Game Preview: Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Game Preview: Seahawks at Bears

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

FOX Chicago Sports' Tom Waddle previews Sunday's matchup between the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks.

Offense

The modest numbers don't reflect the progress made by the Chicago Bears offense in last weeks win over the Minnesota Vikings. Mike Tice did his best work protecting his quarterback with help on the edge, a balanced game plan and getting Jay Cutler outside the pocket. Cutler was sacked just once and responded with one of his most impressive performances of the year. Continued improvement will be tough to achieve with the injuries up front and a hobbled Matt Forte.

As for the Seahawks, they are efficient but not explosive. Rookie Russell Wilson is completing 64% of his passes with 17 TDs and just 8 interceptions. He has been much better at home than on the road and is more than happy to turn around and hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch. Lynch has rushed for more than 1000 yards and averages 4½ yards per carry.

The offense is a push.

Defense

Rod Marinelli's guys got back to what they do best last week: limiting the big plays, pressuring the quarterback and creating turnovers. The safety play was much better as well. For the year, they're allowing just over 300 yards and 16 points per game while creating a league high 33 takeaways. They too were banged up and the health of several key players may play a role in Sunday's outcome.

The Seahawks possess an excellent defense as well. They allow 320 yards and 20 points per game. Chris Clemons and rookie Bruce Irvin are dynamic edge rushers, combining for 15 sacks. The secondary is as big and athletic as any in the league. Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are 6'3, physical corners capable of containing elite receivers. They're also both facing a four game suspension for violating the leagues drug policy. Their absence would be crippling for Seattle.

The Bears get the edge on defense.

Special Teams

Keep an eye on Leon Washington. He's been one of the elite return men in the game for the last several years. Dave Toub's guys were creative last week, but have yet to reach previous years dominance.

The special teams is a draw.

Intangibles

What a difference a week makes. After a convincing win over a divisional opponent last Sunday, the "sky is falling" mentality of Bears fans has subsided a bit. There are still several serious concerns, but at 8-3, Lovie Smith's guys have put themselves in a great position, currently sitting atop the NFC North.

At 6-5, the Seahawks come to town in desperate need of a win to stay in the NFC wild card chase. But recent history tells a concerning story for Pete Carroll's troops. Undefeated at home, the Seahawks are just 1-5 away from their friendly confines. Four of those 5 losses have come at the hands of teams with losing records. Needless to say, location means everything Sunday. If this one played out in Seattle, I'd be more than a little concerned. And while I still have trust issues with our guys, I believe they're up to the challenge. Should be a good one.

Prediction

Bears 24, Seahawks 21

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