To win, Seattle has to play close to mistake-free football; all while taking some calculated gambles and having some unpredictable factors fall their way. Let’s look at them one by one. The Seahawks can win…
1. IF the “Evil” Rex Makes an Appearance
The issue with Grossman seems to be, in a nutshell, that when you can really put pressure on him his mechanics fall apart, Eli Manning style. Add to that, Grossman’s not shy about throwing the ball up for grabs into coverage. Teams that have seen Evil Rex have typically been able to apply pressure with the front four and/or with blitzes in the center/guard gap. Last week in Dallas the front four was able to generate pressure on Tony Romo without going to nearly as many blitzes as I thought they might need to. Despite not having huge sack totals Seattle’s defense clearly threw off his rhythm and timing, and just as importantly forced him to take check down throws underneath the coverage (many of which came up short). I expect the defense to take the same basic approach to pressuring Grossman. The difference is that Chicago’s offensive line is better than Dallas’s in pass protection by a good bit, and the Bears may be less inclined than the ‘Boys to abandon the deep passing game altogether. The Bears are also good at designing plays to set Grossman up with easy reads and high probability of success throws.
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