Just as I did with the Saints game last week, I will outline a few of the differences between these two teams since their first game. I do not even have to look to know the personnel differences won’t be even close to as significant as the Saints game. It’s also important to remember, the Seahawks dominated that game despite a very late punt return for a score to make the final tally closer. Bears fans will be doing what Seahawks fans did last week, telling themselves why this week will be different. I’ll spend more time this week looking into these differences to see which are really worth paying attention to.
The Bears offensive game plan has changed. They have rushed at least 20 times in all but one game since the Seahawks loss. They only rushed 12 times in that game.
Seahawks run defense was 2nd in the NFL, but slid into the 20s after Red Bryant and Colin Cole were injured.
The Seahawks had only one game over 300 yards of offense beforehand, and one where Matt Hasselbeck had a QB rating over 100.
The Bears game was the first time Mike Williams was the featured target, soon after the Deion Branch trade
It was Marshawn Lynch’s first game with the Seahawks
It was Russell Okung’s first full game of the season
It was Brandon Stokley’s second full game of the season
Ben Obomanu was not a starting WR, and did not catch a pass
Golden Tate was returning punts
Players that played in first game, but will miss this one: Red Bryant, Roy Lewis, Deon Butler, Chris Baker, Junior Siavii, Ben Hamilton
Players that missed the first game, but will play in this one: Lance Briggs, Brandon Mebane
Lofa Tatupu may not play due to a concussion.
Bears supposedly give up less sacks, even though they still finished last in the NFL with 56. There is evidence to the contrary since they gave up 11 sacks and 18 QB hits in the last four games, including six sacks in their final game.
Seahawks offense could not have even sniffed 400 yards as a unit, and would not for another four weeks. Seattle’s offense this weekend looked nothing like the team the Bears faced in October.
Neither team turned the ball over in the first game. Hard to imagine that happening twice in a row.
WR Johnny Knox has 120 yards receiving, a season-high by almost 30 yards. Unlikely he does that again.
Justin Forsett ran for 67 yards and 6.7 avg per carry against the 2nd best run defense in the NFL. Hard to see that happening again.
The Seahawks were totally incapable of covering the screen pass in the first game. They have substantially improved since then, which matters with a player like Matt Forte on the other team.
The first game was the debut of the Seahawks 7 defensive back “bandit” package that was the cause of most of the sacks and pressures. 3.5 of the 6 sacks that day came from defensive backs. The Bears have plenty of film to prepare for that now.
Raheem Brock was a rotational player, but is getting significantly more snaps now. He has a sack in four straight games, and 5 of 6.