Seahawks vs Bears keys to the game


The 0-2 Seattle Seahawks host the 0-2 Chicago Bears Sunday afternoon. What do the Seahawks and Bears need to do to finally get their season going in the right direction?

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Seattle Seahawks

1: Get on the Bears early. Centurylink Field is going to be insanely loud and in Seattle’s favor, and you want to try to put a struggling team away early. You want them to start to doubt themselves from within if you get a quick 7 or 14 points on them before they even feel ready to compete. Give your defense a bigger lead to protect, something they have not been given the first two weeks of the season. Attempt to show them they are out of your league.

2: Let Russell Wilson take control early. With reports that Marshawn Lynch is a game time decision, this would be the perfect game to let Russell Wilson take control early. Let him go up tempo on the first drive or have him take a play action shot deep to keep the Bears on their heels.

3: Pass to set up the run. This relates to #2. Marshawn Lynch has a lot of pressure everytime he receives a hand off because of how dedicated Seattle is to the run. Combine that with a new offensive line, and the run game hasn’t been pretty, but not because of Marshawn Lynch. You can pass to set up the run, although Seattle primarily believes you run to set up the pass. With your new expensive QB and TE, showing off some of that could be a great weapon for Seattle to have in their back pocket if they can keep teams guessing. This will help out Lynch going forward as well.

4: Turnovers! On paper, Seattle is a far better team than the Chicago, especially with Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery out. This is the type of game where if you aren’t careful with the football, you can let a far worse team linger in the game and have shots to believe in themselves and go for the upset. Protect the ball and confuse the backup QB (Jimmy Clausen) and seal this game away early.

5: Get Jimmy Graham involved early. A lot has been made of Jimmy Graham’s 2 targets for 1 reception in a loss to the Green Bay Packers, which spurred (false?) reports about Jimmy Graham being pretty upset about his role, while the Seahawks, Jimmy Graham and Seattle local reporters suggesting he’s only disappointed about losing. The truth probably lies closer to that. He’s a competitive guy who didn’t get to contribute much, so losing sucks even more. Get Jimmy Graham involved down the seams or on play action.

Chicago Bears

1: Bring out the trick plays. Chicago should go into this game ready to do anything at any point in the game. If they had Cutler, perhaps they could play straight up. I refuse to believe Chicago coaches can honestly assess this game without feeling like they need to generate a couple big plays via trickery, whether it be formation alighment, a fake punt, flea flicker, onside kick, so on. The Bears need to do everything they can to get big plays, and trick plays should be in play Sunday afternoon.

2: Protect the ball at all costs. A punt is better than a turnover. Playing against the Seahawks in Seattle is a different dynamic than a lot of venues. You can’t let the crowd control the tempo of the game, you need to give them a reason to be quiet. If it’s 3rd and 7 and you have to throw it away instead of risking an interception, Jimmy Clausen should be being told all week that a punt is okay. Don’t do anything to snowball the game in the Seahawks favor.

3: Feed Matt Forte the ball as often as humanly possible. Matt Forte is only one man, but he’s one of the best running backs in the NFL and is constantly underrated. He is a dynamic player as a runner and as a catcher, and the Bears should be looking for every possible way to get him the ball. Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte are the only dynamic players they have on offense, and they need their studs to play like studs if they want to pull off the upset.

4: Test Kam Chancellor. This doesn’t sound like a great plan under most circumstances, but Kam Chancellor has just come off his hold out and may be playing. He reportedly is in great shape, but everyone will find out if he’s game speed ready if he plays. If you’re the Bears, you have got to try to find formations and alignments that will ask Kam Chancellor to play in space, whether it’s forcing Kam to make a tackle on Forte or forcing Kam to cover Martellus Bennett.

5: This might sound crazy, but I’d suggest forcing the Seahawks running game beat you if I were the Bears. If Marshawn Lynch is banged up or not even playing, why are you going to let Russell Wilson have the potential to beat you if you blitz him or letting him find open receivers? Force Russell Wilson to check the ball down often. At times Wilson wants to bite off more than he can chew and will pass up an open checkdown despite making eye contact with the player. Force him to go on long drives where he has to convert multiple third and mediums.

Next: Marshawn Lynch injury a sign of things to come?

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