Three Keys Against The Seahawks: Defense

1) Marshawn Lynch is Pretty Damn Good.

Marshawn Lynch is not a big play back. What he is is a power back who just hates being tackled to the point of throwing defenders long distances who dare to get between him and the end zone. That often results in big plays. This year he's posting a career high in YPC (well, 4.3...) and is averaging about 80 yards per game, himself, to go with his nine touchdowns on the year. In his last three games, he's run for 111, 148 and 115 yards and 3 TD, and caught an additional touchdown - actually, he's scored a touchdown in each of his last 9 games.

However, in his one regular season game against the Bears, he was held to 44 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, and he only had four carries against the Bears in the playoffs. Clamp down on Lynch and force Tarvaris Jackson to make throws.

2) Receiving Options

Lynch has 22 receptions. Matt Forte has 52 (and isn't playing). Some of that may be scheme, but Lynch is fifth on the team in receptions, where Forte far and away leads the team. And one of Tarvaris Jackson's favorite weapons is an undrafted free agent, Doug Baldwin, who leads the Seahawks with 45 receptions and 3 touchdowns. Sidney Rice is on injured reserve, but Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate have filled in nicely, with a combined 54 receptions and 5 touchdowns. They'll make plays when Jackson's able to find them - and their top tight end threat, Zach Miller, has only 20 receptions on the year with no touchdowns. They prefer throwing to their receivers, and so far they've come through.

3) Tarvaris Jackson is Highly Sackable and Highly Pickable.

Jackson isn't particularly careful with the football, he often runs himself around aimlessly behind the line of scrimmage - well, we remember him from Minnesota, basically. He has 12 TDs to 13 INTs and has been sacked 33 times on the season. And if you include Charlie Whitehurst's action and eight sacks, Seattle's surrendered 41 sacks on the year. So what happens when they meet a Bears' defense that ranks just below average with 29 sacks (the average team has 30.6 sacks) but has 11 sacks in their last three games? This should be a week for the Bears' sack numbers to rise above average. Facing a team that's given up 20 turnovers should also boost turnovers for the team that has the fourth most takeaways in the NFL.

However, it's not the defense that worries me this week... It's the offense, and we'll look at that in a few hours...

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