Monday, January 08, 2007

Return To Soldier Field.



After the first devastating loss to Chicago, one of my first thoughts was that Seattle would meet the Bears in the championship round. Had the Giants won the wild card game against the Eagles, we would be playing the Saints this Sunday. That, however, is not the case. The powers that be are suspecting that it will be the Saints and Bears battling for the rights to play in the show. I, for some unknown reason, think that Seattle stands a more than reasonable chance at winning this bout.

Perhaps it’s the homer in me. Chicago has given the starting QB job to Brian Greise, which is a pretty big slap to Grossman after battling all season going from the number one ranked QB in the NFL to a passer rating of zero. Talk about the rise and fall, poor guy, I’m crying in my beer here.

This is why, one reason I suppose, I am very optimistic about the Hawks chances. Brian Greise is not likely to fair well against a defense that he has yet to face. That leaves the Chicago defense as the deciding factor for winning this game. I figure the defense may put up 14 points. The offense should put up no more than ten points. Likely a rushing td and the field goal for 24 points total. The hawks are 9 point under dogs meaning the odds makers are possibly thinking that Seattle is going to score 15, TD, two field goals and a safety. We may get to Greise, or the rusher in the end zone back field.
Now I’m banking that Holm’s has spent more than a few hours reviewing that Arizona-Bears game. Arizona had them pinned pretty hard, only to not close the deal. A mistake the Hawks have made on a few occasions this season.

Nobody is picking this team to win. This is a far cry from last season. Now the Hawks have a hidden agenda. We can, conceivably, bring the NFC Championship game back to the Qwest with a win in Chicago. This also means that they have nothing to lose. They can play loose. Pressure is hot on the Bears who are without a QB with much, if any, playoff experience to win this game.

Let’s do some comparisons, shall we?

QB advantage clearly goes to Seattle.

RB advantage takes a new swing with Alexander performing very well and the sudden emergence of “Crazy Legs Mo” Morris. Add to that, the two time pro bowl fullback, Maximus Strongimus, gives this back field a decided advantage.

Receivers? come on. Bobby is back, in what seems to be full force, Deion is a slight sleeper that could go either way but may very well decide he can step up to his Super Bowl MVP potential. Hackett has emerged to a top flight NFL receiver.
Does Darryl Jackson have enough time to heal? He has had a career year, performance wise. Offensive line seems to quietly be coming together nicely as well. Anybody else notice that Matt was not sacked against the Cowboys?

Defense, Chicago. While I do expect the Bears will get to Matt a couple of times during the game, I don’t expect them to blitz the QB too much out of respect for the Seattle receiving corps. Brian Urlacker will have to give Stevens some respect because at 6-7, with his speed to break away, Urlacker will be forced to play man coverage on him.

I think we take our chances on defending Chicago’s run and short pass game with Boulware shaking things up in the secondary. Michael is working very hard to redeem himself, as is the rest of this team.

Bring on Da Bears'

MaxHawk 12 Street Writer









(to comment, click the green number to the right of the title above)

15 comments:

  1. I like the Hawks' chances too. Cornerback is still a weakness, but, heck that's been a weakness all year for us hasn't it? We're just finally starting to focus on playing better in that area.

    Hasselbeck recently said that a team would have to be crazy to want to play against Chicago and their defense, and that this game wasn't about "redemption." Huh? For guys like Julian Peterson at least this is about redemption. And for Alexander who had to see the game from the sideline. We want this team. We are crazy. Quite frankly the team that I don't want to play so much is the team that a lot of America is rooting for because of Katrina.

    I just wish that Grossman still had the starting job. I didn't know that Griese had won the position. But, all the same let's bring enough attitude to make this thing competitive and pull of a win.

    I disagree that Chicago probably won't blitz too much out of respect for Hass and the hawks. We haven't earned enough respect this year. We can take this one, but, the Hawks need to come into Soldier Field with a Boise State like attitude. The Bears' homefield advantage has become as tough as Seattle's and Denver's advantage was last year. They're almost unbeatable there; we need to match their defensive intensity and beat them on offense.

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  2. Comparisons be damned. What is going on with the Seahawks RIGHT NOW is that this team is playing like one unit again, and making the plays it needs to for victory. That was an aspect missing from this group, as a whole, most of the year. Cohesion is the buzz word here, where now Hass is throwing the ball without being scared shitless that it'll be dropped or picked off. The O-line is blocking, and giving a lot more time for the offense to move. And the defense has the confidence to tackle other players without flinging their bodies at them, and giving up one huge play after another.

    This is in stark contrast to the Bears, because for all of their talent and regular season success they have, they have zero confidence in their Quarterback, and their defense -- while still brilliant -- is missing enough pieces to prevent them from shutting down the other team.

    If the Swahawks are strong in their hearts, they will be strong on the field.

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  3. I'm not necessarily a Seahawks fan, but I think Seattle will smoke the Bears. Since 1985 (Bears Super Bowl win) the Bears have been 2-6 at home and 3-8 overall. More importantly, the last two years resulted in very similar comparisons; backing into playoffs with a bad quarterback and bad offense and ending up with a playoff loss at home in the divisional round. Don't see why they won't do it again playing the way they are right now. Bears are backing into the playoffs again, with squeaking away with wins to two of the bottom five teams (lions and buccaneers) and getting absolutely killed by the Packers (trying a fake punt: desperate, not meaningless!).

    Don't see why the Seahawks won't win, they looked strong against the Giants. Are looking better than the Bears right now. Good luck Seattle fans, I'll probably be rooting for you.

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  4. Amelia Bedelia1/08/2007 10:17:00 PM

    We would suggest rooting for the team, not the fans. The 12th Man isn't going to have much effect all the way over there in Chitown.

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  5. Amelia Bedelia1/08/2007 10:20:00 PM

    Oh, and yes, I am indeed a Seahawks fan. Funny how that fact never popped up in any of the books written about me. I guess that's just yet another episode in the long-running series, Seahawks Don't Get No Respect Theatre.

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  6. frank L Harris1/09/2007 12:10:00 AM

    Sorry to hear that your all planning on a Hawks victory Sunday. It appears more to me like a Bears win 31-17. The Hawks are definitely overmanned in this one, much like the fourth game of last season.

    OBTW, Rex Grossman will be the Starting QB Sunday and FYI "GOOD REX" will be showing up that day to play.

    So enjoy

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  7. I hate to be a nit-picker, but:

    We can, conceivably, bring the NFC Championship game back to the Qwest with a win in Chicago.

    As the fourth seed, I think if the 'Hawks win, they will travel to the winner of Philly/New Orleans for the NFC Championship game.

    As for Da Bears, I'm not looking forward to this game. They still have a very good defense, Berrian and Muhammad to shred our banged-up secondary, and Devin Hester to return punts and kicks. Oh yeah, and it's back at Solider Field.

    Do the 'Hawks have a chance of winning? Of course they do. I'm just a lot less confident about this game than I was last time.

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  8. "OBTW, Rex Grossman will be the Starting QB Sunday and FYI "GOOD REX" will be showing up that day to play".

    I think the monster of the midway "I.N.T-REX", will be the only monster there!!

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  9. Uhh, thanks Frank L and Mike nit picker. James B, right on, why is CB a weakness, because they are unproven? The "starters" are proven toast, although I'll admit having Trufant would be nice.

    Is Frank L the first opposition smack guy of the playoffs?

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  10. I had the understanding that the Championship game could come back to Seattle with a win against the Bears, My bad. Grossman is now the starter again? The Chicago coaches need to make up their minds.
    Good stuff guy's.

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  11. Seattle has a puncher's chance in this game. The matchup that still overwhelmingly favors Chicago, and most likely wins the game for them, is their front four vs our offensive line. The unit is now a bit more stable than it was in week 4, it just isn't much better. Last year Pittsburgh ran an offensive line hot streak all the way to the Lombardi Trophy. I was hoping for a similar upswing from our offensive line three weeks back but that hasn't and isn't going to happen with this unit. Having Chris Gray back at LG is a real catch 22. Physically, he's done; at this point just about everyone is pushing him around. But, his experience is critical in aiding Chris Spencer at C. The veterans Floyd Womack and Tom Ashworth, have been rather disappointing. Pork Chop isn't athletic enough to really get to the second level and Ashworth-less misses blocks routinely. Last Sunday as the extra TE he allowed DeMarcus Ware to penetrate into the backfield virtually untouched on first and goal resulting in that huge loss.

    On the other side of the ball, in the November game the Bears went max pro to matchup their WRs with our DBs. I don't expect the Bears have much incentive to change that strategy, which neutralized our front four, yet... Theirs a high risk offense, as evidenced by the wide variance in output (highest in the NFL according to Football Outsiders). They throw deep, but unlike STL who throws a lot of relatively safe deep crossing routes the Bears like to go over the top. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn't. What we saw is that over the course of the season Chicago's offense isn't much more productive, if at all, than Seattle's--and that's with no major injuries. However, unlike Seattle's consistently blah offense the Bears have fluctuated wildly from pretty darn good (I LOVE Bernard Berrian) to mind-bogglingly horrendous. That presents quite the dilemma for Lovie Smith who in his heart of hearts must be praying for something in the middle. It's the same dilemma Bill Parcells faced. Does he hide his QB and put it all on his defense? Or does he attack Seattle's injury-depleted secondary with a QB whose last performance was even worse than Ryan Leaf?

    For Seattle to even have a shot we pretty much have to get the Ryan Leaf version of Rex Grossman. The irony of Grossman is that as an opponent you get to feel like the inverse of a Bears fan. You can't depend on the evil Rex to show up.

    (Speaking of injury-depleted I don't know if any of you heard that the recently signed John Howell is out with a blown hammy. What's Etric Pruitt up to these days?)

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  12. Grossman's effectiveness all relies on whether the not the refs will call them out for holding.

    Btw...GATORS WON! KICKASS! 2 OF MY 6 TEAMS NOW HAVE A CHAMPIONSHIP WHILE IVE BEEN ALIVE (im discrediting the 1996 Gator championship because I have no idea how I never noticed...ive been a Gator fan since the early 90s)

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  13. Howell out? This garbage must be the new Super Bowl runners'-up curse...

    At least it wasn't Hunter (knock on wood.)

    Is Willie Williams available?

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  14. Seattle signed former Gator/Patriot/Jets CB Gus Scott to the practice squad and waived Howell.

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  15. Wee Willy Williams? Haven't heard anything out of him since we shipped him to Miami.

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