There is no doubt about it: the Seattle Seahawks are hot! If the Chicago Bears plan to beat them on Sunday they are going to need an awesome offensive performance. Recently their defense has been lacking, particularly late in the game. The Bears need to play solid and win if they want to keep their hopes alive to re-enter the wild card race within the NFC Conference. The Seahawks have not had their best season having won only six games this year. However, four of those last games have been during the last five years. The team is on a high after their 30-13 defeat of the St. Louis Rams. Seattle has something to boast about in their offense having won by 17 points two weeks in a row while breaking 30 points in each game. A definite positive development and step forward for them since losing Matt Hasselback.
The Seahawks offense has been very efficient during the last few weeks. Part of this can be attributed to quarterback Tarvaris Jackson with a 77.9 quarterback rating along with right back Marshawn Lynch with 4.3 yards per carry. Their defense has been impressive while recovering 13 turnovers during their last five matchups. Aside from appearing tired in the last few minutes of the games, the Bears will not only need to show more energy but they might be out one of their key players. Although coach Lovie Smith says Matt Forte, their running back, is making improvement each day from the MCL in his right knee, he was not at practice on Wednesday. Coach Smith said they will not consider using Forte until his injury can be tested. The coach said he wants to see the player on the practice field after suffering from such an injury.
Aside from Forte the Bears defensive end, Julius Peppers, linebacker Lance Briggs, and cornerback Charles Tillman have also missed practice with unspecified injuries although the coach says none of the injuries are serious. He says they are basically just bumps and bruises following their overtime loss to the Broncos last Sunday. Coach Smith said that quarterback Jay Cutler is still out after injuring his right thumb. One bright note is that safety Major Wright was at practice after suffering a shoulder injury. If Wright is not able to return then Craig Steltz who has filled in for Wright during the last two games has been outstanding. The Bears have a 7-6 season. They are hoping for a win against the Seahawks, particularly since they have lost their last three games.
The Seahawks head to Chicago as underdogs. This, even with their 4-1 record in the last five games and Chicago's streak of three losses. Since the Bears have several players presently suffering injuries, such as Forte, the home field might give them advantage as they face these injury problems. There is no doubt that the Seahawks will be out to avenge their Divisional Round Playoff loss last year that ended their season with a loss to the Bears while playing in Chicago. In that game the Bears opened with a 28-0 lead. The Seahawks recovered slightly but still lost 35-24. Seattle is still hunting for a playoff this season. This puts both teams in the same Wild Card hunt and that can lead to some strong rivalry.
There is no doubt that both teams will need a strong final quarter and the team who finishes strong should pull out the victory. This could possibly favor the Seahawks in the Bears game with the Broncos last week when they had three strong quarters and then crumbled in the final. This is another reason the team must maintain their energy throughout the game. Despite their standings the game is forecast to not only be a great game of football but also a close game overall.