By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
The Seattle Seahawks are once again on the road this week, heading to Chicago to face a strong Bears team.
The Chicago Bears have improved greatly this offseason. We saw that improvement in their opening game against Green Bay last Sunday. Due to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pulling off a Superman level performance last week, the Bears didn’t get the win, but the strength of the team can’t be denied.
After watching both the Chicago and the Seattle games last week, I should be quite worried for the Seahawks. Chicago looked really good in its matchup against Green Bay. But its Monday night, kids. And we know what that means. Its Seattle’s favorite day of the week.
Since 2012, QB Russell Wilson‘s rookie year, the Seattle Seahawks have won 6 of their last 7 Monday Night Football games. The only loss was last season to the Atlanta Falcons, and they lost by just 3 points. Seattle is known to shine on nationally broadcast games and fans are hoping they can do it again this week.
Chicago is no slouch in the spotlight games either. They play a lot of Monday games, usually two a season. They have won 6 of the 10 MNF games they’ve played since 2012.
During press conferences this week, all of the Seattle coaches talked about getting the run game going and doing better on 3rd down. This was an issue during the Seahawks game in Denver, carrying over from last season. Seattle was just 2 of 12 on 3rd down, and only ran the ball 29% of the time.
With Wilson holding on to the ball so often, the door was left wide open for Denver to sack the QB…which they did. A lot. 6 times in fact.
This week won’t be any easier. Although Seattle knew they would have to face linebacker Khalil Mack at some point in the 2018 season, they thought it would be in London later in the year, not in week 2. Mack is a force to be reckoned with and one of the best ways Seattle can deal with him is to run the ball. It will be very hard for Wilson to play “backyard football” with Mack breathing down his neck.
I asked Our Turf’s Chicago Bears reporter, Wanda Wiedman, if there was anything she feared about Chicago playing Seattle. She said pressure. She said “Tru (QB Mitchell Trubisky) tends to panic when he is rushed. If Seattle rattles him, he makes mistakes.”
Pressure on the QB was not a highlight for the Seahawks defense last week, but could easily improve with a few changes. However, all the injuries that piled up this week, mostly on defense, could make that quite a bit harder.
— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) September 15, 2018
For Seahawks fans, it’s not good, to say the least. In fact, its downright awful. With both starting linebackers out, both starting cornerbacks out, and the slew of others, it is of no surprise that Seattle signed LB Mychal Kendricks. Kendricks was a bit of an unpopular pickup, especially with Seattle media, due to him pleading guilty to insider trading. However, the need at the position is obvious and Kendrick is a seasoned veteran.
It’s going to be a tough one, 12s. With injuries and such a young team, everything will be placed on Wilson’s shoulders to get this one done. But knowing Wilson, and his greatness in prime time games, we all should have some hope that Seattle can pull out a win.
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG