We offer the victory-thirsty Bears a six-pack of keys to propel them to victory against the Seahawks.
1) Get Brandon Marshall Open Downfield
The Seahawks' defensive backs, particulary Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, are one of the better sets of defensive backs the Bears will face this season. They're also bigger than a lot of defensive backs, which means they can match up better with Brandon Marshall. Now, in two of the Bears' three losses this season, Marshall was held to only two catches for around twenty yards - that can't happen if the Bears hope to win.
2) Start with the Runs, Build Deep
With the offensive line shuffling again, you're probably not going to be able to open up chucking sixty yards downfield - Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin combined for 15 sacks so far this year, and they'll be coming. But the Bears will have to make downfield plays to win eventually. If Matt Forte plays like he says he will, he needs to be able to hit holes with a speed that he just hasn't had this season. Get Earl Bennett and even Dane Sanzenbacher (who will probably be active with Devin Hester out) the ball, and sooner or later Marshall will get his chances over the top. The Bears could really use a speed option at receiver, but one is concussed and the other (Johnny Knox) was shaped into something resembling a construction roadblock or sawhorse.
3) Watch Bruce Irvin
At this stage of his career, rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin is a pure pass rusher that is vulnerable against the run. And when I say vulnerable, I mean "When you see him in the game, run at him with the full force and the fury" vulnerable. If he lines up against Jonathan Scott or J'Marcus Webb and it's a five-step drop, I'd be afraid, but running at him can neutralize him a bit.
4) Seattle's Key Player - Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch might be considered a "thing." Or if you prefer the vernacular of "BEEF MO" that's fine too. The point is, he's good, he's a power runner, and he'll run over people. He's the basis of the Seattle offense, period. But in two games against the Bears, he's had 37 rushing attempts for 86 yards. The problem is that three of those carries turned into touchdowns. By the way, did you know Lynch has a passing touchdown in his career? From 2007. Just saying.
5) Defensive Line Penetration
The Bears are going to be focusing on stopping the run, which means Tim Jennings and Charles TIllman will have to play man up on Rice and Tate, who each have six touchdowns on the year. The defensive line getting any sort of effective run penetration will be big, as well as getting to Russell Wilson in the passing game. Tillman's got that chipped bone in his foot, which will probably be a pain in him playing the receiver, so it's imperative for the line to do their job this week to make the defensive backs' lives easier. If Wilson has time, I worry a bit about Tillman while he's injured.
6) Make Wilson Make Mistakes
Russell Wilson just hasn't made mistakes over the last four games. The rookie's thrown eight interceptions this season - seven of those came prior to Week 8. He hasn't thrown an interception since the Detroit game, he's thrown nine touchdowns in the last four games, he has five games with a quarterback rating over 100... Wilson's playing really well as a guy that's not the cornerstone of his offense. But 27 of the Bears' 30 sacks are through the defensive line, and oh yeah, I might have heard a couple times that the Bears are really really good at creating turnovers. If the Bears can cause Wilson to make an uncharacteristic mistake, they're pretty good at capitalizing on them.