The records may indicate otherwise, but this week's matchup between the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks is a matchup between two very similar teams.
Both key on establishing the run, want their stars in the secondary to make plays and can create pressure on the opposing quarterback with their front four. Chicago comes into the game at 8-3, standing in first place in the NFC North. Seattle is currently 6-5, holding onto the final wild card spot in the NFC.
This is what each team needs to do if they plan to win Sunday.
Establish the Run: Marshawn Lynch will dictate whether or not the Seahawks come away with a victory in Chicago. The Seahawks are known for faltering on the road, and if they can't get their star running back running like a star running back, that trend will continue.
He was held to just 41 yards in Miami last week, and the 'Hawks lost as a result. Chicago has given up more than 100 yards rushing in five consecutive games, so Lynch needs to be ready to hit the hole hard and pick up big gains. He just needs to make sure to hold onto the ball tight and avoid the "Peanut Punch."
Establishing the run early will make life easier on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, which brings us to our next key.
Pressure Russell Wilson: Seattle's offensive line vs. Chicago's defensive line will be one hell of a battle. Chicago has a great front four, so Seattle's line will have their hands full. Defensive ends Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije, as well as tackle Henry Melton have combined for 17 of Chicago's 30 sacks this season. They're very athletic, get into the backfield and disrupt plays.
If Chicago's front four can put pressure on Wilson, they can drop more guys back into coverage, giving the rookie different looks and possibly forcing a mistake(s).
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