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Week 2 Game Preview: Bears vs. Seahawks

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The Bears are hosting their home opener on Monday Night Football and trying to wash off the stink of last week’s loss.

Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images

After such a gut-punching loss, with the blown lead and all, the best thing for the team is to get right back out and play, to erase the previous game from their memories.

Unfortunately for the Bears, they have an extra day to prep for their next opponent since they play on Monday Night Football, which means another day of dwelling on their second half collapse and another day of second guessing by all the media, fans and pundits.

Monday does represent a night chance at a fresh start, however. The Bears opened as favorites in Las Vegas and will get a chance to play a meaningful game at Soldier Field for the first time since Christmas Eve last year.

It will be Brian Urlacher day, to boot, as the team will honor their most recent Hall of Fame inductee at halftime with a Hall of Fame ring and other festivities.

The Seahawks come to town looking to erase the memory of their own loss a week ago. It’s a winnable game for Chicago but, we know how that goes around here in recent history.

Seattle Seahawks

SB Nation site: Field Gulls

Game day/time/TV: Monday, 7:15 CT, ESPN

Record: 0-1

Last week: 27-24 loss to the Broncos. Seattle came up short in a back and forth game.

After taking a lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Hawks managed just two first downs the rest of the way.

Bears all-time record against: 6-11 (but 2-0 in the postseason)

Historical match ups: Since Urlacher is being honored Monday, let’s take a look at the last time the Seahawks visited Soldier Field.

This, believe it or not, takes us all the way back to 2012!

In week 13 the visiting Seahawks came in and torched the Bears defense for 459 total yards, including 364 from rookie Russell Wilson. The Bears defense just looked old and gassed.

Brian Urlacher would injure his hamstring and that would be the last game he played for the Bears.

The Seahawks won 23-17 in OT. That, despite a heroic effort from Jay Cutler, who found Brandon Marshall 56 yards downfield to set up a game tying field goal at the end of regulation. The Seahawks won the coin flip in OT and everyone knew that the Bears were gassed and that was all she wrote.

Offense: The Seahawks, with just one game under their belts, rank 12th in points for but 24th in offensive yards.

Against what is considered a good Broncos defense, the Seahawks managed 306 yards. Although Wilson threw for 293 yards, they lost 56 yards on six sacks, ending with just 242 net passing yards. Last week Wilson threw three touchdowns but threw two interceptions.

The Seahawks have lost Doug Baldwin for some amount of time, so he won’t be on the field but former Bear Brandon Marshall (3 rec./46 yds./1 TD) returns to Chicago for the first time since 2014 and opposite him will be speedster Tyler Lockett (3/59/1). Lockett caught a 51-yard TD last week.

Their leading receiver, however, is rookie TE Will Dissly (3/105/1).

The Seahawks rushing attack hasn’t been the same since Marshawn Lynch left a couple years ago, but they have rookie Rashaad Penny (7 att./8 yds./0 TD) and second yard back Chris Carson (7/51/0). Carson is a speedier back but not sure why he doesn’t get more carries.

After just one game, the Seahawks rank 30th in rush yards. Last season they finished ranked 24th, so that isn’t a strong suit of the offense.

Defense: While the Legion of Boom days might be behind them, this is still a talented group that finished 13th in points allowed a season ago.

After one game this season they rank 22nd in points and 28th in yards, after allowing 470 yards to Case Keenum and the Broncos offense.

While they allowed Broncos to move the ball, the Seattle D held their opponent to just 4 of 12 on third down and forced three turnovers and had one sack.

Bradley McDougald had two of the interceptions to go along with five tackles. Earl Thomas had the other INT and Frank Clark had the team’s sack.

On their defensive line, DT Jarran Reed had six as well. That is the kind of run stuffer that the Bears will have to watch out for. DB Shaquill Griffin had six tackles as well in coverage.

Don’t forget about three-time All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, too. He’s still around.

Key match ups: For the Bears it’s all about Khalil Mack vs. Germain Ifedi. The Seahawks surrendered six sacks to the Broncos a week ago, three to Von Miller. Mack is every bit as good as Miller, so he will likely be watching the film and getting amped to get going Monday night.

The defensive line against the Seahawks OL is going to go a long way in this one. If they can’t stop the Bears’ pass rushers, it’s going to be a long night for the visiting team, however, Wilson can be elusive, so Mack, Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd can’t overpursue.

Mitch Trubisky might have his hands full to take care of the football, due to the number of playmakers and ballhawks on the Seahawks defense, but the unit isn’t coming off its best performance, so there should be some match ups to exploit.

Finding running room for Jordan Howard is going to be key, the offensive line is going to have to get some push in the run game, but the Hawks are lacking some of the elite pass-rushers they had in years past.

Kyle Fuller will have to bounce back from some tough moments in week one to cover the speedy Lockett.

What to watch for: The Bears have been bad at Soldier Field in recent years. Despite what happened last week, this is still a fresh start for Matt Nagy and his team on the lake front, so hopefully they can bounce back and have a good home start.

Also, how many sacks can the Bears get?

Key stats: 49 - Number of times Wilson has been sacked since the beginning of last season, second most in the league.

324 - Number of net passing yards the Broncos had against Seattle last week.

The Seahawks have scored more than 24 points just four times since the beginning of last season and just once since last November. If the Bears can get over that key number, they should be in good shape.

Trubisky has yet to throw multiple touchdowns in a game.

My pick: Bears 26, Seahawks 23

How do you feel about the Bears chances Monday? What’s your pick?