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The Chicago Bears Will Beat The Seattle Seahawks....Right?

Rock Mamola

Producer/Host on WSCR 670AM The Score.

It is NFL playoffs time and here come the Seattle Seahawks!  That is right!  Call your sons and daughters, batten down the hatches and get yourself ready for the barn burner of all barn burners!!
Wait.....the Bears are playing the Seattle Seahawks?  Really?  That team that finished the year 7-9 and winning the NFC West becoming the first team to win a division with a sub-.500 record?  
YES!! That team!
All season long the debate has been are the Chicago Bears more lucky than an actual good NFL team.  While the schedule week in and week out has worked in their favor and the only NFL team to face three third string starting quarterbacks this season, the Chicago Bears are what their record is....11-5.  They are the second seed in the NFC and will host the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday at noon for the opportunity to play for a trip to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, TX on Feb. 6th.  There is no way that the Chicago Bears after the year they have had will lose at home to a team they already lost too at the Lakefront this season twice.

While the Seattle Seahawks 41-36 victory over the defend Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints could be labeled as the greatest upset in the modern day NFL, you need to take a few things into consideration.  The first is the Seahawks played at home where the average decibel level can be compared to sticking you head into a F-16 engine for three hours.  "The 12th Man" as they call it in the Pacific northwest is indeed one of the tougher places for a road team to win because the 67,000+ in attendance are indeed a big factor when it comes to play at the line of scrimmage.  In fact since 2005, Qwest Field has been responsible for 107 false start penalties by the visiting opponent which is 20 more than any other field in that duration.  Even though the Seahawks were 7-9 on the year and finished the season losing seven of their last ten, the fact is coming off a win or go home game the week before against the Rams had the Seahawks with the momentum fueled by a home crowd all ready to win the game.
Even though the Saints are the defending champs and won seven of their last nine, it was really difficult traveling across the country to a hostile environment like Seattle when your franchise is win less on the road in the postseason.  You add in a little poor defense, poor tackling and one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL with their top rusher being hurt, it simply was not the Saints afternoon in Seattle.  The following day the Green Bay Packers took out Michael Vick in Philly and the Bears ended with the fourth seeded Seahawks coming to town because the overall top seed in the NFC faces the lowest seeded team in the bracket.  
While the Chicago Bears players and coaches will say that you cannot take the Seahawks lightly, is there really a chance of another upset in the making?
Right now the odds makers are saying the Bears are a 9.5 to 10.5 point favorite at home.  This is easily the highest the Bears have been favored all season long at home where most of their games they have been the underdog. In fact the last time these two teams met the Bears were a 6-7 point favorite and lost the game 23-20.  The Bears were without Roberto Garza on the offensive line and Lance Briggs in the line backing core.  Although Brian Iwuh finished leading the team in tackles that day replacing Briggs, the defense was shaky throughout and never got to Matt Hasselbeck.  In fact of the four games where the Bears defense did not record a sack in the game, Seattle was the only time the Bears lost the game and three of those games were at home (GB/@DAL/NYJ).   You would expect a Bears defense who is 100% healthy and with two weeks to prepare for their next opponent would come out and dominate the line of scrimmage on their home turf.   
The fact is since 2003, only five quarterbacks that make their playoff debut actually won the game.  Jay Cutler will be making his postseason debut this Sunday.  As balanced as the Bears offense has been since the bye week, the final game in Green Bay had to give some Bears fans pause as Mike Martz decided to pass the ball double the number of times he ran the ball.  That has not happened before the bye week but that should not concern Bears fans.  Although the game against the Packers was never out of hand and the Bears had nothing to play for and no position to gain or lose, it is ok to try some things out in a game like that.  Although I did not agree that the starters should have played as long as they did, the result was nil.  I would expect the Bears to stick with what worked after the bye week because there is no reason to change.  When the Bears ran the ball effectively they won, when they did not they lost.  It is easy to put this game all on Matt Forte's shoulders, but Bears fans should not be concerned about a Seattle Seahawks defense that allowed over 118 yards a game on the ground during the regular season.  If the Bears stick with the balanced running/passing attack, this should be an easy victory at home and moving on to play Atlanta/Green Bay for a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
Although the Bears did lose to Seattle at home back in week 6, the Seahawks only won one other game on the road all season long (@ARIZ).  The Seahawks lost to teams like the Raiders, Broncos, and 49ers during the regular season on the road.  Do you really believe they can come into Soldier Field cross country to play in the elements (expected snow/wind) and deal with the turf of Soldier Field?  Say what you will about Bears 5-3 home record this year, but after the bye week the only team the Bears lost to at home was the New England Patriots and they are the favorite to win the Super Bowl this year.  Although last week the only home team to win at home was Seattle and they were the biggest underdog, there is simply no way to comprehend how Seattle can replicate what they did in week six on the lakefront.  The 4th Phase will indeed be too much for this team without its 12th man.

As unpredictable as this NFL season has been, there is nothing that can be considered out of the question even in the NFL playoffs.  Although the AFC side of things may have aligned like many would have thought it did, the NFC is still an up-for-grabs conference with all four teams (including Seattle) in the conversation of whom will play of the Lombardi Trophy.  As big of a favorite the Bears are, the return of Lance Briggs, the offense gelling following the bye week and the home record since than as still cannot count out the Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are coming to Soldier Field with nothing to lose because what they have accomplished already is more unexpected than anything the Bears could accomplish this season.  With the highest turnover in the league and a new head coach, no one saw the Seahawks in this position.  While I expect the Bears to win this game on move onto the NFC Championship Game, the Seahawks should be nothing to be feared.
John "Rock" Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and host of THE ROCK REPORT on WSCR 670AM The Score
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Pinco Pallino said:

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Qwest Field. Not Quest Field.

Rock Mamola said:


Damn spellcheck.....thanx!

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