Ravens secondary up for Bears passing attack challenge

Lardarius Webb will likely draw slot receiver responsibilities again against the Bears. - Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens could have their hands full against big group of Chicago wideouts.

Coming off a big game against a tough Cincinnati receiving group, the Ravens' secondary will face yet another challenge as the team hopes to get back in the playoff race.

The Bears pose a tough challenge in the passing game, whether it's Jay Cutler or Josh McCown throwing the ball. Part of it is the timing of Marc Trestman's West Coast offense. Another part of it is the big, physical targets that the Bears possess.

First, the obvious:  Brandon Marshall is one of the game's elite receivers. He's a matchup nightmare for most teams. He leads the Bears with 786 yards and eight touchdowns on 93 targets. He's a big-time playmaker for Chicago and McCown will certainly look to get him the ball.

Then there's second-year receiver Alshon Jeffery, who's emerged in a big way this year. He's second on the Bears in receiving with 735 yards and three touchdowns. This includes a 218-yard day on Oct. 6.

Tight end Martellus Bennett is also a frequent target in Chicago's offense. All three players possess size and speed, which is a nightmare for any defensive coordinator.

The Ravens will likely stick with what worked against Cincinnati, and that's play Jimmy Smith and Corey Graham on the outside, with Lardarius Webb guarding the slot receiver. The Bears like to move their personnel around so the matchups should change throughout the course of the game.

"It's just a talented offensive core," Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Friday.  "Now we've seen that the last few weeks, so I feel good about what we've seen and being prepared for it. I think we've got the men for the job, but that's going to be job number one. First of all, you've got to stop Matt Forte, [and] make sure in the run and the pass that you do a great job of containing him. Secondly, running through their quarterback, you've got to stop that receiving corps."


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