When the Bears take the field in Seattle, the Seahawks and their fans are probably going to witness the toughest test their team will face at Qwest Field this year. It is natural in a contest like this for all eyes to be on the QB play, with Chicago fielding a legitimate player at that position, and Seattle having a huge question mark with whoever lines up for them. But let's go deeper than just the QBs.
Earlier today, SackMan let us in on a couple of key match ups to keep an eye on: Lance Briggs versus the Seattle run game, and how our WRs will stack up against their CBs.
So, outside of these, what are some other battles to keep an eye out for? Follow me inside to take a look.
Seattle runs a base 4-3 defense, and defensive end Lawrence Jackson (who is listed as a backup behind Cory Redding) has three sacks to his name through the first two games of the season. Chicago offensive tackle Chris Williams, who had a solid preseason, and looks good thus far in the season, will have his hands full on the right side of the line Sunday. When QB Jay Cutler rolls out of the pocket, he tends to favor the right side, and that is likely to be where the most pressure comes from. This should be a good test for the Bears first round draft pick from a year ago.
On the other side of the line, we'll get to see a battle of veterans. Orlando Pace, in his 14th season, will face off against Patrick Kerney, in his 12th season. This should be a good match up as well, with Kerney (6'5", 275) having long, strong arms battling Pace's enormous size (6'7", 325).
Seattle drafted offensive lineman Max Unger in this year's draft, and the rookie will be battling Tommie Harris and Israel Idonije. Unger has a ton of talent, but the defensive line of Chicago seems to be playing with a lot more speed this season, thanks to the tutelage of Rod Marinelli. And the one thing that is the hardest for rookies to adjust to is the speed of the NFL. Look for Chicago to go after Unger on Sunday.
Special teams are likely to play into Chicago's favor Sunday as well. If Seattle's offense sputters, look for the Bears punt return team to have plenty of opportunities for big plays, as well as setting up good field position for our offense.
So far in 2009, Seattle has been penalized 10 time for 70 yards, and Chicago 9 times for 77 yards, with the majority for both teams coming last week.