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Week 16 game preview: Bears-Seahawks

The Bears are hitting the road to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seahawks

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As we head towards the end of the season, with the Bears firmly out of the playoff picture and a losing season solidified, it gets harder to find the watchability factor in these games.

At the same time though, it’s the same for some of our opponents.

Thankfully, the gauntlet that’s been the Bears’ schedule is over and this week the Bears get an incredibly disappointing Seattle Seahawks squad.

It’s all relative though because the bettors don’t really have this as an even match up between two losing teams.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Bears are 6.5-point underdogs to the Seahawks, who have only one more win than the Bears.

Let’s see how the Chicago Bears can be embarrassing this week.

Seattle Seahawks

SB Nation site: Field Gulls

Record: 5-9, last in the NFC West

Last week: 20-10 loss to the Rams on Tuesday

Game day, time, TV: Sunday, 3:05 p.m. CT, FOX

Bears all-time record against: 5-11 regular season, 2-0 postseason

Historical meetings: The last time the Bears won in Seattle was week 3 of 2009.

The Seahawks took a 13-0 lead before the Bears finally got on the board going in to halftime with a Greg Olsen touchdown catch from Jay Cutler.

They took the lead coming out of halftime with Cutler connecting with Johnny Knox on a seven-yard strike.

The final nail was put in as Cutler found Devin Hester for a 36-yard touchdown with just under two minutes to go in the fourth.

The Bears won 25-19.

Last meeting: Monday Night Football in week two of 2018.

The Bears beat the Seahawks behind two Mitch Trubisky touchdown passes (to Trey Burton and Anthony Miller) and a pick six from Prince Amukamara.

Leonard Floyd recovered a Russell Wilson fumble.

Wilson was sacked six times and the Bears won 24-17.

Injury report: Considering the odd Tuesday game for Seattle, their injury report is an estimation as if they had practiced.

Limited participation

  • WR DK Metcalf (foot)
  • WR Freddie Swain (ankle)
  • CB Bless Austin (hip)
  • DT Poona Ford (knee)
  • RB Alex Collins (abdomen)

Did not participate

  • G Gabe Jackson (knee)
  • LB Jon Rhattigan (knee)
  • RB Travis Homer (hamstring)
  • LB Carlos Dunlap (rest)
  • T Duane Brown (rest)
  • DT Al Woods (shoulder)

Offense: The Seahawks offense comes in to this week ranked 30th in yards and 24th in points.

Their passing offense ranks 27th, while their rushing offense ranks 23rd.

Russell Wilson (65.4 pct cmp/2,458 yds/16 TD/5 INT) is having a strong season stats-wise but has seemed off since returning from his finger injury. Since returning he’s thrown six touchdowns and four interceptions, whereas before the injury he had thrown 10 TDs and only one interception. His yards per game has dropped from 239.2 pre injury to 210.3.

Wilson’s targets are the speedy Tyler Lockett (62 rec/1,023 yds/5 TD), super athlete DK Metcalf (62/805/8), TE Gerald Everett (40/354/3) and Freddie Swain (21/244/3).

The Seahawks, like the Bears, have had some COVID issues, but are getting leading rusher Alex Collins (108 att/411 yds/2 TD) back. He’s backed up by Rashaad Penny (54/232/2). Russell Wilson (31/141/1) is also fleet of foot, even if he only does it when necessary.

Defense: The Seahawks defense is almost a textbook definition of a bend-don’t-break defense.

They rank fourth in points allowed but are 31st in yards allowed.

Their passing defense ranks last in the league and their rushing defense ranks 21st.

That is a huge disparity and it trickles over to the touchdowns they’ve allowed. They rank ninth in touchdown passes allowed and seventh in rushing touchdowns allowed.

The Legion of Boom members are mostly gone, but this defense still has star power in LB Bobby Wagner (158 tkls/3 TFL/1 INT/1 sk/5 PD/1 FF), Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs (5 INT/82 tkls/78 PD), DE Darrell Taylor (6 sk/1 FF/5 TFL) and LB Jordyn Brooks (146 tkls/1 sk/3 PD/8 TFL).

Key match ups: Russell Wilson has been sacked 29 times and he missed three games. The Seahawks are fifth in sacks allowed, so Robert Quinn should get some favorable match ups.

Hopefully Jaylon Johnson can get back, otherwise DK Metcalf against Thomas Graham and Artie Burns and Kindle Vildor are going to be the only options. Graham played well last week, but the Seahawks are going to try to pass more than the Vikings did.

And Seattle also has Tyler Lockett to guard. Those are going to be the game-determining match ups on the defense.

For the offense, Justin Fields will hopefully find some open receivers against a generous Seahawks secondary, but of course his receivers have to actually be open.

The Seahawks rank 28th in defensive sacks, so the offensive line could possibly have an advantage for a change.

Key stats

  • The Seahawks are middling in rush yards allowed per game (21st, 116.5) but are tied for first in yards per rush (3.8)
  • Seattle is allowing 273.9 yards per game passing, the Bears as a team are averaging 206.2 yards per game passing
  • The “don’t break” part of their defense is good, they are ranked fifth in red zone defense, allowing opponents a touchdown on 49 percent of their drives inside the 20.
  • They also rank seventh in third down defense at 36.8
  • Seattle has been underwhelming at their home stadium, notoriously one of the loudest places to play in the NFL. They are 2-4 at home this season
  • The Seahawks are basically on the schedule that a team would have for a Sunday to a Thursday night game, while the Bears are on the “short week” of having played on Monday Night Football

Can the Bears pull of a big road upset this week? What do they have to do to win Sunday?