Three Keys Against the Seahawks: Offense

Reason why Hanie is happier: Barber scored a touchdown, or Barber held on to the ball?

1) Hold On To The Football

And I mean this in more than the "turnovers" sense. The Seahawks are 7th in takeaways with 24, just behind the Bears with 27, and in just three games (actually 2...) Caleb Hanie has almost doubled the team's interceptions given up, so it could apply there as well. But this applies in more ways. First off, the Bears failed to convert too many third down chances - one of the best ways to kill an offense is to not convert third downs. What would also help is being able to get more done on first and second downs. How many times do we see the Bears get one or two yards on first down, nothing on second down and have to convert 3rd and 8 or 3rd and 10? If you're punting more than ten times in a game, you're doing something wrong on offense beyond failure to execute.

2) Give the Ball Back To Barber

Look, you can't just remove a player from the offense just because he screwed up a couple times. By that logic, Cutler would have been benched forever in 2009. But you also can't say a player will automatically play awesome the next week because he screwed up before and doesn't want to make that mistake again. No player ever wants to make a mistake.

The only thing the Bears can do is continue to show faith in their #2 running back. Of course Kahlil Bell will get more touches.

Here's the classic NFL dilemma, however. The Bears' strength offensively is running the ball, currently. The Seahawks are a pretty good defense, and actually pretty solid against the run, better than they are against the pass. So it's the classic "Play to your strength" versus "Play to their weakness." And in this instance, like most others, I think the team has to play to their strength for the most effectiveness - we haven't seen much of anything the last two games to indicate the latter would be effective enough to work.

3) Help Against Chris Clemons

Defensive end Chris Clemons leads the Seahawks in sacks with nine, making 20 sacks as a Seahawk in two years after collecting 20 in his first five seasons (Washington, Oakland, Philadelphia) as varying degrees of linebacker and lineman. As the most solid pass-rusher, the Bears really should focus on sending Spaeth or Davis his way; otherwise, he'll be adding to that total against a suddenly very fallible Lance Louis or occasionally vulnerable J'Marcus Webb. The Seahawks send blitzers on occasion, but the most sacks any non-lineman has on the Seahawks is three (LeRoy Hill). So stopping Clemons should be able to slow the pass rush and create openings in the passing game, but given how that's worked out for the Bears lately, who knows.

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