Friday, October 15, 2010
The Bears played a Seneca Wallaced-led Seahawks team in Week 3 last year and escaped with a 25-19 victory. They're facing each other once again because they both finished third in their respective divisions last season. While last year's matchup was played at the very loud Qwest Field, Seattle will come to Chicago this time. The Bears have just one set of back-to-back home games this season, and this is it.
The Seahawks are coming off their bye and will have had plenty of time to prepare. On top of that, Jay Cutler is coming off of his concussion. But while the Bears probably aren't catching Seattle at the right time, they're at least catching them in the right place:
Seattle in home games this season: 2-0, combined score of 58-26
Seattle in road games this season: 0-2, combined score of 51-17
KEYS TO THE GAME
Can Cutler rebound? Concussions are no longer treated like minor scrapes in the NFL, and with good reason. Some believe Cutler got concussed (great word) somewhat early in the Giants game, which is what led to his indecision and all around terrible play. If that's the case, Bears fans need to hope he's fully healed and ready to execute the game plan against Seattle.
Kick returns. Seattle has the best average in the league at 37.8 yards per return (for comparison's sake, Cleveland averages 16.2). Leon Washington also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns against Seattle. Danieal Manning is having success, too--his 28.7 average is good for sixth in the NFL. If one team's coverage unit can hold the other team in check, it will go a long way toward winning the field position battle.
Keep the Seahawks one-dimensional. Seattle averages a dismal 79.5 rushing yards per game, a full 20 yards less than the Bears who are themselves just 23rd in the league in that category. That's why they recently traded for Marshawn Lynch. Justin Forsett has been just okay, and guys like Leon Washington and Julius Jones have done next-to-nothing (Jones was shipped out). With receiver Deion Branch (second-most receptions on the team) having just been traded to New England, forcing the Seahawks to rely on the pass should be a winning formula.