Seahawks Insider Blog

Morning links: 5 keys for Hawks vs. Bears

Good morning. I’m headed out to Soldier Field in a little bit, but before I take off here are five keys to the game for the Seahawks today.

Compete: The Seahawks need to take Pete Carroll’s well-worn slogan “Always compete” to heart today. They’ve lost by an average of 20 points on the road for the past three seasons, so they need to find a way to stay in the game.

Execute: Seattle’s coaching staff has had two weeks to prepare for the Bears, so they should have a solid game plan in place on both sides of the ball. Now it will be up to the players to execute that game plan and keep mistakes to a minimum.

Leon, Golden to the rescue: Seattle’s offense likely will struggle to move the all against Chicago’s defense, so special teams play will be important in terms of controlling field position. The Seahawks have two of the best returners in the game in Leon Washington and Golden Tate, and both need to make some big plays in the kicking game.

O-line gets physical: The Seahawks are averaging just 3.6 yards per carry on the ground, which will not get the job done against Chicago. Specifically, the Seahawks interior line needs to do a better job of getting a push up front in order to create some running lanes for Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett.

Hasselbeck’s time: I don’t think this is a make-or-break game for Matt Hasselbeck, but if he plays poorly again on the road the conversation will continue to heat up with calls for Charlie Whitehurst to replace him. Hasselbeck doesn’t need a super-human effort, just solid, mistake-free play and directing a couple touchdown scoring drives would get the job done.

My story today focuses on what Seahawks players believe they need to do in order to get a win today in Chicago.

Dave Boling of The New Tribune outlines some things he’ll be watching for in today’s game, including the play of Hasselbeck and Lynch.

Greg Johns of offers five things to watch for in today’s game.

Danny O’Neil of he Seattle Times notes that the Seahawks are ranked in the bottom third in the league in pass defense for the third straight season.

Clare Farnsworth of previews the game here.

John Boyle of he Everett Herald does the same thing here.

Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler is ready for the Seahawks.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune offers four things to watch for in today’s game.

Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times breaks down the game here.

Matt Bowen of the Chicago Tribune offers a blueprint for the Bears to stop Marshawn Lynch.

Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune says the Bears must run the ball to keep Cutler from getting smacked.

Fox Sports analyst Brian Billick previews the Hawks-Bears game in this video link.