I got into this a little bit on Twitter and thought I’d expound on my feelings about this game. In a nutshell, I won’t be picking the Seahawks to win until I actually see them do it first.
Last week, the Seahawks went to Denver, and it’s unfortunate timing from a scheduling perspective, because the Broncos never fucking lose at home in September. I would argue the Seahawks are a pretty middle-of-the-road football team in the NFL (really, I’ve been saying that all along, and nothing in that first game has changed my mind in the slightest), and if you played that game in Seattle, the Seahawks probably would’ve won. I think even on a neutral field – that isn’t a mile fucking high – the Seahawks are better than the Broncos, and I believe their respective records will reflect that by season’s end (as well as the stats and all the rest). But, on that day, in that location, coming off of a pretty light preseason, there was just no way. When you hear about all the guys cramping up and puking on the sidelines, with the heat and the elevation and all that, it sounded pretty miserable. All the cards were stacked in Denver’s favor, and to their credit, they got the job done in the end.
This week, the Seahawks go to Chicago for Monday Night Football. Again, the timing feels pretty unfortunate. We’re now 0-1, we’ve yet to play a home game, and we get stuck playing Khalil Mack and a hyper-aggressive defense that should give our offensive line fits in pass protection. A lot of people are down on the Bears, but I kinda like ’em. If I had to rank them, I’d probably put them right in that Denver Broncos range. Denver probably has a better QB (then again, time will tell) by a slight margin, but I would argue the Bears are even better defensively. And the Bears have a number of quality weapons for Mitch Trubisky to give the ball to.
The key in this game is going to be whether or not Trubisky can avoid making a lot of huge mistakes. The Seahawks’ pass rush shouldn’t be an issue, so he should have plenty of time to throw. If he just makes smart, safe decisions, the Bears should have no trouble moving the ball down the field just enough to out-score the Seahawks and win this game by a close margin.
In short, I think the Seahawks are the better team overall, I think the Seahawks would win this one if it was in Seattle, and I think we’d also probably win this one on a neutral field. Just like last week, I think we’re going to fall short, because I don’t think our defense is good enough to get those critical late-game stops with a narrow lead, and I don’t think our offense will be good enough against that defense to overcome a narrow deficit late in the game. I hope I’m wrong, but there you go.
What can the Seahawks do to shock the world?
How about playing a clean game as far as offensive penalties are concerned? How about converting third downs? How about running the ball and sticking with the hot hand, which will almost assuredly be Chris Carson?
I want to see Carson having a big game in general (I think the rushing attack is going to be the great equalizer when it comes to slowing down the Bears’ pass rush), I want to see Tyler Lockett with a ton of catches and a ton of yards, and I want to see Brandon Marshall catch another TD or two. If we can get those guys going, I think we’ll be all right.
If we can score 28 or more points, I think we’ll be all right.
But, if we score in that 24-point range, I think it’ll be a heartbreaking defeat.
The key for the Seahawks here is to get a lead that’s bigger than 3 points late in the game. If we can get a 4-point lead, and force the Bears to drive the length of the field to score a touchdown, I think PROBABLY our defense can hold up. But, if it’s 3 points or less, there’s just no way. Not with how shitty our D-Line is.
In other news, the Seahawks signed Mychal Kendricks to a 1-year deal. Assuming the NFL doesn’t suspend him, that’s an awesome signing for a defense that’s looking increasingly short on linebackers as guys keep popping up on the injury report. I hope he plays this week and I hope he fucking kicks ass!