Friday, January 14, 2011

NFL Playoff previews: NFC Divisional game 2

Sunday, January 16 - NFC Divisional Game 2
Seattle Seahawks (7-9) at Chicago Bears (11-5)

By the numbers:
Seattle @ Chicago
TeamWLPFPADifPyth
Seattle 79310407-97.344
Chicago 11533428648.591

So the worst of the four bye teams, the Chicago Bears, hosts the worst of the four Wild Card teams. And if I thought that Seattle was going to get blown out at home by a Wild Card team, surely I think that they'll get blown out on the road against the NFC's second-best team, right?

It's not quite that simple. New Orleans is a good offensive team, and the Seahawks have been dreadful defensively. Chicago is not an offensive powerhouse, and any time Jay Cutler's playing, there are going to be opportunities for the opposing defense to take the ball away.

And while the Seahawks had lost in New Orleans by two touchdowns, they actually won in Chicago. Yes, it was by three, back in October, but they've done it once, and that leads to the suspicion that they could do it again. Do I think that they will?

No. I think that the Bears are a bit of a mirage, but they're a better team than the Seahawks. (To be fair to Chicago, the one half of football that I've really seen from them this year, they lost 33-0 on their way to a 36-7 drubbing by the Patriots.) Would I be shocked if the Seahawks won, the way I was last week? No, but I don't expect them to.

Reason to pick the Seahawks:
They've already won in Chicago this season, and they're coming off a huge win in their best performance of the year.

Reason to pick the Bears:
They're a better team, playing at home, with a week's rest.

Seattle wins if:
Hasselbeck plays the way he did last week and the defense comes up with three turnovers.

Chicago wins if:
Jay Cutler doesn't have a meltdown game and the defense plays sound football.

My Pick:
Chicago

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