Bears Defense vs. Seahawks Offense:
One name that should put a huge smile on Kahlil Mack‘s face. Germain Ifedi. Enough said.
Anyone who has seen the Seattle versus Denver game via highlights, live, All-22 or in whatever form and fashion saw Denver Edge Defender Von Miller shred through his overmatched opponent.
Miller is the only outside Linebacker coming off the Edge one can argue is the equal of Mack. Mr. Ifedi does not have an easier matchup after the last horrific matchup he had. It may very well be more challenging. It can be assumed Mack will get a lot of attention. That will leave a ton of opportunity for the rest of that front 7 who will be matched up against one of the weaker units in all of football. The Seattle Seahawks offensive line.
Many expect it to improve as The season moves along mainly due to new hire Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari. Like Bears Offensive Line Coach Harry Heistand, Solari is highly regarded and one of the most respected position coaches in football. However, for now, this front 7 may be the best Seattle faces all season long.
Fortunately, for Seattle, Quarterback Russell Wilson is used to playing behind a mediocre or below Offensive Line. As bad as that line is the Bears will have to mind their contain and possibly even spy Wilson at times as he is most dangerous out of the pocket. This will be helped by the larger number of snaps Bears 2018 first round pick Roquan Smith will undoubtably get.
In the pocket is where they need to keep the diminutive Wilson and force him to throw over the line. This should create possible batted ball opportunities so the Linebackers will have to be alert for possible pick opportunities.
As for the Bears backend their jobs will be much easier without having to deal with Doug Baldwin who will be out for Monday night’s matchup with an MCL sprain he sustained in their last game. Both Kyler Fuller and Prince Amukamara should be plenty pumped up for this matchup to get a little redemption, especially Fuller. Both were beaten for scores and Fuller dropped a game ending interception from Aaron Rodgers which doesn’t happen very often.
Add Eddie Jackson to that redemption list as he was the guy that dove to the ground trying to bat a pass down rather than run through it and make the tackle.
The Seahawks aren’t exactly loaded with gifted pass catchers without Baldwin. Tyler Lockette and Brandon Marshall give them solid vets however, so the Bears secondary still needs to be frosty. Will Dissly gives Wilson an adequate option at the Tight End position who had a whale of a game against the Broncos.
The Seahawks running attack is more steady than explosive which is why they drafted Rashaad Penny who does not appear to be ready to take on a large amount of carries. Chris Carson is their starter for now and C.J. Prosise gives them a little juice as their main backup and a dangerous pass catching option out of the backfield.
All in all the Bears run defense won’t be facing an elite unit. The hopeful return of D.J. Flucker (listed as doubtful for tonight’s game) does give them a road grating Guard to boost their power run game. The increased snaps Smith is sure to get will help the Bears run defense. Between he and Danny Trevathan the Bears will have plenty of speed and instincts going sideline to sideline, as well as, attacking the A gaps.
Bears Offense Vs. Seahawks Defense:
Just as I did with the Bears Defense vs. The Seahawks Offense I’ll start in the trenches. The Bears Offensive Line started out with an excellent game versus the Packers. It wasn’t perfect but more than effective enough to Give the Bears Offense a chance to produce big numbers.
The Bears Offensive Line helped the Bears gain 140 yards on the ground with 27 carries for a 5.2 yard average and a Touchdown with Trubisky on a Quarterback draw.
While the Packers were credited with 3 sacks two of those were from Trubisky running out of bounds for zero yard gains when he ran out of the pocket prematurely. The other was on then last play of the game where he once more left the pocket without pressure and took away Charles Leno‘s ability to push Nick Perry past the backside of the pocket because after Trubisky rolled right for no apparent reason there was no pocket.
As a matter of fact, it’s hard to remember one pressure by the Packers without the help of Trubisky bailing from the pocket before actual pressure arrived. This against a pretty accomplished and talented front 7 that’s better on paper than the Seahawks for sure.
Quinton Jefferson, Jarran Reed, Tom Johnson and Frank Clark are more workman like than anything else. A front four the Bears Offensive Line should be able to control and dictate to for the most part. Hopefully for them Trubisky stays patient in the pocket and goes through his progressions with the proper sequencing. He has to take advantage of the weapons Ryan Pace went out and got for him.
The Broncos ran for 146 yards on 32 carries for a 4.6 yard average and had just one sack and hardly any pressures while the secondary allowed Case Keenum to pass for 329 yards and 3 Touchdowns. Long gone are the days of the Legion Of Boom it would appear. Line play and the back end go hand in hand so if their Defensive front doesn’t challenge the Bears Offensive Line it should be a pretty productive offensive showing. The Bears need to get it into the end zone however. One touchdown isn’t going to cut it.
Going back to the Seahawks back end it appears like the Bears have the decided advantage. Earl Thomas is still there however, and patrolling centerfield in the famed Seahawk cover 3 scheme so the pressure is on Trubisky to be accurate and correct in his reads while going down field. His mate at Strong Safety Bradley McDougal is more box safety and a far cry from recently retired Seahawk Kam Chancellor.
The corners are Tre Flowers and Shaquil Griffen who aren’t going to instill fear in the hearts of Wide Receiver corps throughout the league but have typical size and length the Seahawks like to employ in their press/man scheme. To make matters worse for the Seahawks Flowers may not play tonight nursing his own injury. Allen Robinson, Andrew Miller and Taylor Gabriel need to exploit that secondary.
The Seahawks Linebackers are a good unit with a great player in Bobby Wagner manning the middle and running the defense. Unfortunately foe the banged up Seahawks he’s listed as out for tonight’s game. Linebacker K J. Wright who is still recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery he had in late August will also be out tonight. While the Seahawks like Shaquill Griffin they did at one point have to bench him as he was getting man handled in the run game. However, in pass defense he should be able to do the job checking Trey Burton so Burton better be at his best.
In the kicking game Pat O’Donnell was his usual reliable self helping to minimize return yardage by booming punts high and deep with excellent directional placement. Cody Parkey made all his Field Goals and one point conversions and routinely booted the ball out of play on kickoffs.
For the Seahawks Sebastian Janokowski is still in the league kicking the ball far and accurately and Michael Dickson has one of the best legs in the league.
As long as Pete Carroll is running the team they will have good special teams as they routinely are among the best in the league under his rule. The Bears aren’t too shabby either with Dave Toub protege Chris Tabor running the show. He inherited an excellent coverage unit and a dangerous punt returner in Tarik Cohen. Kick returner is no great shakes in Benny Cunningham but with the new rules on kickoffs the return game is all but gone forever. Tyler Lockette handles the return duties for the Seahawks and is a speedy and dangerous threat with the ball in his hands.
On paper the Bears win this one. The Seahawks do have the advantage at the most important position Quarterback for now, so that is an X-factor in this equation. It remains to be seen if the Bears are ready to take the next step and take advantage of playing a less talented team and if they can recover from last Sundays devastating loss to the Packers at Lambeau field.