Seahawks-Bears matchup of the day: Saturday

Posted Dec. 17, 2011 @ 2:23 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

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

Seahawks run defense vs. Bears RBs Marion Barber and Kahlil Bell

There's no secret to stopping the Bears' offense while it's without QB Jay Cutler, who is still recovering from thumb surgery. If the Seahawks do a good job defending the run, the Bears are going to struggle to put together drives that last longer than three plays and points will be even harder to come by.

Cutler's replacement, Caleb Hanie, has yet to prove he can keep defenses honest and the Seahawks should have few reservations about playing eight men in the box against a Bears offense that is relying heavily on its running game — Chicago had a season-high 38 rushing attempts in Week 14 against the Broncos.

Seattle's run defense is ranked 11th in the league (104.3 yards per game), but it's allowing only 3.7 yards per carry, which is tied with the Vikings and Bengals for the fourth-best mark in the league. Look for SS Kam Chancellor to play inside the box frequently Sunday. He has the size and toughness to function well as a fourth linebacker against Chicago's power running game, which is led by the punishing Barber, who is handling the bulk of the workload while RB Matt Forté recovers from an MCL sprain.

Bell, who started at running back for the Bears last week, had only nine carries to Barber's 27, but it would be surprise if the carry distribution is more even this week. Barber committed two costly errors late in the Bears' loss to the Broncos in Week 14, but he had his first 100-yard game in two years.

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