Game Preview: Seahawks-Bears

Seneca Wallace leads an ailing Seattle Seahawks team against the Chicago Bears at Qwest Field on Sunday.

Chicago Bears (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

Time & Place:
Sunday, September 27, 2009
1:05pm PT
Qwest Field
Seattle, WA

Regular season series: Sunday will be the 11th time the Seahawks and Bears have met in the regular season, with Seattle holding a 7-3 edge in the series. The Seahawks have beaten the Bears in both of their meetings at Qwest Field, and Chicago hasn't won in Seattle in 33 years.

Notable Newcomers

Chicago
Jay Cutler, QB (Trade, Denver)
Josh Bullocks, S (UFA, New Orleans)
Frank Omiyale, G (UFA, Carolina)
Orlando Pace, T (UFA, St. Louis)
Kevin Shaffer, T (UFA, Cleveland)
Tim Shaw, LB (UFA, Jacksonville)
Pisa Tinoisamoa, LB (UFA, St. Louis)

Seattle
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR (UFA, Cincinnati)
Colin Cole, DT (UFA, Green Bay)
John Owens, TE (UFA, Detroit)
Ken Lucas, CB (UFA, Carolina)
Lawyer Milloy, S (UFA, Atlanta)

2009 Draft Class

Chicago
Jarron Gilbert, DE, San Jose State (3rd round, 68th overall)
Juaquin Iglesias, WR, Oklahoma (3rd round, 99th overall)
**Henry Melton, DE, Texas (4th round, 105th overall)
D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt (4th round, 119th overall)
Johnny Knox, WR, Abilene Christian (5th round, 140th overall)
*Marcus Freeman, LB, Ohio State (5th round, 154th overall)
Al Afalava, S, Oregon State (6th round, 190th overall)
Lance Louis, G, San Diego State (7th round, 246th overall)
*Derek Kinder, WR, Pittsburgh (7th round, 251st overall)

Seattle
Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest (1st round, 4th overall)
Max Unger, C/G, Oregon (2nd round, 49th overall)
Deon Butler, WR, Penn State (3rd round, 91st overall)
Mike Teel, QB, Rutgers (6th round, 178th overall)
*Courtney Greene, S, Rutgers (7th round, 245th overall)
Nick Reed, DE, Oregon (7th round, 247th overall)
Cameron Morrah, TE, California (7th round, 248th overall)
*-Waived
**-Injured Reserve

Stats & Rankings

Chicago

Offense
Total: 20th (313.5 yards per game)
Passing: 10th (248.5 yards per game)
Rushing: t-30th (65.0 yards per game)
Scoring: 25th (16 points per game)

Defense
Total: 5th (267.0 yards per game)
Passing: 8th (176.5 yards per game)
Rushing: 12th (90.5 yards per game)
Scoring: t-10th (17.5 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: t-24th (-2)

Seattle 

Offense
Total: 11th (364.5 yards per game)
Passing: 11th (248.0 yards per game)
Rushing: 13h (116.5 yards per game)
Scoring: t-20th (19.0 points per game)

Defense
Total: 12th (313.0 yards per game)
Passing: 2nd (146.5 yards per game)
Rushing: t-12th (166.5 yards per game)
Scoring: 3rd (11.5 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: t-26th (-3)

Injury Report

Chicago

OUT: LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee)
Doubtful: TE Desmond Clark (rib),
Questionable: DE Alex Brown (ankle)
Probable: DT Israel Idonije (knee), DT Tommie Harris (knee), G Frank Omiyale (ankle)

Seattle

OUT: LB Leroy Hill (groin), T Sean Locklear (ankle), CB Josh Wilson (ankle)
Doubtful: RB Justin Griffith (knee), QB Matt Hasselbeck (rib), LB Lofa Tatupu (hamstring)
Questionable: CB Ken Lucas (groin), DT Brandon Mebane (calf), T Walter Jones (knee)
Probable: WR Deion Branch (hamstring), CB Travis Fisher (hamstring), C Chris Spencer (quad), WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (back)

TV/Radio

FOX has Dick Stockton on play-by-play, with Charles Davis as analyst. Locally the game will be shown on FOX-13, with 97.3 FM and 710 ESPN Seattle providing the radio broadcast, with Steve Raible on play-by-play, Warren Moon on analysis, and Jen Mueller reporting from the sidelines.

Vegas Line: Bears -1 ½ (o/u 37) 

Keys to the Game

Keep Cutler in the Pocket – Part of what makes Jay Cutler a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback are his abilities to beat the blitz and to make plays outside the pocket. Sending a lot of pass-rushers at him might not make a lot of sense, but whether they rush with four, five, or six guys, they'll need to be disciplined in their rush and not allow Cutler to escape the pocket to buy time for his receivers downfield.

Establish the Run – With Seneca Wallace starting, and with Brandon Frye protecting his blindside, Seattle should look to establish the run to take pressure off Wallace and to slow down the Bears' pass rush. A big day from Julius Jones, or from Jones, Justin Forsett, Edgerrin James, and Wallace, will keep Cutler where Jim Mora and Gus Bradley want him: On the sidelines.

Force Turnovers – The Seahawks have forced one turnover this season, and it came on the opening kick of the 2009 season. They are missing two of their top three cornerbacks and linebackers, but the replacements have got to find a way to make a big play and force a turnover or two against Chicago.

NorthwestFootball.net Prediction

It won't be easy, and it assuredly won't be pretty, but Seneca Wallace has proven himself to be one of the NFL's top back-up quarterbacks the Seahawks should be more physical upfront with the return of Chris Spencer. Playing at home helps, as the defense will have the extra half-step on the Bears' offensive line, which should result in the ‘Hawks getting some pressure on Jay Cutler. If Seattle can limit Matt Forte, there's no reason they can't win on Sunday.

Pick: Seahawks 24, Bears 21

In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog and writes for FalconInsider.com on the Scout network. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so by clicking here.

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