The Bears have not had a holly jolly December so far, losing to the Cardinals, Packers and Vikings, and falling to 4-10 on the season after a 3-2 start. The Seahawks are in a similar position however, sitting at 5-9 after managing only one win in December over the lowly Texans. Each team features the upside to fly as high as Rudolph and Santa’s sleigh. But each team also makes enough mistakes to earn nothing but coal in their stockings. Here’s what the Bears can do to bring home the belated Christmas goose一 err, “W.”
ATTACK THROUGH THE AIR
No team has given up more yards through the air than the Seahawks. The days of the Legion of Boom are long gone, and passing on the Seahawks' secondary is no longer a scary prospect. One man still remains from those fearsome defenses of Christmases past however: Bobby Wagner. He’s been an incredible force at middle linebacker and leads the league in tackles. Wagner, combined with stout nose tackle Poona Ford have helped the Seahawks hold opponents to a league-leading 3.8 yards/carry, so if ever there was a game for Justin Fields to pop off through the air, it would be this game.
REPEAT WEEK 15 IN SECONDARY
As mentioned earlier, the Bears and Seahawks have had similar seasons up to this point, including the struggles in the secondary. But in Week 15, Sean Desai’s ragtag group of backups performed incredibly well against Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson. The Vikings top receiver is top-five in the league in receiving yards and touchdowns, and top-10 in total catches, but the secondary一 missing every single one of its starters一 limited the entire Vikings offense to 87 total passing yards. Again, incredible. Things will not get any easier on Sunday though, as the Bears will have to defend two dynamic wide receivers in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Each man attacks the defense differently. Metcalf as a big body and route technician, and Lockett as a burner who can score a touchdown from anywhere on the field. As of Friday morning, we already know the Bears are getting Eddie Jackson back, so that will help. But if no one else is cleared to play in the coming days, the Bears backups will need a repeat performance against Seattle.
BRING HEAT ON RUSSELL WILSON
One of the reasons that Wilson reportedly wanted out of Seattle over the offseason was that the offensive line struggled to protect him, and the team didn’t do enough to make improvements. Wilson ultimately stayed with the Seahawks, but things haven’t changed in 2021. After averaging three sacks surrendered per game in 2020, the Seahawks have maintained that exact same pace this year. Robert Quinn has the second most sacks in the NFL, with 16, and currently stands two sacks away from breaking Richard Dent’s Bears record for most sacks in a season. He’ll be licking his chops when he lines up on Sunday. Will it be a historic day for him?
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION
Despite being shorthanded on defense again, this is a game where the Bears can use some matchups to their advantage. The Bears pass rush could help generate turnovers, just like it did against the Vikings, and Fields will have a great opportunity to finally put together a great game for a full 60 minutes. If the secondary can hold their own like they did against the Vikings, the Bears should get back in the win column.
Bears: 20, Seahawks: 16