This is going to be a wild game for sure on Sunday. I agree with WCG, this is a hard game to break down. The Seahawks have been having a quasi disappointing season thus far, yet they are poised to run away with their division and make another trip to the playoffs. At 5-4 they stand atop their division 1 game ahead of Arizona. Looking at it from that perspective they seem to be doing well, but they are underachieving and as said before completely inconsistent. They have been blanked by the Steelers, and loss close games to Arizona, New Orleans, and Cleveland. This was a team that was expected to be one of the best in the NFC and hasn't lived up to that billing just yet. Furthermore, they have a much maligned player in Shawn Alexander who has been underperforming and has been christened to die by BDD in his most recent Jamboroo . Furthermore, I just found out he isn't even starting, this has been a bad year for him. I see him as a similar player to Benson; a big power runner who can't seem to create for himself when a superior line isn't opening up holes.
I want to talk about some match-ups, but before I do I want to highlight a very important aspect of this game that I think may be overlooked. We beat these guys pretty bad last year. In the fourth week we smoked them on Sunday night football and made them look silly. In the playoffs we got away with a close one as our defense took away the ball in OT and Rex Grossman put Robbie Gould in position to win the game with a 49 yard bomb. In case you forgot the Seahawks were really upset after the game. I think that the Seahawks are coming into this game with a huge chip on their shoulder. It is hard enough to play in Seattle as it is, and throw in the revenge factor and we have an interesting game on our hands. Lets look at some key match-ups after the jump.
Sammy Morris vs. Mark Anderson: The front Seven hasn't been great against the run this year, but you especially have to worry about Anderson getting pushed around on the line of scrimmage. I worry when teams run at him. However, Adewale Ogunleye has been a beast as of late and notched 3 sacks against the Raiders, and has been his solid self. Harris maybe be on half a leg, but has still been a force up the middle. Anthony Adams resembles a Coke Machine and has always been good at stopping the run. I know that Anderson has insane pass rushing skills, but I still worry when teams run at him. Thankfully, Briggs lines up behind him at Strong Side Linebacker and has been a force lately.
Bernard Berrian and Devin Hester vs. Seahawks Secondary: We know that Rexy is going to go deep. That's what he does. That's what the internet mocks him for. The question is whether Hester and Berrian can beat their respective man. Berrian caught the strike against Oakland to seal the game last week and we saw Rex try to find Hester in double coverage deep (Ohh the fun KSK is going to have at his expense again). In any case, the Seahawks will be ready, and we have to try and beat them. I would love to see a three wide set where Berrian and Hester line up wide along the sideline and go deep. Then Olson lines up in the slot and does a deep slant. Teams have been pulling safeties to cover Berrian or Hester whenever the go deep, but If Olson could run the deep slant and give single coverage to Hester or Berrian we just might be in business.
Brian Urlacher vs. Seahawks passing game: This team has a decent running attack with Morris, but is much more pass oriented. We are probably going to see a lot of Nickel packages from the Bears this week as opposed to the predominant 4-3 we threw at Oakland. Brian finally admitted to having a balky back, but hasn't missed much practice time and hasn't sat out a game. However, I really want to see how he does in coverage against this Seahawks team. I really wonder if this back situation is going to affect his coverage.
Cedric Benson vs. himself: Clearly, this guy either suffers from severe lack of motivation or severe lack of talent. I am not sure what to believe or which way to go. When he talked about Grossman as the starter this week he sounded like a 12 year old kid who just got an Xbox. He is all giddy about how he brings a different "feel" to the game than Griese. I think that is great an all, but I just want to see him perform. He talks about putting the team on his back and carrying them. That's all fine and good Ced, but lets see you do it. Until then shut your damn mouth and run the ball. I'm sick of hearing this guy.
Bears Safeties vs. Seattle Offense: I say against the entire offense because both Adam Archuleta and Danieal Manning have missed tackles and blown coverage assignments. Here's hoping they shape up and make some plays. Manning looked especially good last Sunday. He hasn't been missing his tackles. Hasn't given up any big plays, and laid the hurt on a poor Raider on one play. Here's hoping they both improve.
Bears D vs. Seattle O: I know this is a vague match-up to throw out there, but bear with me. Our defense has had a mini resurgence as of late. We held Westbrook, McNabb and co to a manageable number of 16 in Philly, and then we lost the heart breaker to Detroit but only allowed 16 again. Last week we laid the hurt on Oakland like we were supposed to and only allowed 6 points and no touchdowns. It would appear that we are witnessing a mini resurgence from this unit, and I hope they can ride it into Seattle and stop up their offensive attack.
Devin Hester vs. Seattle Special Teams: That is if he gets the dang ball. I am really sick of this kick it away business. I hope he gets the ball and I hope he scores. Just kick it to Devin.
Rex Grossman vs. The KSK Doppelganger: Seriously, aside from the crude language and making him sound like a sex addict this post captures Grossman's apparent man love for the deep ball. He needs to get a handle on this and utilize our other offensive strength...Tight Ends. He needs to incorporate our Tight ends into his offensive repertoire. Overall, he needs to shake the KSK doppelganger and become the Quarterback we need him to be. Other Quarterbacks have recovered from benching and have become the staples of the franchise (see Hasselback, Matt), and here's hoping Grossman can do the same. If Grossman plays well and doesn't turn the ball over we will win.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about this game. The injuries on Defense and questions surrounding Grossman are almost too much to bear. We are 5.5 point underdogs and despite all the doubt...I believe we will come out of the coffee capital of America 24-17. We need this game, and if our two biggest questions (Defense and Grossman) can come trough can we will win this game.