It’s time to close out my four-part series on the three teams the Bears could face when they play their first game of the playoffs on Jan. 16. We have looked at the Seattle Seahawks, the New Orleans Saints, and the Philadelphia Eagles in an attempt to determine which team would be the ideal team for the Bears.
In looking at all three teams, the best matchup would be the Seattle Seahawks.
That, however, is the most unlikely scenario: Seattle doesn't have what it takes to win against the Saints, and probably won’t be coming to Chicago to play the Bears.
That would leave the Saints as a viable option, but a visit to the Bears depends a lot on what happens with the Eagles and Packers. We know what we will get with the Packers, but no one is quite sure what we will get out of the Eagles. Will quarterback Michael Vick play well? Will he play?
Assuming that the Packers end up beating the Eagles, then New Orleans would come to Chicago with its big-time passing game. Still, without much of a running game, the Bears defense could easily pin its ears back and blitz the Saints offense on a regular basis, shutting down the passing game and thus winning the game.
The game would also be played in colder weather, and the Saints don’t play well in the cold. The Bears also have a good history when going up against the Saints, so they have that on their side as well.
The Bears could beat the Saints, but are they the ideal team for them to meet in their first playoff game?
If the Eagles get past the Packers, then they would travel to Soldier Field to take on the Bears. Chicago had a good first game against the Eagles and would know what they are getting, but they could be facing a different Eagles team—one that has some experience against the Bears defense.
Having seen what the Bears have done already, could the Eagles come up with a way to stop Chicago and beat it?
If the Bears are on target, they should be able to beat the Eagles. This means that they need to rush the quarterback and have success covering those dangerous wide receivers.
The secondary did a pretty good job of covering these guys in the first game (minus a couple of coverage errors), so hopefully it will be able to defend the Eagles and walk out with a win.
If the Seahawks end up coming to Soldier Field, even though it does not seem likely, the Bears can't allow the Seahawks to blitz them like they did last time and take Cutler out of his rhythm.
The failure of the passing game was the biggest reason why the Bears didn’t win that first game against the Seahawks. Their failure to run the ball was another reason, but things have improved since the Bears first met the Seahawks.
So we now come to the ultimate question: which team is best for the Bears to face?
If everything comes out right, it would be nice if the Bears could play the Eagles. They have already played Philadelphia, the Eagles are having their struggles, and the Bears are playing well. This would be the ideal and most realistic team for them to play.
The unrealistic option would be the Seahawks. It would be nice to see them play the Bears, but they will most likely lose their game against the Saints this weekend.
To view the review of the Seattle Seahawks please click HERE.
To view the review of the New Orleans Saints please click HERE.
To view the review of the Philadelphia Eagles please click HERE.