Seattle Seahawks (4th Seed) at Chicago Bears (2nd Seed)

Soldier Field

Announcers: Kenny Albert (play-by-play), Daryl Johnston (color commentator) and Tony Siragusa (Sideline reporter) FOX

Last Meeting: The Seahawks defeated Chicago in week six of the 2010 season 23-20. Mike Williams tore up the Bears defense with 123-yards as the Bears missed LB Lance Briggs.

Analysis:

Last time the two met the Bears defense helped the Seahawks out drastically with Lance Briggs being out due to an injury. This week the Bears will have him back, but unlike the Bears QB Jay Cutler- Matt Hasselbeck has won a play-off game before. The experience Hasselbeck has in the play-offs can help the offense out a lot. Last week against the Saints the running game was consistent again allowing the passing game to be as well. If Seattle has to rely on the passing game this week it will be a tough match-up. The Seahawks need a strong running game again this week against a very good Bears defense. Brandon Stokley will be healthy again and that will help Hasselbeck out having his go-to-guy being healthier than last week. If Mike Williams can be let go like he was the previous meeting between the two then Seattle may be able to use him as a decoy for Ben Obomanu, Golden Tate and Ruvell Martin. If the Bears contain Williams then the Seahawks may have trouble using him as a decoy and will have to rely on the other guys to come down with key receptions. The Bears will present plenty of blitzes to the Seahawks offense and the line will be active.

Defensively Cutler has never played in a play-off game before. The Seahawks have to put as much pressure as they can on him and allow him to feel the pressure. Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates coached him in Denver and could provide Defensive Coordinator Casey Bradley with some vital information into defending against him. Matt Forte can break runs at any point and it’s important the Seahawks run defense plays strong and holds their spot up front.

This maybe one of few games where special teams will be key with two of the best returners in the conference going up against each other. It will be interesting how Seattle kicks to Devin Hester and how the Bears kick to Leon Washington. A mistake to either one may result in a huge momentum change.

Connections:

-Seahawks Assistant Line Coach Luke Butkus left the Bears to come over to Seattle after spending 2007-09 with Chicago.

-Bears Tight Ends coach Mike DeBord coached the Seahawks from 2008-09.

-Bears Offensive Line Coach Mike Tice played tight end for the Seahawks from 1981-88.

Seahawks News of the Week:

-WR Ben Obomanu and the Seahawks agreed on a three-year extension.

-Seahawks signed QB Nate Davis to a futures contract.

-Seahawks QB coach Jedd Fisch announced he will leave the team when their season finishes for the Offensive Coordinator position at the University of Miami.