Seahawks @ Bears, NFC Divisional Playoffs

This game is a rematch from Week 6, when the Seahawks came into Chicago and defeated the Bears 23-20. Few would argue that the Bears are a different team than they were then, as evidenced by the Bears being 10-point favorites this weekend. However, when you take into account that if not for a Devin Hester punt return TD at the end of the game, the Bears would have lost 23-13. So the game was not as close as the score would indicate.  For the Bears to turn the tables and advance to the NFC Championship game, here are some things they have to do:

1) Play up on Mike Williams. In the game in Week 6, Seahawks WR Mike Williams was targeted 15 times, caught 10 of those passes for 123 yards. His long reception was 24, which means that for the most part, they were 3-yard slanting us all the way down the field. Further evidence for this is Matt Hasslebeck’s numbers that day: 25-20, 242 yards. That’s only 6.1 yards per attempt, which means they weren’t taking many shots downfield. With the conditions at Soldier Field being what they usually are in January, I don’t expect the Seahawks to try and challenge the Bears deep with Hasslebeck’s mediocre arm. Especially with Idonije and Peppers lurking. So the Bears must to a better job of forcing longer pass attempts.

2) Stop the Seahawks’ running game. In Week 6, RBs Justin Forsett and Marshawn Lynch combined for 27 carries and 111 yards. The Bears’ defense normaly gives up 70-80 rushing yards per game. So its safe to say we were controlled at the line of scrimmage. In addition, we saw the way Lynch’s power running changed the complexion of the Seahawks’ victory over the Saints last weekend. We must control the line of scrimmage, and tackle better than we did in Week 6.

3) Commit to the running game. Matt Forte ran 8 times for 11 yards in the first meeting. 11 yards. Even if they contain Forte in this game as well, that cannot deter us from running the ball more than 8 times.

4) Protect Jay Cutler. Cutler was sacked 6 times in Week 6; pressured on almost every pass. He was throwing under duress which hampered his accuracy, as evidenced by the 45% completion rate(17 of 39). The amazing thing is that we still threw for 290 yards, which was 17.1 yards per completion. So big plays will be there in the passing game, we just have to give Cutler time to make those throws.

5) Contain Leon Washington. Our kick coverage has been suspect all year. Leon Washington lead the NFL with 3 kickoff returns for TDs. In a game where our defense should be able to control their offense, we cannot do them any favors by allowing them to start at the 40-yard line or worse. Corey Graham, Nick Roach, and Major Wright will be big here.

My prediction: Bears’ defense will dominate at home, and Bears will score just enough to put it away. Bears 23, Seahawks 6.


20 responses

  1. lincoln1

    Lovie still has the control up their. A great coach is a coach who can put together sevral straight great season like in NE or in Pitt or even what the jets have done. One lucky season with no injuries just means you are lucky

    January 16, 2011 at 10:45 pm

  2. lincoln1

    Beating a team on your homefield too me doesn’t prove you are better then that team. The AFC teams are killers who want to beat your ass. Thats football that I love.

    The bears #1 goal is to make money and to make sure that as an organization they are not embarassed. Thats how they always have done things which is also a big reason we have only won 1 super bowl in the 40 years of there being a super bowl.

    Lovie still calls the plays. Its his defense which is one reason he gave the job over to his buddy. he was forced to give up the job but he had a hand in who got the job. There was no way he was bringing in someone to step on his toes so he gave the job to Marinelli

    January 16, 2011 at 12:40 am

    • johnnyharvard

      The Bears took the power away from Lovie. Thats obvious. they’ve said it before the first hire. Honestly I don’t know where you come up with this stuff man. If you think its all Lovie than I guess you’re calling him a great coach than.

      January 16, 2011 at 11:51 am

  3. johnnyharvard

    Every teams number one goal is to win it all. Bears included.

    NFC teams beat AFC teams, so that statement is ridiculous.

    And Marinelli does all the play calling. Lovie may have a hand in game plan, but Lovie defers the play calling to Rod.

    January 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm

  4. Lincoln1

    This organization is run terrible. When winning the super bowl is not your #1 goal then there is no way that anyone can say that the Chicago Bears are a top notch organization.

    As for the NFC being on par with the AFC that could not be farther from the truth. There isnt one NFC team playing this weekend that would be playing this weekend if they played in the AFC. GB, when healthy, would be the only team capable of doing that and thats a stretch.

    and Lovie is still in charge of the D. Everything on the D still goes through Lovie. People seem to dismiss that

    January 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

  5. Lincoln1

    so do you believe that Lovie is a solid NFL head coach???? Just because you play in an easy conference with and easy schedule year in and year out doesnt mean Lovie is a good coach. The Bengals if they played in the NFC could do that

    January 15, 2011 at 12:16 am

    • johnnyharvard

      Lovies best when he does the least. In the same role he’s in now he’s fine. When he’s in charge of everything including offense No. He’s not Elite. And Like I told you I don’t buy the whole NFC/AFC thing. I think both conferences are pretty equal. During Lovie’s years here the division has been tough at times too as both the Pack and Vikings have had formidable teams so it wasn’t the cakewalk you think it is. My only point in regards to the Lovie era is it could be better but it is far from the suck fest organization you point it out to be. You can believe what you want but the numbers contradict your opinion. You can only go by the results. In the past decade you can count the number of super bowl winning coaches on one hand. Multiple ones on one finger.

      January 15, 2011 at 10:47 am

  6. johnnyharvard

    Not horrible doesn’t mean good . But fact is under Lovie the Bears won the division 3 times and were one last game of the season win away from being in the playoffs another time. Even his other two losing seasons weren’t monumentally bad. I mean you act like they’re the Bengals or something. Bears are usually not an easy win.

    January 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

  7. Lincoln1

    being 500 is not good. Thats called being a consistent loser

    January 14, 2011 at 9:45 am

  8. Lincoln1

    I want to see my team dominate year in and year out like the pats, colts, steelers and ravens seem to be able to do. Parity doesnt seem to effect those teams. I dont look at the NFL as a league of parity. I look at it as a league that is full of very poor organizations which why these teams R good one year and horrible the next. You can count on one hand the number of good organization.

    January 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    • johnnyharvard

      Maybe. I think you have some consistency. Packers are usually good and when they’re not its not for very long. Vikings are usually competitive. Bears are 50/50 under Lovie so thats not horrible. The East usually has very good teams. At least three every year. Now-a Days the south is very good! No denying that. Than theres the West which usually has good teams but lately has been a dog. But I see some teams with potential for the future like Rams and San Fran. The Afc usually has pretty damn good teams in every division too, so I don’t see it the way you do. There are some bad organizations that look like they may be on the right track too like Raiders, Cheifs, Bucs, even Browns look better with stronger leadership at important positions.

      January 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm

  9. johnnyharvard

    I like parity. I think the football is still very good. I’ve been watching it for awhile. The good teams are very good IMO. Its just the level of bad may be worse. But I like it that there is an even playing field instead of seeing the same teams dominate with maybe just one challenger or two. People say its watered down, but I don’t see it that way. I think that the athlete today is so much more advanced that if you put one of todays mediocre players on any of the good teams as early as the 80’s teams they may be pro bowlers. Just look at the QB’s. I think this is the golden age of football. You have a guy like Peppers who’s 6’7″ 300#’s running down Vick for God’s sake! Would you see that in the 80’s? Hell the 90’s even. I can’t think of that many 300 plus players that move like they do now. Look at the WR position. These guys are the size of TE’s from that era and run and jump just as well as any WR in that era much smaller and lighter. You may want to watch a league where 2 teams have a sot and the rest are just practice till they play, but I don’t like it. Than you’re talking a monopoly. I like it like this. The plays you see now-a-days in comparison to the old days is far more entertaining.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:49 am

  10. Lincoln1

    The pats finished 14-2. Your going to have a hiccup over the course of a season. The NFL, especially the NFC, is very poor and if you put most of these teams in the AFC They are not playoff teams. To me parity sucks because it is ruing the NFL

    January 13, 2011 at 7:51 am

  11. lincoln1

    The fact that one mediaocore team, the bears, and one horrific team the seahawks are even in this postion tells you everything you need to know about how bad the NFC truly is. The AFC has really no excuse not to walk away with the title

    January 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    • i think thats one of the byproducts of the whole parity system in the NFL. It is way easier to go from also-ran to contender with the way the scheduling is done, one-game playoffs, etc. Heck, the consensus best team in the NFL right now, the Patriots, lost to the Browns this year. So I don’t think you can count out any team.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      • johnnyharvard

        God could this game get here already?

        January 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    • johnnyharvard

      AFC’s not that much better if at all. I know you have this hard on for AFC football, but you need to be more objective when you’re analyzing this or else you just lose any credibility because your opinions are full of biased views and perceptions. Again look at the head to head’s. AFC’s best got beat by the NFC’s plenty and an undermanned packer team went on the road with a back up and outplayed the New England Patriots a week after they pasted the Bears in Soldier Field. Now the Bears lost that one as much as the Pats won it, but still a very impressive victory and probably would’ve got beat if Rogers was there. Bears are legit. They beat some very good teams and if they had the same philosophy on offense and the same O-line B-4 the Bye they’d have the best record in the NFC, because they would’ve never lost to Seattle and the Redskins.

      January 13, 2011 at 8:38 am

  12. johnnyHavard

    All good points. Bears should whoop these guys. No bones about it. The chances of a 7-9 playoff team coming to your place and beaing you is unthinkable yet alone factoring in that team beat you at home earlier in the season. A bad team coming in beating you twice at home is nearly impossible. That loss earlier was just that. A loss. The Bears didn’t get beat they beat themselves. There were so many factors in that game that led to that. Cutler was coming off the concussion too, and the current line wasn’t set than.

    Also Peppers sustained a leg injury early on what could be considered a crack block which wasn’t called, but I believe was fined later in the week after the game. Thats a huge reason why Peppers wasn’t effective. He didn’t bitch about it so new, but Lawrence Holmes score night host and Bear beat reporter has been talking about it all week. He was noticeably limping long after that game according to Holmes.

    January 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

  13. lincoln1

    The fact that one of these teams will play for an NFC title should keep the commissioner up at night. The NFC is a horrible conference. The bears will win this game because the seahawks are just bad.

    January 12, 2011 at 2:42 am

    • johnnyHavard

      Bears are the 2 seed. I think the commissioner along with all of the NFL minus Seattle and Atlanta are praying for the Bears to host Green Bay in the NFC Championship game for all the marbles. I think that should keep the commish well rested and dreaming sweet dreams.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:29 am

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