The Chicago Bears got back on track last week, with a 23-6 win over the dismal Carolina Panthers. It wasn’t pretty, but in the NFL, a win is a win.
While the Bears might not look like a Super Bowl contender yet, they just keep winning. The Bears host the Seattle Seahawks Sunday and look to improve their record to 5-1 on the season.
With each week gone by, the Bears continue to try and prove to the NFL that they are for real. Eventually, the media will pick up on the Bears, if they continue to win.
Jay Cutler is back in the starting lineup for the Bears this week, much to the joy of the fans. Last week we were entertained with the Todd Collins show, which was nothing short of a disaster. Collins threw for 32 yards and 4 interceptions in the first half. Caleb Hanie replaced Collins and the Bears cruised to the win.
With Cutler back, the Bears offense becomes more dangerous. The playbook will be opened up and we will see the ball moving down field.
Seattle comes in with the 26th ranked overall defense in the NFL. The Bears offense, which has looked great at times, will look to take advantage of Seattle's defense. The Seahawks defense is ranked 31st in passing, which seems to be the perfect cure for a returning Cutler.
Cutler struggled against the Seahawks last season, but he connected with Devin Hester in the final minutes to win the game. This season it’s been a different tune for Cutler and the passing game.
Look for Cutler to carve up the Seahawks secondary early and often. Although the Bears running game got going this week, I’m positive the passing game will be the focal point for the Bears.
Seattle's run defense is top five in the NFL and Chicago's run offense has struggled through the first six weeks. Lovie and Co. would be smart to attack the Seattle secondary before trying to establish the run. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears think the opposite.
The front seven for Seattle will look to do what the Giants did to the Bears, which is get to Cutler and end his day early. It’s up to the Bears offensive line to show they are up to the challenge. Cutler needs good protection, so he can make things happen.
Seattle has struggled offensively this season and with the Bears defense playing great, it could be a long day for the Seattle offense. Led by Matt Hasselback, the Seahawks might look to establish the run game early, with newly acquired running back Marshawn Lynch.
The Bears could be without Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs, who hasn’t practiced all week. If Briggs cant go, linebacker Brian Iwuh will get the nod. The former Jacksonville Jaguar played when Briggs got hurt in Carolina last week. Seattle might look his way on a lot of rushes, trying to avoid Brian Urlacher. If Briggs can’t play, the Bears will be be at a disadvantage.
Seattle will look to hit Chicago in the mouth early in the game and build off that. The Bears can’t let that happen and need to continue to play good football.
With a win on Sunday, the Bears have a chance to establish themselves as a good team and gain the respect they deserve. It’s just up to them to prove it.
Three Keys to Victory.
Defensive line needs to continue to play well. Last week was a glimpse of the future for the Bears defensive line. A talented one that hasn’t played to their ability for most of 2010. Julius Peppers had an interception and was in the backfield for most of the game. Peppers being double teamed will lead to opportunities for other members on the line.
Special Teams could decide the game. If the Bears aren’t dominating on either side of the ball, special teams will need too. Including the return game, the Bears will have to be ready to play. If they win the battles on special teams, the Bears will be successful.
Offensive line must protect. Jay Cutler got wrecked his last time out with this offensive line. He doesn’t want a repeat of that this Sunday. Some nice protection and blocking will lead to big things for the Bears.
Bears 26, Seahawks 13