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Bears-Seahawks matchup of the day: Saturday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Jan. 15, 2011 @ 4:14 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

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

Bears' running game vs. Seahawks' run defense

The last time Chicago faced Seattle, the Bears were still shuffling pieces on the offensive line and maturing in coordinator Mike Martz's scheme. RB Matt Forté had a season-low eight rushing attempts for 11 yards, and the Bears lost, 23-20.

Since then, Forté has rushed 13 times or more in all but two games (both of which were losses) and it's not a reach to suggest that his increased involvement has been the key to the Bears' success — Chicago is 9-1 when Forté has 13 carries or more and only 2-4 when he has fewer than 13 carries.

QB Jay Cutler said the Bears could throw 60 times against the Seahawks on Sunday depending on the circumstances. Saints QB Drew Brees did throw 60 times against the Seahawks last week as New Orleans tried to rally, but airing it out isn't the Bears' specialty.

Forté said this week that he doesn't think the Bears have any choice but to continue to be balanced in their playoff game.

Seattle limited New Orleans to 3.5 yards per carry last week, but its run "D" could take a hit if MLB Lofa Tatupu (concussion), who still hasn't been cleared to play according to reports, is unable to go.

The Seahawks still have two formidable run stuffers in DTs Brandon Mebane — who didn't play against Chicago the last time the two teams met — and Colin Cole. If the Bears' interior offensive linemen struggle to keep the two tackles from knifing into the backfield, Forté will be hard-pressed to get going.

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