The Seattle Seahawks, the Cinderella team of this playoff season, conquered the New Orleans Saints in the wild card playoffs, but this time, they face a different opponent. Whereas the New Orleans Saints defense could be battered by the Seahawk’s Marshawn Lynch, the Chicago Bears defense with Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs won’t be that easy. However, the Good and the Bad Jay Cutler could pose interesting results, as well as the Good and Bad Matt Hasselbeck with Charlie Whitehurst peeking over his shoulder.
During the regular season, Chicago Bears Jay Cutler had 3,274 yards passing, 23 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a 86.3 quarterback rating. However, he’s a bit sporadic, sometimes doing better against the better defenses and sometimes doing a whole lot worse. The Seattle Seahawks Matt Hasselbeck had 3,001 yards passing, 12 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and a decrepit 73.2 quarterback rating during the regular season. However, he improved significantly against the New Orleans Saints with 272 yards passing, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception and a 113.0 quarterback rating. However, this is a push right now, depending on which Cutler and Hasselbeck decide to show up, with the Seahawks gaining the slight edge due to their win over the Saints previously. Hasselbeck’s morale should be high going against this defense but…
The Seattle Seahawks wide receivers Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu had a compiled total of 1,245 yards receiving, 6 touchdowns and averaged 14.0 yards per reception between the both of them during the regular season. In the post-season, Mike Williams is currently ranked 7th with 68 yards and a touchdown to his name. On the other hand, the Bears receiver Johnny Knox had 960 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns and averaged 18.8 yards per reception during the regular season. His partner Earl Bennett had 561 yards receiving, 3 touchdowns and averaged 12.2 yards per reception. Additionally, the Bears have their last and most dangerous weapon, Matt Forte, who has 547 yards, 3 touchdowns and averaged 10.7 yards per reception. The Bears get the edge with their variety of weapons at their disposal.
Intriguing setup given how Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks detonated against the Saints last game, but Seattle had problems stopping the run, as they ranked 21st during the regular season. The Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch had 737 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns and averaged 3.6 yards per carry during the regular season. He was ranked 28th during the regular season, but he is currently ranked 1st in the post-season. On the other hand, Matt Forte of the Bears had 1,069 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns and averaged 4.5 yards per reception. He was ranked 15th in terms of rushing yardage, far better than Marshawn Lynch. The Bears get the edge in this one, as Forte is more of a more effective running back than Lynch.
The Seahawks tight end John Carlson had 318 yards, 1 touchdown and averaged 10.3 yards per reception during the regular season. In the post-season game against the New Orleans Saints, he had 17 yards, 2 touchdowns and averaged 5.7 yards per reception. On the other side of the ball, the Bears tight end Greg Olsen has 404 yards, 5 touchdowns and averaged 9.9 yards per reception. Both tight ends should be leaned on this game, but given the Bears rush ability, John Carlson and the Seahawks get the edge.
During the regular season, the Seattle Seahawks defense was ranked 27th against the pass, 21st against the rush and overall, 27th in the league. On the other hand, the Chicago Bears defense was ranked 2oth against the pass, 2nd against the run and 9th overall. Dominating Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was 11th in terms of tackles overall with 125, and both Bears cornerback Charles Tillman and safety Chris Harris were ranked 10th in interceptions overall with 5 each. However, going in Seattle’s favor is that they did upset the New Orleans defense that was ranked 4th during the regular season. It’s hard to imagine lightning striking twice for this Cinderella team, but anything is possible this season. By the numbers, the Chicago Bears dominate the edge in terms of talent and statistics, but the Seahawks have shown they can disrupt that.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has shown that he is capable of leashing a potent offensive attack, but whether he can keep it up against the Chicago Bears defense, that remains to be seen. Considering how the defense contained Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers much of their last regular season game, it does not bode well for Matt Hasselbeck nor the Seahawks offense this time around. Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith has relied on the traditional Bears game — grind the ball with the running back Matt Forte and hit them hard with the defense led by Brian Urlacher. Lovie Smith and the Bears get a moderate edge in terms of weapons available to him, but for both coaches, it depends on which quarterback decides to show up. Both quarterbacks have been less than impressive generally the regular season.
The edge goes to the Chicago Bears 21-10 by the numbers. This should become a ground-based, in-the-trenches kind of game. However, week 6 has shown that whoever has the best ground game can win this. In that week of the regular season, Justin Forsett of the Seahawks dominated the game, but this is a different Chicago Bears team that hasn’t become as pass-happy as before. Realistically, it could potentially be a fairly close game again, similar to week 6: 20-17 Bears.