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Seahawks vs. Bears

By Clark September 27, 2009

After a disappointing road loss last week to NFC West rival San Francisco, the Seahawks (1-1) are back home today to host the Chicago Bears (1-1) at Qwest. The Hawks will be without star QB Matt Hasselbeck, who fractured a rib last week diving for a touchdown at the end of the first half. Fortunately for Seattle, backup Seneca Wallace has plenty of playing experience and looked fairly solid in the second half of last week’s game (15/23 for 127 yards).

The Bears are coming off a huge comeback win against the defending Superbowl champion Steelers in Chicago last weekend.

Both teams will be missing Pro Bowl defensive players, with Lofa Tatupu and Walter Jones likely out for the Seahawks and defensive captain Brian Urlacher out for the Bears. The problem for the Hawks in this matchup is that Chicago’s perennially-tough defense has stepped up in Urlacher’s absence, holding a solid Pittsburgh offense to just 14 points last week.

The Hawks will have to run the ball successfully to beat Chicago this afternoon. While solid overall, the Bears defense has shown some vulnerability to the run, allowing 4.5 yards per rush in the first two games. Jones and Forsett should see plenty of carries today, but Wallace will have to show early that he’s a credible threat to beat Chicago through the air—otherwise the Bears will stack the box and stuff the run all day.

The line has crept up over the course of the week, opening with Chicago as a one-point favorite and is currently Bears -2½.

Despite the defensive injuries, I like the Hawks chances to shut down what has been an inconsistent and unimpressive Bears offense—especially in the deafening environment at Qwest. Wallace and the rushing game should be able to move the ball, and if they can avoid turning it over, the Hawks should be able to get it done.

Prediction: Seattle 23, Chicago 20.

The Huskies game, by the way, happened as I predicted. I don't like it either.

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