Everywhere you turn, someone is writing or talking about how terrible of a team the Seattle Seahawks are. They are the first losing team to make the playoffs, their losses were by an average of 21 points, their offense and defense ranked near the bottom of the NFL, their quarterback gets injured while walking…and on and on.
Now and then, people are sprinkling in a quick mention of the upset victory over New Orleans, but that is quickly dismissed as an aberration. Apparently, the Seahawks did not make those jaw-dropping plays on Saturday as much as the Saints allowed them. Seattle has little chance of beating the Bears this weekend, the logic goes, because Mike Martz has been re-born as Chuck Knox. Never mind the 39 pass attempts a 17 rush attempts in the Bears last game. The porous Bears offensive line has been replaced by The Hogs. Forget their league-leading 56 sacks allowed. All of those came at the beginning of the year, except for the 11 sacks and 18 QB hits in the last four games. Jay Cutler isn’t the same guy that through 7 INT in his first 6 games this year. He’s the guy that threw 6 INT in his last 4 games. He also isn’t the guy that had a 40.7 QB rating against the Giants in Week Four. He’s just the guy that had QB ratings of 32.9 and 43.5 in two of his last four games.
Well, the Bears defense is a different story. Ignore that the Seahawks scored three TDs in the first match-up. These guys boast the 9th-ranked defense, 2nd against the run. It doesn’t matter that the Saints defense was ranked 4th overall and 4th against the pass (vs. 20th for the Bears). It’s not like the Seahawks did much in the passing game against the Saints, right? It shouldn’t matter that Mike Williams had 10 catches and 123 yards in the first game, or that Matt Hasselbeck had the best game of his career last week. The fact that Ben Obomanu or Cameron Morrah didn’t even play in the first game is meaningless. It would be silly to expect the Seahawks to have any success rushing since they *only* managed 111 yards in the first game, which was Marshawn Lynch’s first and was behind an offensive line that still featured Stacy “False Start/Hold” Andrews and Ben Hamilton.
Columnists on the Chicago Tribune are already saying people should be fired if the Bears lose (because clearly the Seahawks can’t win). Bears players are doing their best to downplay their advantage. It is hard to imagine any team hearing this kind of talk and not starting to get just a little bit complacent. This is just the Seahawks. After all, when’s the last time a 10 point underdog won a playoff game in the NFL?