The Chicago Bears (8-3) play host to the Seattle Seahawks (6-5) in a game that could have major playoff implications. The Bears could all but wrap up a playoff spot with a win, while a loss by the Seahawks would make for an extremely difficult playoff push.
Both teams will be out to play tough, physical defense. A timely turnover or a few key plays could be the difference in this game.
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago
When: Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m ET
Live Streaming: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Line: Bears -4.5 (via Bovada)
Seattle Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
|DB Byron Maxwell||Hamstring|
|DL Greg Scruggs||Oblique|
|DB Winston Guy||Suspension|
Chicago Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
|WR Alshon Jeffery||Knee|
|DL Matt Toeaina||Calf|
|RB Matt Forte||Ankle|
|WR Devin Hester||Head|
|DB Charles Tillman||Ankle|
What's at Stake?
The Seahawks have won in Chicago for the last two consecutive seasons and need to make it three-straight to stay in playoff position.
Seattle Seahawks Defense
While the Bears defense might be able to shut down the Seahawks offense, the opposite should be true of the Chicago offense, though.
The Bears' offensive line has struggled to protect the quarterback in recent weeks. Seattle shouldn't have a hard time mounting a successful pass rush and pressuring Jay Cutler. This would equate to points from sacks and opportunities to force turnovers.
Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall
It is hard to predict when the Seahawks are going to allow a big game to an opposing team or skill player. It seems they are either allowing a breakout game to a wide receiver or running back, or completely shutting the opposition down.
Marshall will be up against Seattle's tough corners, who could be on the verge of a four-game suspension. They may come out ready to explode, but they will likely end up over-pursuing and leaving opportunities for Marshall to move the ball.
With Alshon Jeffery out of this game, Marshall will need to pick up the slack in the passing game and offset the loss of Forte.
What They're Saying
This game is expected to be decided by defense. Both teams have top-five units, relative to yardage, QB performance and points scored.
ESPN.com's Mike Sando has several tweets on this subject, including a reference to quarterback performance.
This game could turn on one of the quarterbacks being able to perform in the face of pressure.
Key Matchup: Seahawks defensive line vs. Bears pass-blocking
If the Bears' struggling offensive line can give Jay Cutler a clean pocket he should be able to have a very good game. But if the Seahawks can get penetration and force Cutler into quick decisions, then their secondary will have the potential to make plays.
As much as I believe the Seahawks will find a way to lose this game, it is equally hard to ignore the troubles the Bears have had against teams with elite defensive units.
Seattle will feel the pressure and come out fighting in this game. The defense will generate pressure and control the outcome of the game.
Seahawks 21, Bears 17
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.