THREE KEYS TO VICTORY:
Shut down Chicago’s running attack.
Last week, the Seahawks allowed Frank Gore to rumble for over 200 yards on the ground, including long bursts of 79 and 80 yards.
You’re not going to win a football game if the opposing running back is that dominant.
The Seahawks need to win the battles up front and control their assignments on defense. No more mental errors; they had a week to practice and review film and shouldn’t make the same mistakes this week.
Chicago will attack with talented running back Matt Forte, a second-year player and fantasy football favorite.
So far this year, Matt Forte has rushed for 84 yards on 38 carries (2.2 yard average) and zero touchdowns. Forte has been less-than-spectacular, but many analysts are predicting this to be the week he gets it going.
Seattle defenders need to ensure that Forte will need one more week to find space on the ground.
Create turnovers on defense.
Last week against the 49ers, the Seahawks didn’t force any turnovers. And if you turn the ball over more than your opponent, you’ll lose the football game.
Forcing a turnover not only takes the football away from your opponent’s offense and limits their ability to score, but it also helps to shorten the field for your offense. Seattle will need all the help it can get scoring points today.
The defense will have to create fumbles, force Jay Cutler into bad throws, and dominate on special teams. If Seattle is going to win, they need to finish the game with positive turnovers.
Find a rhythm offensively.
With a new quarterback, it is always difficult find a rhythm on offense.
That is the task facing the Seahawks today, when quarterback Seneca Wallace likely starts in place of injured Matt Hasselbeck.
The Seahawks can’t afford to repeat last week’s offensive performance. They can’t continue to have three-and-out offensive series.
Seneca Wallace needs to get the offense in rhythm, control the clock, march down the field, and put points on the board. He needs to get in sync with his receivers and prove last week was only an aberration.
And since Seattle needs to control the clock as well, the running game needs to get going. Last week, the Seahawks ran for 2.9 yards per carry. Against the Bears, they’ll have to do much better in establishing consistency on offense.
WHAT TO WATCH:
With quarterback Matt Hasselbeck extremely unlikely to play this afternoon, Seneca Wallace likely starts at quarterback.
Wallace was unimpressive in San Francisco (join the club), but has a week of preparation on his side against Chicago. Practice during the week is a lot different if you’re playing with the first unit and preparing as the starting quarterback.
Still, watch Seneca Wallace play today. He has excellent athleticism and moves well in the pocket, and he should develop a better rapport with his receivers today.
Seneca Wallace needs to step up big in today’s game. He needs to play well and prove he is capable of marching an NFL offense down the field. The Seahawks need to find some sort of rhythm on offense following a 23-10 loss in San Francisco.
FUN TO WATCH:
The Seahawks, in general, will be fun to watch this afternoon.
The team is going to go “green” and debut lime-green alternate jerseys on the field today. Hate it or love it, the Seattle Seahawks will be fun to watch. The unique alternate jersey will be on highlight reels around the country.
And hopefully the Seahawks will make a couple of big plays to complement them.
I’m a homer; it is difficult for me to pick against the Seahawks on any given Sunday. The Seahawks are banged up, missing several players, and likely without quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
But the Seahawks are at home. And they’re going to debut the alternate jerseys, which should create some excitement in the stands at Qwest Field.
The Seahawks win today, but not by much.
Chicago 16, Seattle 20