In a potential playoff preview (yeah, I went there already), the Seattle Seahawks travel to Chicago to take on the first-place Bears, who some experts believe is the ugliest 4-1 team in NFL history.
The Hawks are 2-0 at home, with wins over the 49ers and Chargers. But in their two road games, these birds have been beaten by a combined score of 51-17, including a 20-3 undressing by the St. Louis Rams…yes, those St. Louis Rams.
On paper, this one looks like a Bears beatdown. But that’s why they play the games. In honor of our visitors from the Great Northwest, here’s a shot of espresso-sized edition of Bears Buy/Sell.
In his return from a concussion, Jay Cutler will pass for at least 300 yards.
BUY. With a healthy Cutler facing the league’s 31st best pass defense, yards will be easy to come by for the Bears. The Seahawks were burned badly by Cutler’s old nemesis, Philip Rivers, to the tune of 455 yards…and that was at home.
The Seahawks will sack Jay Cutler 4 times.
BUY. Ladies and Gentlemen of Chi-town, this is your new and improved(?) offensive line: Omiyale-Williams-Kreutz-Williams-Webb (Take that, Minnesota. Your Vikes aren’t the only ones in the division with a Williams Wall.) It will take a couple of weeks for this unit to gel, especially considering Chris Williams’ move from tackle to guard. Chris Clemons is Seattle’s best pass rusher, with 4 sacks and 11 QB hits. Chances are he’ll put two tallies on the board in Chicago. I think Cutler will manage to fall/run into two more during the course of the game.
Matt Forte will gain 100 yards rushing.
SELL. The Seahawks have the 2nd best rush defense in the league (72.8 yards per game). Thanks to the Bears 218-yard effort vs. Carolina last week, they now average almost 4 yards per carry. But don’t look for the same results this week, especially with a mish-mashed Bears offensive line.
The Seahawks will rush for 80 yards.
SELL. Does the Seahawks running back tandem of Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett scare you? Me neither. After facing Jacobs/Bradshaw in NY two weeks ago and Williams/Stewart in Carolina last week, the Bears will get a nice little breather against SEA.
The Seahawks passing game will put a scare into the Bears.
SELL. For the second consecutive week, the Bears secondary will face a group of no-name WRs. With this week’s trade of Deion Branch from Seattle back to the Patriots, these are Pete Carroll’s WRs: Deon Butler, Ben Obomanu, Mike Williams and the recently signed Brandon Stokley. You could make an argument that Carroll’s former employer, USC, has better wideouts than the ‘Hawks.
Lance Briggs will suit up for the Bears.
SELL. Briggs is questionable with a bum ankle. But for the reasons outlined above, there’s no need to rush him back vs. the Hawks. If you thought Nick Roach would start in his place, think again. Free agent pickup Brian Iwuh will likely get the nod at the strongside LB spot.
Man, does this post wreak of over-confidence on the Bears part or what! But I did mention Seattle was trounced 20-3 by the RAMS, right? I thought so…
Bears – 27, Hawks – 14