Week 3 of the NFL season is here, and it is time for the Seattle Seahawks to get back on the winning track. This week they host the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field. The Bears are off to a rough start, and and limp into Seattle after an 0-2 start to the season.
To get the skinny on all the happenings in Chicago, I sat down with Mike Burzawa from BearGogglesOn for a few questions. Lets just saw he was brutally honest about his favorite team. Take a look:
1. So… Jimmy Clausen? Is that really happening, and what can we expect to see from him on Sunday?
Yup, it sure looks like Clausen will be under center for the Bears as Jay Cutler nurses a hamstring injury. Happy Home Opener! The Bears were facing long odds against the Seahawks with a full compliment of players, but with Cutler and Alshon Jeffery nursing injuries, the Bears offense limps into Seattle grossly undermanned.
Clausen was ineffective in relief of Cutler last week, but it’s not entirely surprising to have the backup QB come off the bench and show a little rust. The backups rarely get a lot of work with the first string offense during the week, so I expect Clausen to be a little better prepared on Sunday.
I think Clausen will have better command of the game plan but heading into Seattle against the Seahawks defense will be a big challenge. Clausen is 1-10 as a starter in the league, and I don’t think that record improves after Sunday.
2. Matt Forte is off to a great start this season. He also average just 3.9 yards per carry last year and is 30 years old. What’s been the secret to him looking so strong early in this season?
Forte is a consummate professional. He works out like a madman in the offseason and always shows up in top physical condition. Besides Forte’s preparation, I think Adam Gase’s scheme is well suited to his running style. We’ve seen Forte take the ball upfield, stick his foot in the ground and make a decisive cutback to open up some big runs.
The Bears offensive line may commit a lot of penalties (my over/under for false starts on Sunday is 5 BTW), and they may struggle in pass protection, but they can run block. Pro Bowler Kyle Long is transitioning from right guard to right tackle and hasn’t missed a beat.
He’s been pulling to lead Forte on a couple of big runs. How many right tackles do you see pulling to lead plays? Long is a big key to the Bears success running the ball as well. Also look out for Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie Jeremy Langford to spell Forte to rest is aging legs.
3. Pernell McPhee appeared to be a great signing by the Bears in the offseason. How much of an impact has he had on Chicago’s defense thus far?
Pernell McWho? McPhee has gotten off to a rough start in his Bears career after two games. He was rookie GM Ryan Pace’s top free agent target coming off a breakout season for a stout Ravens defense, it seemed like McPhee would be a linchpin to the new Bears 3-4 defense. We’ll temper our expectations a bit and give him some time to settle in.
A big key to defensive units coming together is trust; players knowing their assignments and trusting their teammates to be a position to make the stop. I think this Bears defense is still developing that trust. McPhee showed improvement from Week 1 to Week 2, getting some pressure on Carson Palmer last week. With some cracks in the Seahawks offensive line, look for McPhee to create some disruptions and pressure Russel Wilson.
4. With Kevin White on IR and Alshon Jeffery injured? Who is left for the Seahawks secondary to cover? Does Chicago have any healthy receivers that Seattle needs to worry about?
Don’t forget about Eddie Royal; he’s been nursing injuries of his own. The Bears had a solid plan heading into the season. Put Alshon Jeffery on one side, Kevin White on the other with Royal in the slot. That would have provided Cutler with some solid options across the field. As you pointed out, White came to camp injured (on the PUP list by the way, so he may return this season), Jeffery tried to battle through a sore calf in Week 1 that aggravated his hamstring and has him sidelined.
Third year wide receiver Marquess Wilson has seen a few more targets, but the majority of work will go to tight end Martellus Bennett and running back Matt Forte out of the backfield. You know Bennett wants to have a big day for a couple of reasons.
First, he wants to show well against his brother Michael who’s on the other side of the ball. Second, Bennett has been clamoring for a contract extension. With the gold standard for tight end contracts on the Seahawks sideline, Bennett will try to make his case for new paper with a big day on Sunday. If only there was someone to get him the ball.
5. Time for a prediction. Can the Bears keep this one close? Do you think they can pull off the unlikely upset? Who wins, and by what score?
Do I have to??? I think it’s going to be ugly for the Bears. The Seahawks will look to make a statement in their home opener while righting the ship to get on the winning side of the ledger in 2015. The Bears offense could have had opportunities but between the absence of Cutler and the return of Chancellor, that matchup becomes lopsided.
On the other side, Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch should be able to have their way with the Bears rebuilding defense. The Bears bid for a late backdoor cover of the 14-point spread is thwarted by a pick-6 to ice a Seahawks win.
Seahawks 30 – Bears 13
More from 12th Man Rising
- 4 prospects Seahawks could reach for at No. 20 in 2023 NFL Draft
- Seattle Seahawks Mock Draft: Post-first wave of free agency
- Seahawks podcast: A review of the first week of free agency
- 4 experiments the Seattle Seahawks could cut short in 2023
- 3 pros and cons of Seattle Seahawks drafting Anthony Richardson