The once-dominating Ravens defense gave up 231 yards rushing -- the most ever in the franchise's 22-year existence. For a team that built its reputation on shutting down running backs with the likes of Ray Lewis and Haloti Ngata, this run defense hit rock bottom against a Bears ground attack that ranked only 12th in the NFL.
The disturbing part is Baltimore knew Chicago was going to try to run the ball down the defense's throat because Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was making his first road NFL start. But the Ravens still couldn't stop the Bears, who ran the ball on 54 of their 75 plays and gained 67.5 percent of their yards on the ground.
It was painfully fitting that the Ravens, who were seven-point favorites, lost the game because of a missed tackle. Free safety Eric Weddle went to strip the ball from running back Jordan Howard, who broke free for a 53-yard run (the longest of the game) to set up the winning field goal.
"Unacceptable play. I should've made the tackle, obviously," Weddle said. "I had a good hand on the ball. You just can't do that in that situation. We were playing so well as a defense that it's unfortunate that we lost the game because of that. I have big shoulders, so I can manage my mistakes and move on from them."
The Ravens lost to a rookie quarterback at home for the first time under coach John Harbaugh (they had previously been 9-0). But it wasn't Trubisky's arm (8-of-16 for 113 yards) that beat Baltimore.
Howard gained 167 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Tarik Cohen added 32 yards rushing. And Trubisky scrambled for 32 yards, including 19 yards to convert a third down.
"[I saw] too many rushing yards," Harbaugh said. "We'll look at it. It's not going to be one thing. It's going to be different things on different plays. They blocked well. They had good backs that broke some tackles. That's always how it is when you run the ball for [many] yards."
The previous Ravens record for rushing yards allowed was set in 2012, when the Dallas Cowboys ran for 227 yards. This is a tough blow for a Ravens defense that had given up the second-fewest rushing yards since 2001.
"We're going to go to work, and we're going to get rid of this mediocrity s---," linebacker Terrell Suggs said.
No one should be shocked at how the Ravens' run defense has struggled. Baltimore's starting defensive front consisted of Michael Pierce (an undrafted player from a year ago) along with two players who were inactive for a total of six games this season (Willie Henry and Chris Wormley).
The Ravens' depth has been hurt by defensive tackle Brandon Williams (foot) missing the past four games, defensive end Brent Urban suffering a season-ending foot injury in Week 3 and defensive lineman Carl Davis being inactive with a thigh injury. The biggest loss is Williams, who signed a five-year, $52.5 million deal in the offseason. In two games with their top run-stopper, the Ravens allowed an average of 85 yards rushing. In four games without Williams, Baltimore has given up more than twice that (169.5 yards per game).
"It'll be exciting when he gets back," Henry said of the return of Williams, who could come back next week.