By Eric Huber Special to Published Jan 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Seattle Seahawks (8-9) at Chicago Bears (11-5)
Soldier Field, Chicago
Noon, Sunday (FOX)

Regular season numbers

  • Points per game: Seahawks -- 19.4 (23rd), Bears -- 20.9 (21st).
  • Total offensive yards per game: Seahawks -- 297.8 (28th), Bears -- 289.4 (30th).
  • Penalties: Seahawks -- 101 (22nd), Bears -- 91 (16th).
  • Points per game allowed: Seahawks -- 25.4 (25th), Bears -- 17.9 (4th).
  • Takeaway/Giveaway: Seahawks -- -9 (T-27th), Bears -- +4 (T-11th).

Keys to victory

Defensive coordinator Casey Bradley must bring plenty of blitz packages with him to Chicago. The Bears offensive line allowed a league high 56 sacks during the regular season, and quarterback Jay Cutler clearly is at his worst when defenders are in his face.

Justin Forsett. He has to be ready to pick up the slack if the Bears are able to limit Marshawn Lynch. Forsett was one of the contributing forces during the Seahawks win in Week 8 of the regular season; he averaged 6.7 yards per carry and scored a second quarter touchdown. Besides, if you take out the late 67 yard run to pay-dirt last week Lynch would've averaged just 3.5 yards per carry, while Forsett averaged 5.0 yards per.

Seahawk receivers cannot drop catchable passes, especially on third down. The Bears defense won't give Seattle's offense enough opportunities to make up for those dropped passes on critical downs that showed up last week against the Saints.

Bears defenders must stay low when going to tackle either Marshawn Lynch or Justin Forsett, while swarming to the pigskin in normal Bear fashion. If they don't, the Seahawk one-two punch will make them pay.

Devin Hester's primary focus has to be special teams. The Seahawks pass defense as a whole isn't anything pretty for playoff standards, so the combination of Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett, and Devin Aromashodu should be enough to get the job done; at least on first and second down. Hester has to stay fresh for there to be any chance of him taking a kick or punt back for a touchdown.

The Chicago receivers must run clean routes and not get jammed at the line of scrimmage. If they get manhandled, Cutler will have a frustrating day guiding the offense down the field, especially when blitzes are dialed up.

Prime match-up
Bears QB Jay Cutler vs. Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck -- For some odd reason I'm just rubbed the wrong way when it comes to both of these quarterbacks. I'm thinking it's because both whine about as much as a newborn baby. Nevertheless, they will faceoff this week in what could be an ugly showdown. Yes, Hasselbeck is coming off a huge four touchdown performance against the Saints last week, but against the Bears in five career games he has thrown just four touchdown passes. On the other side, Cutler will get flustered if the Seattle pass rushers can get to him early and often. He will also make plenty of risky throws that could lead to disaster. My hunch is that both will play sloppy, with Cutler having the slight edge because he's playing at home.

Final score prediction: Chicago -- 27, Seattle -- 13.

Eric Huber Special to
Eric Huber is a staff writer for, and