Injuries (or lack thereof) should have a major impact today. For one, no Seahawks have been ruled out for this game — the only question mark listed on Friday’s injury report was backup OT Jarriel King. The same can’t be said for the Bears, who listed both their starting QB Jay Cutler and starting RB Matt Forte as out for the game. The way Seattle’s defense has been playing lately, they should eat backup RB Marion Barber and backup QB Caleb Hanie alive.
The biggest concern I have coming in to this one is the Seahawks’ offensive line. Last week they struggled early to contain St. Louis’ d-line, but bounced back with a much stronger showing in the second half. So if Rams DEs Chris Long, Robert Quinn, and James Hall gave Seattle’s backup OTs Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan that much trouble, how will they fare against Bears DEs Julius Peppers and Henry Melton? The outcome of this game may very well depend on the answer to that question.
On another note, this post will have to serve double duty as game discussion thread and post-game thread because I’m going to be on the road most of the day as my family and I head up north to visit relatives in Eastern Washington for the holidays. Trust me, I’d much rather spend the day at home watching the game.