Looking to rebound after last week’s demoralizing and heartbreaking loss to the Green Bay Packers, the (0-1) Chicago Bears host the (0-1) Seattle Seahawks on Monday night (8:15pm ET).
It is a long season and still way too early for either team to hit the panic button. That being said, one of these teams will go to 0-2 after Monday night and that’s not a position either are hoping to be in.
Week One Recap – Chicago Grabs Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
Things couldn’t have gone worse for the Bears in their opener. That’s because at one point, things couldn’t have been going better but just like that, the rug was pulled out from under Chicago by an all-too familiar foe.
The Bears led the Packers 17-0 going into the half and had managed to knock Aaron Rodgers out of the game as well. Second year quarterback and second overall pick from the 2017 NFL Draft, Mitch Trubisky, was having a great game to start the year. Newest Bear Khalil Mack, was making the Oakland Raiders regret not paying him in the offseason. Things were clicking and it looked like Chicago was going to win at Lambeau Field for the first time in a long time.
Then came the third quarter and Rodgers made his triumphant return and the wheels fell off for the road team. Trubisky completed just 12 of 21 passes for 62 yards compared to 11 of 14 for 109 yards and a rushing touchdown in the first half. The defense, who had kept Rodgers in check early on, faltered, and was unable to stop the one-legged miracle worker from doing what he has made a career of. Up 17-3, the Bears watched that lead slowly dwindle in the fourth quarter. With just over two minutes left, the Packers took a 24-23 lead and despite having time and opportunity, Chicago just couldn’t get in position to score the game winner.
It was certainly a heartbreaker for the Bears as the team had come close to what would have been a huge statement win in the NFC North. Instead, they walked away with a loss that was pretty tough to swallow. In sports, it helps to have short term memory as the Bears will only be doomed more on Monday night if they dwell on the bad loss. Playing Seattle is hard enough.
Week One Recap – Doug Baldwin Injury Looms Large in Seattle Loss
The game was close until it wasn’t. In the first quarter, the Seahawks were all tied up with their AFC West rival, the Denver Broncos. By the end of the third, Seattle trailed by just three and that was the deficit at the end of the game when the Seahawks lost 27-24.
While that loss stung, it was just the first game of the year. The bigger loss came when their top receiver, Doug Baldwin, tore his MCL and it was announced he could be out an extended period of time. The loss of Baldwin is severe because Seattle’s offense is without much of an identity these days. From losing Marshawn Lynch and any real semblance of a running game, to Jimmy Graham coming and going so briefly, Baldwin is one of the few guys, alongside Russell Wilson, who have been there for the long run. As a result, he has become one of Wilson’s most reliable targets.
Speaking of lost identities, the Legion of Boom is officially dead. Having weakened over the years with the losses of Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner and Byron Maxwell, the final nail was put in the coffin in July when Kam Chancellor officially announced his retirement from the NFL.
The success of the Legion is well known. From 2012-15, the Seahawks led the NFL in scoring defense, allowing the fewest number of points scored for four seasons straight. In 2013, not only did Seattle’s defense lead in points allowed, but they also had the fewest yards allowed and most takeaways, making them the first team to do so since ironically, the 1985 Chicago Bears. Considered one of the best defenses of all time, this unit along with Wilson and Lynch, helped lead Seattle to a Super Bowl championship and a second appearance in the big game.
The only member of the legion left is Earl Thomas. Thomas has been tasked with rebuilding Seattle’s defense into a threat again. While the Legion of Boom is far gone, Thomas’ defense does have bright spots to focus on. One of these is Bradley McDougald, who intercepted the ball twice against the Broncos. Another piece of this puzzle could be Mychal Kendricks. A staple of the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl winning team last year, Kendricks was signed and subsequently cut by the Cleveland Browns are being charged with insider trading. Kendricks won’t be taken to court until January, meaning Seattle will have him for the regular season. Head coach Pete Carroll has said he believes Kendricks deserves a second chance and Seattle is giving him one. That being said, it’s certainly a bold move knowing what will be coming down the pike for the linebacker.
So all of that considered, Seattle’s defense is a work in progress. The potential is there, it might just need some time to be realized. In the meantime, the offense will be tasked with keeping the team above water. It will be a tough ask for Wilson but nothing he is incapable of doing.
Our Betting Preview’s Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears Picks & Predictions
Despite their week one loss, the Bears are rightfully home favorites with the best American oddsmakers. Chicago showed a smash mouth defense against Green Bay, one that should be frightening for any team’s opposing quarterback, even a mobile guy like Wilson. Sacked six times in week one, Wilson’s offensive line is going to have to step up their game and keep their quarterback off the ground if Seattle hopes to pull off the road upset.
So the Seattle Seahawks vs Chicago Bears predictions and betting picks for this preview are:
- Our pick is to take Chicago and the 3.5 points to recover from last week and play the way they are expected to, given the offseason improvements that the team made. The best odds are Bears -3.5pts @ -110 with either Bookmaker or Intertops.
- Look for under 43 total points to be scored in the game @ -110 with any of Bovada, 5Dimes, Intertops or Bookmaker sportsbooks. Unlike in game one, the Bears likely won’t need to win a shoot out to get this done.