Despite what appeared to be a rough early schedule, the Bears are tied for the best record in the NFL at 4–1 and have a legitimate chance to be 7–1 at the halfway point. They have back-to-back home games and a bye before facing the Bills in Toronto. First up are the 2–2 Seahawks, who own impressive wins at home against the 49ers and Chargers but have been pounded on the road by the Broncos and Rams.
Keys for the Bears
• They must do a better job of protecting quarterback Jay Cutler, who was sacked nine times in the first half against the Giants on Oct. 3 and suffered a concussion that kept him out last week.
• The defense has to get a pass rush with the four linemen. In back-to-back games against the Cowboys and Packers, the Bears had a total of zero sacks on 96 pass attempts and, as a result, were gouged for 690 yards in the air. Last week, they had five sacks against Carolina and limited the Panthers to net 62 passing yards.
Keys for the Seahawks
• Defensive end Chris Clemons, who already has four sacks, must put pressure on Cutler and at least prevent the Bears from using the seven-step drops that offensive coordinator Mike Martz loves to create big plays off. For most of the season that hasn’t worked for the Bears because their protection has been poor. But when given time Cutler has plenty of deep threats to utilize.
• They must stop the run early as most teams have done against the Bears. Chicago has been quick to abandon the ground game if it doesn’t have early success.
Given the Seahawks’ poor play on the road this season and the extensive changes to the roster, this is a game the Bears should win easily, especially with Cutler back in the lineup. The Bears’ defense, which has been especially impressive against the run, should be able to keep the Seahawks’ offense in check. Bears 28–14.