trotting onto the field three minutes later. The rain made for a messy field, with players slipping and sliding.


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