Photo by Otto Greule Jr of Getty Images
The Bears host the Seattle Seahawks tonight and, since I’m DBB’s resident Pacific Northwest dweller, who better to share some last minute pregame thoughts? So here it goes:
I’m still stinging from last week’s loss (and you probably are, too) but let’s hope the Bears have moved on…
There’s no way to get around it: Last week hurt. No team should blow a 20-point lead, even if they’re facing one of the greatest QBs of all time. It was a missed opportunity to start the season with a statement win, but in the end Green Bay just found a different way to break our collective hearts. That being said, Week One needs to be the last thing on the Bears’ mind when they run out onto Soldier Field tonight. I’ve mentioned my love of tennis and Roger Federer before, and one of the things that makes him great is his fantastic ability to erase painful losses from his memory. He learns, but he doesn’t dwell. Let’s hope the Bears take the same approach.
The last time the Bears played the Seahawks was 2015 in Seattle. It was the 3rd game of John Fox’s tenure, and Jimmy Clausen was starting in place of an injured Jay Cutler. The Bears lost 26-0. (I don’t care enough to check, but I’m pretty sure the Bears only managed one first down the entire game.) I watched with a handful of Seahawks fans, and honestly it was so pathetic they couldn’t even muster the energy to make fun of me. Regardless of how disappointing last week’s loss was, it doesn’t hurt to remember that things used to be much, much worse.
This game feels about as “must win” for the Bears as any Week 2 game could…
The Bears have the more talented roster going into tonight’s game, and that was true even before Bobby Wagner, Doug Baldwin, and KJ Wright were declared out, with several other key Seahawks players listed as doubtful. If the Bears can’t manage a win at home against a rebuilding and busted up Seattle team, then we might be in for a much rougher season than any of us were expecting.
On the move…
We’ve got a battle of two mobile quarterbacks tonight, but let’s hope it’s Russell Wilson who’s doing the most scrambling. While I appreciate the fact Trubisky possesses a natural athleticism and can extend plays with his legs, he showed last week that he can be a little too eager to make a run for it.
Wilson scrambles mostly out of necessity because Seattle has had a garbage offensive line for years, but the Bears’ line is actually pretty good, and there were multiple instances last week where Trubisky left the pocket too soon. Both he and the coaches admitted as much in pressers this week, saying he had a case of “happy feet”. Again, I appreciate Mitch’s mobility, and I want the Bears to utilize it as a weapon when advantageous, but the kid needs to get comfortable standing in the pocket and making some throws. He can’t keep taking off when he feels phantom pressure and expect to be successful.
That other guy…
I expect the Bears to put a ton of pressure on Wilson tonight. Even though Seattle claims to be improved in the offensive line area this year, the Broncos still managed to sack Wilson six times last week, so they aren’t exactly an iron wall.
Despite, or perhaps because of this consistent lack of protection, Wilson has made an art form out of turning broken down plays into gold. I’ve watched pretty much every Seahawks game the last five years I have seen him run backwards 20 yards, look completely dead to rights, and heave a bomb downfield for a 40 yard gain more times than I can count. This should keep the Bears secondary on their toes. They gave up a few big plays last week, and though Wilson isn’t quite the same caliber quarterback as Rodgers, he’s still extremely good and will not quit until the clock hits zero. Chicago needs to be ready for this.
Player I’m most excited to watch tonight: Khalil Mack. It’s probably always gonna be Khalil Mack.
Player I’m most nervous about: Mitch Trubisky. I still have a lot of faith in the guy, and it’s going to be a process for him to fully take the reigns of this new offense, but he did not play well in the second half of last Sunday’s game. He doesn’t need to light it up tonight, but he absolutely needs to play better.
Final prediction: Bears win 24-13.
What I’ll be drinking: 10 Barrel Brewing’s Apocalypse IPA, but don’t worry, pretentious craft beer will be the only west coast thing I’ll support tonight. Go Bears!