Bears get the matchup they wanted

Posted Jan. 10, 2011 @ 12:29 a.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

One week after losing to the Packers, the Bears have a reason to thank their rivals. Green Bay's road win over Philadelphia Sunday ensured that Chicago will host Seattle, the least respected team in the playoffs, next Sunday.

This is the matchup Bears fans wanted to see. While the Seahawks dropped 41 points on the defending Super Bowl-champion Saints on Saturday, they're still best known as the team that won the worst division in the league with a 7-9 record.

Regular-season records don't matter at this point, though, as Seattle's upset over 11-5 New Orleans showed. Keep in mind that one of the Seahawks' seven wins came at Soldier Field.

Seattle beat Chicago, 23-20, on Oct. 17, but Jay Cutler was playing for the first time since suffering a concussion, an offensive line in flux allowed Cutler to be sacked six times and Chicago ran the ball only 14 times all game.

The Bears made significant changes to their offense shortly after that loss, and continuity in terms of personnel on the O-line, in addition to a commitment to maintaining a balanced offense, helped them win seven of their last 10 games.

The Bears are a better team than the Seahawks, but if they treat preparing for Seattle — 2-6 road record and all — like they're getting ready to play anything less than a worthy opponent, Lovie Smith's team could suffer the same fate the Saints did.