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NFL: Bears must prep for not just Ravens, but wind

Published: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 11:36 p.m. CDT
When the Bears hand the ball to Matt Forte this Sunday, he'll have to deal with the Ravens' formidable front seven. When he's used in the passing game, the wind could be a worthy adversary.

The Bears are aware of the disruptive defense heading to Soldier Field on Sunday.

The Ravens own a top-10 run-stopping unit, allowing 102.6 yards per game. They have a pass rush that has produced 32 sacks – 18 more than the Bears.

A dangerous front seven includes feisty nose tackle Haloti Ngata, plus edge rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, all of whom have Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer fortifying his pass-protection plans.

“[Dumervil] is very powerful, has speed coming off the edge, and will turn the power on you,” Kromer said. “So you’re trying to catch up to his speed, and then he’s knocking guys into the quarterback. And Suggs has multiple moves. He’ll show with his power, knock your hands off and get to the quarterback.”

A quick, efficient passing attack could be the best antidote. But if the Ravens defense didn’t provide enough obstacles to work around, a warm day also might greet the Bears’ offense with rain and blustery winds.

The latter – which forecasts indicate could include gusts up to 25 mph – could alter Marc Trestman’s play calling, particularly with passes outside the numbers.

Operating into the wind, Trestman said, will require a clock-controlling running game. With the wind?

“You have to try to make the most of it,” Trestman said. “Into the crosswind, certainly what you do outside the numbers is affected as well as the depths of routes. But it’s all incorporated in the framework of the game plan.”

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