In Week 11, the Baltimore Ravens traveled to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bears in an interconference matchup. Despite not having starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, top wide receiver Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, and several other starters, the Ravens came away with a victory nonetheless thanks in large part to backup quarterback Tyler Huntley and some of their less-heralded players on both sides of the ball.
This article highlights the players whose performances flew under the radar but were still clutch. The unsung heroes:
RB Devonta Freeman
The eighth-year veteran continued to play well over expectation in this game as he’s been somewhat of of a saving grace for a Ravens’ backfield that was decimated by injuries prior to the season. Freeman led the team with 80 scrimmage yards, including a team-leading 49 yards rushing on a game-high 16 carries and 31 receiving yards on six catches. His 22 combined touches were a season high for the former two-time Pro Bowler and his most clutch was his last as it was the a last minute go-ahead score that proved to be the game winner.
TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 21, 2021
Tune in on CBS! pic.twitter.com/Gvu2hubC5h
ILB Patrick Queen
The second-year pro had arguably his best game of the season to date as he continues to shine bright as the starting WILL and actually out-snapped veteran Josh Bynes who had another solid outing as the starting MIKE. Queen led the team in total tackles with seven including one for a loss on his best play of the day.
The Bears were facing a third-and-5 from the Ravens’ 16-yard line when running back David Montgomery got the ball on a run to the right but Queen had it read all the way and shot into the backfield to make the big a takedown for a 6-yard loss. The lost yardage on the play proved pivotal in keeping Chicago from getting on the scoreboard on their first drive of the game as Cairo Santos missed a 40-yard field goal attempt on the next play.
P Sam Koch
The longest-tenured Raven showed just how much of a weapon he can be and still is with his clinical outing on Sunday. On an afternoon where points were hard to come by and both offenses struggled to consistently sustain drives, the 16-year veteran helped the Ravens win the battle for field position. Koch punted six times and two of his boots pinned the Bears’ inside their own 20-yard line. He could’ve had a third downed inside their 10-yard line had rookie receiver Tylan Wallace not misjudged the bounce as it went into the end zone for a touchback.
WR Sammy Watkins
The eighth-year veteran made up for committing the turnover that led to a decisive score for the Dolphins in the Ravens’ Week 10 loss by hauling in the crucial catch that set up what would be the game-winner against the Bears in Week 11. Facing a third-and-12 from Chicago’s 32-yard line, down by four points and needing a touchdown to win, Watkins was left wide open deep down the right sideline. A scrambling Huntley hit him in stride for a 29-yard gain to the Bears’ 3-yard line and the rest was history on the next play.
SAMMY WATKINS— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 21, 2021
tune in on cbs! pic.twitter.com/WUWjXe2CTq
DT Justin Madubuike
The second-year pro continues to quietly have an impressive sophomore season as he establishes himself as the next face of the Ravens’ interior defensive line. He tied veteran stalwart Calais Campbell for the most solo (2) and combined tackles (5) among the Ravens’ defensive linemen including a clutch tag-team tackle with veteran inside linebacker Josh Bynes for a loss on a fourth-and-1 that forced a turnover on downs early in the fourth quarter. Both Madubuike and veteran Justin Ellis dominated against the run with Brandon Williams out and according to PFF, he recorded two pressures and a sack on 20 pass-rushing snaps as well.
Highest-graded #Ravens in Week 11 (min. 25 snaps):— PFF BAL Ravens (@PFF_Ravens) November 22, 2021
1️⃣ Tyus Bowser, EDGE- 90.6
2️⃣ Justin Ellis, DI- 83.8
3️⃣ Justin Madubuike, DI- 77.6
4️⃣ Mark Andrews, TE- 73.5
5️⃣ Kevin Zeitler, OG- 68.1 pic.twitter.com/wO6tdjTIVI
OLB Jaylon Ferguson
The third-year pro was only on the field for 13 total snaps between defense and special teams but was still able to make one of the plays of the game give the Ravens’ shorthanded offense a short field to work with. With the team trailing by a point, 7-6, midway through the fourth quarter, Ferguson knifed through the Bears’ punt protection unit and got a piece of Chicago punter Pat O’Donnell’s punt with his elbow. The timely partial block led to a 28-yard shank and gave the Ravens the ball back in plus-territory at the Bears’ 45-yard line. They went on a seven-play scoring drive to take the lead, 9-7, back on Justin Tucker’s third field goal of the game.
FB Patrick Ricard
The two-time Pro Bowl fullback didn’t touch the ball much this game but his lone touch came on just his second carry of the season and like the first, it went for two yards and picked up a key first down. Trailing by a single point and facing a third-and-1 from their own 33-yard line, Ricard was given the ball on a dive play and after getting stood up initially, he powered his way forward to move the chains. Unfortunately, that drive ended with no points after Huntley was sacked on back-to-back plays at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter.
He would’ve picked up a first down and then some had his only target in the passing game been on target. Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman dialed up a well-timed rare screen to the fullback who had a pair of blockers and plenty of green grass in front of him but Huntley threw the ball just out of his reach.