The Seattle Seahawks come off their bye week in good spirits—they are 2-2 and still in the hunt for a playoff spot—and they welcome in the newly-acquired RB Marshawn Lynch.
Unfortunately, Seattle has to immediately suit up and play one of the better NFC teams this week: the Chicago Bears. With the Bears defense being one of the better units in the league, Seattle has to snap up their chin straps super tight this week.
I will say with confidence and non-embarrassment that the Bears defense is the best unit in the NFC. That is with apologies to the players in Minnesota, New York, Atlanta and Philadelphia.
With the addition of Julius Peppers and the healthy Brian Urlacher, Chicago has been dominant on D side of the ball (the side that matters if a team is series about making a SB run). With the way that the Bears have been playing on that side, they are a serious contender for the Super Bowl. They have contained Green Bay, New York and Dallas. Defense matters!
What does this mean?
It means that it is pretty scary for Seattle to go up against them and win the ball game. Chicago has been getting C+ performances by Jay Cutler and F performances by the Bears offensive line, but it doesn’t really matter this season.
But let’s talk about the Seahawks.
For all of the fans pumped to see Lynch take the field and play well, I would suggest waiting and extra week. Bears D are third in the league in stopping the run. They were able to contain Jahvid Best in Week One and the Jones/Barber duo in Week Two; I don’t think this spells too well for Mr. Lynch.
I’m excited to see Marshawn play and I think he can play very well in 2010, but Seattle will have to take a lot of chances through the passing game if they are going to squeeze this out.
In terms of Seattle on the defensive side of the ball, it hasn’t been great this season. However, there are things to look forward to this game. So far this season, the Seahawks have been great covering the run (second in the league) and terrible in the pass (31st in the league). The Bears are a team that has the most success with Matt Forte getting the ball in his hands.
If they can shut Forte down and keep him from getting long gains, which they will, they will have to be worried about Cutler. Cutler, after skipping a week because of a concussion, will look to be careful early in the game.
With the horrible state that the Chi offensive line is in, Cutler most games is usually running around back there like a goose with its head chopped off in most games. Keep him running around, and he will get frustrated.
The worst-case scenario with Cutler is if they start executing screens with Forte. Forte can break for long distances if he gets out in the open field, and he is one of those backs who so far in 2010 has been absolutely dominate with the ball in his hands and the open field ahead of him. He has broken off some huge 60-80 yard pass plays that have broken the game open.
Seattle needs to keep this game as close as possible. They are going to need to force a lot of turnovers as well. That is what doomed the Chi-NYG game a couple of weeks ago. The Bears D played a good game, but New York was constantly starting drives with terrific field position and eventually it wore the Bears down.
If Seattle can repeat that then the game can be theirs.
Although, I don’t believe they can. Chicago is just too talented of a team.
Final Score Prediction: Chicago 27 – Seattle 10