By Dave Thomas
With back-to-back losses to start the season, some NFL teams may be in panic mode at this point. Don’t bet that Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks are one of them.
Despite a pair of setbacks on the road in consecutive weeks (St. Louis, Green Bay), Seattle (0-2) is no doubt focused on the task at hand, that is preparing for and beating the also winless Chicago Bears this coming Sunday when the NFC North representatives comes to the Pacific Northwest in Seattle’s home opener.
In a game this past Sunday evening against Chicago’s arch-rival (Green Bay), Seattle held a 17-13 second half lead, only to watch the Packers and Aaron Rodgers score 14 unanswered points to remain unbeaten. The bottom line? The Seahawks need to finish a game, not let leads slip away.
Bears Are A Mess
While things may look bad in Seattle at the moment, they’re 10 times worse in the Windy City.
Given the Bears were not expected to be heavyweight contenders in the NFC North coming into the season, things have quickly spiraled downward after only two games.
Chicago gave Green Bay a tough fight in the season-opener, though Rodgers and the Packers left Soldier Field with a 31-23 victory. This past Sunday, Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals ran roughshod over the Bears, rolling to a 48-23 win. In the process, Bears’ starting QB Jay Cutler injured his hamstring and could miss several weeks of action.
So, where does a Chicago team that wasn’t thought to be terribly strong entering the season go from here?
On the bright side for Chicago fans, the Bears still have one of the NFL’s better running backs in veteran Matt Forte. In two games this season, Forte has totaled 202 yards rushing on 39 carries, including a 141-yard performance in the season opener.
Meantime, how Chicago moves forward with the loss of Cutler will be interesting.
Once Cutler went out of the Arizona game, backup Jimmie Clausen out of Notre Dame (2010 NFL Draft) took over. Clausen, who is likely to start Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, went 14-of-23 for 121 yards and an interception on the day against the Cardinals.
What was once Chicago’s strength whenever it took the field (its defense) has been nothing short of ugly in two games this season.
Chicago has allowed 79 points combined in its two losses. In the defeat to Arizona, the Bears gave up four TD passes to Palmer, this given the fact he only threw for 185 yards total on the day.
The Bears were not much better on special teams, as Arizona’s David Johnson took the opening kickoff back 108 yards for the touchdown. Johnson also added a 13-yard rushing touchdown, while defender returned a Cutler pass 26 yards for the score. Bottom line, Chicago’s offense is in a world of hurt heading into Seattle.
On the defensive side of the ball, no Chicago player had more than four solo tackles on the day against Arizona, something Seattle fans should be encouraged by heading into this weekend’s contest.
For the Seahawks, a beat-up Chicago team (at least at the quarterback position) that has given up 79 points in only two games should be ripe for the picking.
Then again, who had Washington beating St. Louis this past Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles sitting at 0-2 after two weeks, and both Dez Bryant and Tony Romo being lost for multiple games for Dallas so early in the season?
For Seattle, don’t overlook a bad but injured Bears’ squad come Sunday afternoon.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.