Heres how this game looked to CSNChicago.com expert analysts OK, me going into this season:
Seattle Seahawks (7-9) Sun., Dec. 2, noon
Analysis: Seattle has won two of the last three in Soldier Field but last years game, in which Johnny Knox suffered his back injury, was the Bears last behind Caleb Hanie. The pass rush will be better with rookie Bruce Irvin but the Bears are turning for home and can see the playoffs.
Result: W (9-3)
Last years game was the last time Hanie, who threw four interceptions in that game, was on an NFL field (insert joke here). The Bears have Jay Cutler and Matt Forte back, which they didnt last season, and Brandon Marshall, also which they didnt last year, which would qualify as an upgrade for an offense that netted exactly 89 passing yards.
The Bears are 56-10 when leading at halftime under coach Lovie Smith, 6-0 this year. They will be ahead at halftime this year and wont be letting Seattle back in the game they way they did last year.
After a sluggish start on offense this season sub-17 points in four of their first five games with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks have topped 20 points in five of the last six. Look for it to be five of the last seven after Sunday.
BEARS 20 SEAHAWKS 10
Mentioned this previously but join me for in-game coverage on Twitter (@csnmoonmullin) on Sunday. Check it all out at Bears Pulse at CSNChicago.com.
If the Chicago Bears want to make a real run at the playoffs in 2018, the offensive line will have to do its part by keeping QB Mitch Trubisky upright. The offense is expected to be more pass-heavy under coach Matt Nagy and will depend on Trubisky having time in the pocket to go through his progressions and find the open target.
New offensive line coach Harry Hiestand should help that cause. He's universally praised as one of the best offensive line coaches in the sport and will be charged with getting a better effort from a unit that ranked near the bottom-third in pass protection last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
19. CHICAGO BEARS
2017 pass-blocking efficiency: 77.9
Best individual PBE: Josh Sitton, 97.4
Because of several crippling injuries, nine different players saw at least 100 pass-block snaps for the Bears in 2017. They gave up 152 pressures on 536 passing plays. The top performance came from left tackle Charles Leno Jr., who enjoyed the best season of his career and allowed just 24 pressures all season. Heading into the 2018 campaign, rookie guard James Daniels is penciled in to fill the shoes of the recently departed pass-blocking star Josh Sitton. Daniels performed well in pass protection during his final college season, allowing just 10 pressures on 371 pass-blocking snaps at Iowa.
The Bears will be without last season's top pass-protector, Josh Sitton, who was let go by GM Ryan Pace this offseason and signed with the Dolphins.
Pass protection was once all about the play of the offensive tackles, but with the NFL's interior defensive linemen evolving into disruptive forces up the middle, guard play will be nearly as important. A healthy Kyle Long is critical. Chicago can't afford growing pains from James Daniels, either. Center Cody Whitehair returns to the role where he excelled as a rookie. He's one of the NFL's top young centers.
Charles Leno should provide reliable play at left tackle. Bobby Massie remains a wildcard, but with little depth behind him, the Bears can do nothing more than hope his bad reps are limited in 2018.
With Hiestand in the fold and a healthy Long ready to compete at a high level again, the Bears' offensive line should be much improved this season.
From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.
Weight: 193 pounds
"A highly intelligent defenseman with exceptional vision and offensive instincts. He reads the play very well and his passing ability allows him to be a constant threat in his team's transition game. He's one of the top offensive-defenseman in the Canadian Hockey League and magician-like when quarterbacking the power play."
NHL player comparable: John Carlson/Alex Pietrangelo
Fit for Blackhawks:
At 6-foot-2, 193 pounds, Bouchard is one of the most NHL-ready defensemen in this year's draft and that could be appetizing for a team like the Blackhawks, who are looking for immediate help on the blue line. But Bouchard is a right-handed shot, and drafting him would add a third high-end right-handed shot defenseman to the organization, along with prospects Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell.
You can never have enough of them, but there's only room for three before somebody would have to play on their off hand and that would mean the third would be playing on the bottom pairing. All three of these players have Top 4 potential.
Still, that may not even come into play here. The Blackhawks will seek to take the best available player, like they always have. And if they feel it's Bouchard, they'll do it.