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Seahawks-Bears matchup of the day: Thursday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's battle between the Seahawks and Bears.

Seahawks safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor vs. Bears QB Caleb Hanie

The Bears took a very conservative approach with Hanie in Week 14, and the plan worked pretty well — he completed 63.2 percent of his passes and didn't throw an interception after being picked off three times in each of the previous two games.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz hinted this week that the reins could be loosened on Hanie a bit and the Bears might let him take more shots downfield Sunday. They're going to need to keep Seattle's defense honest, but it would be a big gamble against the Seahawks, who have more interceptions (17) than passing touchdowns allowed (16) this season.

Chancellor, a physical, well-built safety, has more picks (four) than Thomas (one), and has surprising range given his size, but Thomas, who made five picks as a rookie last season, has a rare combination of range and ball skills.

If Hanie makes a bad decision, misses a receiver or underthrows his intended target — and Hanie has made each of those mistakes multiple times — Chancellor and Thomas both have the ability to make a play on the ball and cause a turnover.

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