The last time they met…
Week 6 of this season: Seahawks 23, Bears 20 in Chicago
- If Matt Hasselbeck’s best game of 2010 came against the team Seattle beat on wild-card weekend (New Orleans) his second-best game of the regular-season might have been against the team they face this weekend. Hasselbeck completed 25 of 40 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown as the Seahawks had a turnover-free victory over the then-struggling Bears.
- Jay Cutler was sacked six times behind a Chicago offensive line that was in flux.
- Hasselbeck wasn’t sacked at all. In fact, the Bears didn’t show up on either side of the ball … yet they still only lost by a field goal.
- It was one of only two road wins for Seattle in 2010 and one of only two wins against teams that finished with a record of .500 or better.
Injuries to watch:
- Lofa Tatupu (concussion) is the only player to keep an eye on for Seattle. He hasn’t practiced this week and still hasn’t been cleared, but the team remains optimistic he’ll be good to go Sunday. The ‘Hawks are lucky they have an extra day off.
- The Bears are quite healthy.
Five reasons I’m taking the Bears in a blowout:
1. A lot has changed since that earlier meeting between the two. Seattle, for instance, has won just a single road game since (and that was against horrible Arizona). As we saw last week against New Orleans and the week prior against St. Louis, the Seahawks benefit greatly from having the “12th man” at Qwest Field. They won’t have that this weekend. Based on the way they played on the road all season, that Week 6 victory in Chicago looks like a massive fluke.
2. That’s not all that has changed since that game. The Bears were still getting acclimated to a whole new offence run by Mike Martz and the offensive line was a mess. Jay Cutler was struggling and the running game was out of sync. But this unit has gotten significantly better since then. In fact, they’ve only given up 11 sacks in the last four games (and six of those came in one game). Oh, and on defence, they have Lance Briggs. Briggs was injured for that original Seattle-Chicago get-together.
3. Matt Forte will make a big difference, too. In Forte, the Bears have a quality top back who can keep defences honest. That’s something the Saints didn’t have last week. The Seahawks will have a much tougher time with a more balanced Chicago attack.
4. I hate to say this, but the Saints defence pretty much beat themselves last weekend. The secondary had quite possibly its worst game of the year, making things a lot easier on Hasselbeck. Don’t expect the Seahawks to have the same opportunities against Chicago’s ninth-ranked defence.
5. Last week, I argued that the Seahawks had a big special-teams advantage because of the Leon Washington factor. But Devin Hester has been equally as good in the second half of the season, so I expect both returners to pretty much cross each other out.
I’m pretty certain the Seahawks are going to lose. And when they lose, they lose big. Seattle hasn’t fallen by fewer than 15 points all season. They’ll get destroyed in Chicago. Bears 35, Seahawks 13
GLS picks last week: 4-0 (4-0 against the spread)