Finally something broke our way last night with a convincing Eagles rout over their intra-state rivals from Pittsburgh. The Eagles were prolific early on offense and though they took their foot off the pedal in the 4th quarter, it was enough for a 10-point victory.
Today we’ll shift our focus to the west coast and look to the defending Super Bowl champs in Seattle as they do battle with a key NFC rival in the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks took last week very seriously, routing the San Diego Chargers by a 41-14 scoreline. They looked like they hadn’t missed a beat over the off-season but after such a dominating outing it remains to be seen how they’ll fare this week against a motivated Bears squad.
Chicago on the other hand enters off a pretty dismal outing against Jacksonville. They did manage to win the game but looked lacklustre against a pretty weak squad in the Jaguars. The Bears definitely fancy their chances for going deep in the NFC this year, and the only way to do that will likely be through Seattle. In a game where the starters should go head-to-head for at least a quarter, expect a hungry and motivated Chicago side that looks ready to set the tone for 2014.
Bears vs. Seahawks Betting Odds:
Chicago Bears +7 (+100)
@ Seattle Seahawks -7 (-120)
Over 45 (-110)
Under 45 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bears vs. Seahawks Pick:
Former CFL coach of the year, Marc Trestman has already come out and stated that his starters are expected to feature for at least the entire first half. The Bears offense can be lethal and should take another step forward as they become more and more familiar with Trestman’s system in 2014. They’ll get a huge test Friday evening against a stout Seahawks defense. It will be particularly interesting to watch the hulking receivers of the Bears (Marshall & Jeffery) square off against the ‘Legion of Boom’ in Seattle’s secondary.
Expect Chicago to be up for the challenge tonight. Off a very disappointing outing against Jacksonville on Thursday Night Football of last week, the Bears know this is a huge test and one they’d like to do well in. They’ll be a motivated group going against the 2014 champs and know this could be a potential NFC Final showdown. For the Seahawks, it’s simply more of ‘been there, done that.’ While their starters will also get a long look, fresh off a rout of the Chargers, they’ve got nothing left to prove and are simply ready for the regular season to begin against Green Bay. There is far more on the line for a struggling Bears squad that knows it is better than how they’ve played thus far. Expect Cutler and Co. to be well aware of that.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears will look to improve against Seattle. One area where Chicago has struggled of late has been at stopping the run, and Seattle’s trio of Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael, and Robert Turbin are all capable of doing some big damage. The Bears currently have an ongoing battle at the linebacker position so look for some big plays and the likes of John Bostic and Shea McClellin to step up and thwart the Seahawks’ advances.
Beyond the first-teamers, look for Jimmny Clausen to take the ball sometime in the 3rd quarter from Jay Cutler. The former Notre Dame product has fared quite well through the first two weeks and looks to have a leg up on the back-up battle against Jordan Palmer. Pete Carroll was unhappy with how the Seahawks’ reserves fared last week, but trying to stop Clausen won’t be easy. Look for the Bears starters to go toe-to-toe with Seattle’s and Clausen to maintain a tight affair. While the Bears first-teamers aren’t necessarily as good as Seattle’s, this will be a hungry and motivated squad, even for a pre-season game. With a current spread of 7-points at even money, take the Bears to keep this game close throughout.
PICK = Bears +7 (+100)