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Seattle Seahawks (8-9)
Opponent Final 2010 Defensive Ranks
Chicago Pass Defense—2010: Yards Allowed/Game 20th (224 Yds/Gm)—TDs Allowed second (14)
Chicago Rush Defense—2010: Yards Allowed/Game second (90.1 Yds/Gm)—TDs Allowed T-20th (14)
Seattle Offensive Cast
Matt Hasselbeck (QB Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 6)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 266/444—for 3,001 yards, 12 TDs and 17 INTs
The only way the Seahawks were going to beat the Saints last Saturday was if Matt Hasselbeck put up the game of his life… which is exactly what he did. In his 12-year career, Matty had thrown for four or more touchdowns in a game just five times while and actually doubled his previous playoff high of two TDs in a game (in nine playoff games).
The Seahawks will need his heroics again this Sunday to get past the Bears, and though I like his chances to put up some decent numbers (threw for 242 yards and one TD against them in Week 6), the possibility of a another four-TD performance is nil.
Charlie Whitehurst (QB Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 9)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 57/99 – for 507 yards, 2 TDs & 3 INTs
The only chance Whitehurst has of seeing the field in this one is if Hasselbeck’s hip injury becomes a factor, which it very well could due to his recent injury history and inflated age.
Marshawn Lynch (RB Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 8)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 202 carries for 737 yards and six TDs || 22 receptions for 145 yards and zero TDs
Hasselbeck wasn’t the only Seahawk to play out of his mind against the Saints last Saturday. Marshawn Lynch (a.k.a. Fugly) rattled off one of the most impressive runs in recent playoff history en route to a 131-yard effort in Seattle’s first-round victory. Can he do it again?
Not a chance. The Bears are simply too good and quick for him to handle, as they showed earlier this year when they held Lynch to just 44 yards on 17 carries (2.6 YPC). Seattle will try to get him going, but they may turn to Forsett a bit in this game when they find themselves in need of some speed.
Justin Forsett (RB Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 14)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 118 carries for 523 yards and two TDs || 33 receptions for 252 yards and zero TDs
Forsett doesn’t normally see enough action to make a difference, but being the faster, more explosive, and better RB in the passing game might give him more of an opportunity this Bears D. I still wouldn’t expect much, but you never know with these scat-backs who can take it to the house on any given carry.
Mike Williams (WR Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 10)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 65 receptions for 751 yards and two TDs
BMW had three 100-yard games during the regular season; one against the Saints, one against the Cardinals and one versus the Bears. His encore effort against New Orleans last week went for 68 yards and a touchdown on five catches (eight targets). I can easily see the same type of performance this weekend but probably without the TD as the Bears don’t give up too many of those.
Ben Obomanu (WR Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 18)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 30 receptions for 494 yards and four TDs
Obomanu is the receiver with the most upside on the Seahawks roster, and Hasselbeck knows it. Last week he got Ben the most targets on the team (11) and even though they turned into just five catches for 43 yards, Seattle will need his speed to break this Chicago D, so look for the same sort of treatment this Sunday.
Brandon Stokley (WR Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 24)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 31 receptions for 354 yards and zero TDs
Brandon is the oldest player in this Seahawks offense next to Hasselbeck, a little tidbit that shouldn’t be overlooked. QBs love their veteran receivers in pressure situations, as was shown last weekend with Stokley going off for 73 yards and a TD on four catches that were all made either in the red-zone or for first downs. That said, don’t expect too much from the 34-year-old vet, as he’s still just the third or fourth option in this offense.
John Carlson (TE Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 9)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 31 receptions for 318 yards and one TD
Carlson somehow caught two TDs last weekend after having just one in a very disappointing 2010 regular season. The Bears tied for the league lead in allowing the fewest touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year, so don’t expect a repeat from last Saturday.
Cameron Morrah (TE Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 12)
Final 2010 Season Stats: nine receptions for 117 yards and zero TDs
Morrah has some really nice potential, but his involvement in the offense is minimal, so don’t expect more than just a couple of catches.
Chicago Bears (11-5)
Opponent Defensive Ranks
Seattle Pass Defense—2010: Yards Allowed/Game 27th (250 Yds/Gm)—TDs Allowed T-29th (31)
Seattle Rush Defense—2010: Yards Allowed/Game 21st (118.9 Yds/Gm)—TDs Allowed T-18th (13)
Chicago Offensive Cast
Jay Cutler (QB Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 3)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 261/432—for 3,274 yards, 23 TDs and 16 INTs
The Bears have already said they plan on pounding the ball down Seattle’s throat this week, but Chicago’s idea of the running game isn’t quite the same as others.
Cutler’s one big drawback is his propensity to throw interceptions, but with Seattle ranking near the bottom of the league in that category, I expect Mike Martz to give Cutler every opportunity to throw the ball. The Seahawks pass D is pretty darn bad (especially away from home), so expect a sweet game out of Cutler on Sunday.
Matt Forte (RB Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 4)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 237 carries for 1,069 yards and six TDs || 51 receptions for 547 yards and three TDs
Forte was awesome over the last half of the season and will be counted on to produce some tough first downs this weekend. With the Bears wanting to control the clock on offense, Matt will have every opportunity to shine and put up some real nice numbers come Sunday.
Chester Taylor (RB Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 16)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 112 carries for 267 yards and three TDs || 20 receptions for 139 yards and zero TDs
The Bears didn’t get nearly what they were expecting when they signed Taylor this past offseason as his 2.4 YPC was the worst in NFL history for a running back with 100 or more carries. He’ll get a few touches here and there in order to give Forte a rest, but not enough to make a difference.
Johnny Knox (WR Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 9)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 51 receptions for 960 yards and five TDs
Knox and his speed can beat this Seattle secondary deep without a problem, as was proven in their game earlier this year when he put up 120 yards on five catches. Last week against the Saints, the receiver with the most yards and catches against them was speedster Devery Henderson, so it wouldn’t shock me to see Johnny do the same this weekend.
Earl Bennett (WR Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 17)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 46 receptions for 561 yards and three TDs
Bennett is a nice possession receiver and should be able to haul in around five passes this weekend, but his lack of size (6’0”) doesn’t make him much of a red-zone target, so his fantasy upside is minimal outside of PPR leagues.
Devin Hester (WR Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 15)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 40 receptions for 475 yards and four TDs
Hester is still one of the most electrifying players in the league, and since Seattle coach Pete Carroll already stated that the Seahawks plan on kicking to him, he’ll be that much more of an intriguing fantasy force on Sunday. His punt return duties, combined with a good five to six targets on offense will make him a nice sleeper option this playoff weekend.
Devin Aromashodu (WR Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 29)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 10 receptions for 149 yards and zero TDs
Aromashodu was a huge disappointment this season and the only chance he has of doing anything in this game is if the Bears end up needing his size in the red-zone.
Greg Olsen (TE Playoff Week 2 Ranking: No. 6)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 41 receptions for 404 yards and five TDs
Seattle held Olsen to zero catches in their first game, but because the Saints got their tight ends six catches for 62 yards last weekend, the Bears may try to exploit the same weakness on Sunday. If anything, he’s at least the Bears biggest red-zone option.
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