Can Matt Forte come through for the Bears in a Windy City rematch?
Many of you must be curious.
To make a long explanation very brief, Warren's Word will be a weekly article based on greater sports events, and my take on them. It may happen more than once a week, as I see fit.
This week, we have a topic that no Chicago native can ignore: The grudge match between The Monsters of the Midway, and the Seattle Seahawks.
When they first met, Chicago was a highly motivated team. Most sports writers and "expert analysts" had picked the Bears to finish in the bottom half of the NFC North, and gave them very little chance to even have a shot at the division crown.
Enter Week 6, and Chicago has a 4-1 record. Cementing a win over a team from the weakest division in the NFL should be easy, right?
Not when the team allows six sacks, a safety, and can't convert on a single third down.
Seattle's Lawyer Milloy was quoted as saying that the Seahawks were "Licking their chops," just at the thought of playing Chicago. This time, the Seahawks may feel the same, but they're facing a very different team than they did before.
Chicago found their groove in the following months, winning five of their next six contests. They've gone back to relying on the running game to eat up the clock, and using a punishing defense to hold opponents to an average of just under 18 points a game.
Who will be the better quarterback on Sunday?
Seattle, on the other hand, is just getting into their groove. Matt Hasselbeck has been reborn into his 2005 form, Marshawn Lynch is running hard and giving it his all on every play (Tell me you saw that touchdown run against the Saints,) and Mike Williams has emerged as a dangerous receiver.
Chicago can certainly hope to add a few more turnovers to their resume in this game. Hasselbeck has looked unstoppable in one postseason game, but during the regular season, he threw 17 interceptions, opposed to just 12 touchdowns, and was though he was playing hurt, he was prone to making poor mistakes.
Chris Harris and Charles Tillman can look to add to their interception totals, as they share the team lead with five a piece. Seattle's running game is starting to come around, however, so look for them to keep the ball on the ground a bit more.
Seattle will almost certainly be bringing the blitz as often as they can. Jay Cutler was sacked 52 times in the regular season, and Seattle accounted for six of those sacks in the first meeting. If they can get the pressure on Cutler early, it could force the Bears to become one dimensional, in order to protect their quarterback. Chicago will have to resort to using quick, three-step drop passes to avoid the pressure.
Many questions swirl about this match up, as both teams have questions marks at pivotal positions.
Will we see the Matt Hasselbeck who had one of his worst seasons as a starter, or the one who threw four touchdowns against a tough Saints defense?
Will we see the Jay Cutler that looked lost and helpless in the Bears' losses, or the Jay Cutler that every Chicago fan hoped he would be when he was acquired?
Will Matt Forte win the ground battle, or will Marshawn Lynch rule the field once again?
Among all of the smaller questions that remain, one larger one shadows over them all: Can the Seahawks sudden hot streak carry over into the cold depths of Soldier Field, or do the now established Bears shoot them out of the sky?
Give me the desire for revenge over the swagger of the underdogs, and give me the Bears over the Seahawks, 23-17.