The game plan to beat the Seahawks feels exactly, almost EXACTLY the same the Bears implemented against the Vikings. Shut down their big running back. Shut down their pass rush. Win. The Bears did the former in 2011, silencing Marshawn Lynch. They did a poor job on the latter and Caleb Hanie vomit to the bedpan by throwing what felt like a half dozen pick sixes. This was THE Caleb Hanie game of 2011. He wrecked it like gangsters were holding his family hostage.
But he's gone now. So I should calm down.
WHY DO I LIKE THE CHICAGO BEARS THIS WEEK?
- I always like the Chicago Bears.
- I will be sitting directly behind the Seahawks bench, taunting them until half their active 45-man roster has been driven to tears and their inactives have gone scurrying for the tunnel. (I'm looking at you, JR Sweezy.)
- I like the history. When Jay Cutler plays all four quarters and the Bears are favored to win, the Bears are undefeated through the last two seasons.
MARSHAWN LYNCH: TACKLE, TACKLE, TACKLE
Yes, when Lynch is tired on the bench, he eats Skittles for energy:
But that's on the bench. On the field Marshawn Lynch is one of the difficult running backs to tackle in the league. It won't take gap discipline or clever scheming from LoveRod to shut Lynch down. It will take old school toughness. It will take tackling from all three levels of the defense.
SEATTLE, HOME AND AWAY
At home the Seahawks are 5-0 with a +54 point differential. They average 24.6 points a game in those contests. They have one of the distinct and powerful home field advantages in all of professional sports.
On the road this season the Seahawks are 1-5 wit5h a -20 point differential. They average 16 points a game in those contests. They are simply a different side away from home.
Here are some more telling splits about these boys:
- Russell Wilson's QB rating is 126.1 at home. It is 75.5 on the road.
- Their terrific front seven has 17 sacks at home (most against Green Bay) and 12 on the road.
- They average 152.6 yards rushing at home. They average 126.2 on the road.
- The most telling statistic? Russell Wilson has 8 interceptions on the season. All of them are on the road.
MORE ANALYSIS? OH, IF YOU'RE GONNA BEG...
- The Adderall Twins - Sherman & Browner - are good, physical corners and Sherman has become one of the five or six best corners in the sport. Many complain the Bears don't have an offensive identity but they absolutely do. Jay Cutler throws the ball to Brandon Marshall. A lot. Let's see if the Seahawks can take it away.
- We spent a week talking about Jared Allen and the Vikings pass rush but the Seahawks pass rush is deeper and more dynamic. Two guys should scare you: Chris Clemons (pictured above) and Bruce Irvin. Clemons dominated the Bears last fall for two sacks and a ton of pressure while Irvin has validated Pete Carroll's selecting him 15th overall in April by recording seven sacks through his first eleven games.
- I would not expect the Bears to have a great day running the ball against a staunch defensive front, especially if Michael Bush is the primary back. Mike Tice should not be dejected by 15-20 carries, 60-75 yards and a few key short-yardage first down gains. Keeping the Seahawks front honest is Tice's primary goal Sunday.
- It'll be interesting to see what Armando Allen can do with non-garbage time carries.
THRIVE/SURVIVE: The Internet's #1 New Feature
- Thrive: With Russell Wilson struggling mightily on the road and throwing an interception basically every road game, look for Major Wright to come up with a errant toss into the Soldier Field wind. The man finds the ball.
- Survive: I'll say it. Where has Brian Urlacher gone the last few weeks? Sure he's made a play here or a play there but the Bears seem to be using Lance Briggs far more in coverage over the middle and Nick Roach was the best linebacker on the field Sunday. Urlacher will need to wrap up Sunday against one of the most difficult players to wrap up in the league. We need this kid:
I don't think this Seahawks team, and most specifically this Seahawks defense, is a group you can blow out without their offense putting them in difficult situations. The 'Hawks defense plays big boy football and the Bears need to match their desperate intensity or suffer an upset on the Lakefront. I think the quarterback who plays better Sunday wins and I think Cutler will make one or two big plays down the stretch.
Chicago Bears 20, Seattle Seahawks 13