Primer time! With Sunday’s NFL playoff matchup between the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks fast approaching, it’s time to get to know these two wonderful participants. First up: the offense.
Quarterback: If Matt Hasselbeck vs. Jay Cutler doesn’t get you excited, nothing will. By excited, we mean in a “what’s going to happen next?” sense because with these two anything is possible, and not in a good way. Cutler suffers from the curse of all Bears’ quarterbacks, it seems, and is plagued by inconsistency. Hasselbeck has the same problem, either stringing together a brilliant performance or one that forces Seattle fans to look at Charlie Whitehurst and say “hmmmm, maybe.”
Sunday’s quarterback battle looks like the ultimate derp-off between two worthy contestants. Analysts and expert have been upgrading the Seahawks chances in Chicago this weekend simply because Jay Cutler is at quarterback for the Bears. If the Seahawks can get pressure on him like the last time these two teams played, odds are Cutler will wrap turnovers up and hand them to the Seattle defense like it’s Christmas all over again.
Running Back: One side has Matt Forte, the other has a running back that can cause an earthquake. Forte is nice and all, but he’s not shaking the ground while plowing through the opposing defense.
On a serious note, if Chicago can run the ball, limiting Cutler’s chances to screw the game up, it could be a long day for the Seahawks. Forte broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2010 and can be that workhorse back for the Bears. Seahawks fans should be worried about Forte pounding the ball in the blustery Chicago weather.
Wide Receivers: The Seahawks bring a rag-tag group of misfits to Chicago that have come together like Captain Planet in 2010. The Mike Williams reclamation tour continues to roll, with Ben Obomanu sliding in nicely at the No. 2 slot. The Seahawks’ receivers aren’t going to wow you on paper, but they’ve left teams wondering who the heck it was that just burned them when all was said and done this season.
The Bears also bring a rag-tag group of misfits into the game, giving us a pretty even matchup. Johnny Knox is the star, with Earl Bennett and Devin Hester playing complementary roles. Even Forte gets in on the action out of the backfield.
Tight Ends: The disappearance of John Carlson in 2010 was all part of the plan. Nobody ever expects the quiet guy, and Carlson delivered out of the blue against the New Orleans Saints, just like we all expected. He even showed off his acting skills, falling down and playing dead before popping up to catch a touchdown.
Watch out for Greg Olsen in the red zone. He’s big, he’s physical and he catches touchdowns. His numbers don’t jump out — 404 yards and five touchdowns — but he’s always a threat to have a monster game.
Offensive Lines: You didn’t think we’d live the big boys out, did you? On the Seahawks side, Russell Okung has been outstanding when healthy. Problem is, he’s been working with ankles that roll-over at the slightest touch. He’s healthy now and ready for action, so watch out world.
Tyler Polumbus did nothing to impress this season, but was the first man in the end zone during Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard touchdown run. That’s a 300-plus pound man rumbling 70 yards, getting out in front of Lynch. That has to count for something, right?
The Seahawks and Bears kick if off with a berth in the NFC Championship on the line, Sunday at 10 a.m. Follow our StoryStream for the latest on the game as we look at the matchups and try to figure out if the Seahawks can pull off the improbable once again this weekend.