Bears-Seahawks matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Jan. 14, 2011 @ 9:22 a.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

Here's a look at another key matchup heading into Sunday's game between the Bears and Seahawks:

Seahawks running game vs. Bears run defense

RB Marshawn Lynch showed that he's capable of embarrassing a defense that doesn't tackle well in the Seahawks' win over the Saints. His 67-yard touchdown run against New Orleans was epic. He shook off and pushed away multiple tackle attempts on the way to the endzone, and the Bears apparently expressed confidence that they would not allow Lynch to have a run like that on Sunday.

The Bears have reason to trust themselves — they were the second-stingiest run defense in the league during the regular season and the longest rush against them went for 45 yards (by Lions RB Jahvid Best in Week 13).

To keep Lynch from breaking free, Chicago's front four will have to maintain their gap discipline. If blockers are allowed to get to the second level and keep Pro Bowl LBs Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs from getting downhill as quickly as they would like, Lynch, a between-the-tackles runner with exceptional power, could be very productive.

RB Justin Forsett is Seattle's change-of-pace back. He has great speed and is shifty, but the Bears' defense is known for its quickness. After growing accustomed to the pounding style of Lynch, Chicago has to avoid getting caught on its heels when Forsett enters the game.

The Seahawks' offense could produce a lot of three-and-outs if their backs are getting stopped and 3rd-and-long situations become the norm.