By Jim Moore
Think you’re upset with the Seahawks’ defense? It cost me a chance to go to 10-1 against the spread in Seahawks games this season when it faltered again in Miami last Sunday. It blew two chances to preserve seven-point, fourth-quarter leads and then couldn’t even force overtime, allowing Miami to get into field-goal range to win the game 24-21.
I think there might have been other games this season in which I was lucky to win, such as the 13-6 49ers’ win when San Francisco took a safety off the board to enable the Seahawks to cover the eight-point spread.
Chicago’s defense leads the league with 20 interceptions, eight of them coming from cornerback Tim Jennings. (AP)
So I won’t complain about their problems in Miami. Besides, I’m still 9-2 against the spread this season, which is pretty amazing when you consider that I’m truly a know-nothing when it comes to handicapping games.
If I were a know-something, I wouldn’t be writing this post or working at the radio station – I’d be living in Vegas and betting on games, hanging out in sports books, ordering cocktails, cashing tickets and having a grand old time doing essentially nothing, which is what I’m really good at.
The line on the Bears-Seahawks game is interesting because Chicago’s favored by only 3.5 points. Normally an 8-3 Bears team would be favored by more than 3.5 over a 6-5 Seahawks team that is 1-5 on the road.
I’m guessing that oddsmakers are concerned about all of the Bears’ injuries to starters, some who are out, and others who will play but won’t be 100 percent. Chicago has been particularly hit by the injury bug in the offensive line – as a result, the Bears will field what Chris Myers and Tim Ryan will call a makeshift or patchwork line several times during the FOX broadcast Sunday morning.
By the way, I think this will be the third straight week that we get this broadcasting crew, and as much as I like Myers and Ryan, the thought of seeing Jaime Maggio on the sideline is always the biggest Sunday morning pick-me-up at our house.
Here’s the thing with the Seahawks: even with their suddenly suspect defense, you know they’re going to be in the game in the fourth quarter. In their five losses to Arizona, St. Louis, San Francisco, Detroit and Miami, they either led or had a chance to tie or win in the final minutes. They lost those games by a combined 24 points.
So in the last two minutes on Sunday, expect them to be nursing a lead or trying to rally from four or five points down, something like that. In order for them to be in that kind of position again, I’d like to see the Seahawks go back to the ultra-conservative game plan they used earlier this season, back when there were concerns about giving Russell Wilson too much freedom to wing it downfield.
Pete Carroll said there are no restrictions on the rookie’s game anymore, but I hope the head coach puts a filter on him this week. It’s not because I don’t believe in Wilson because I do – it’s just those defensive numbers for the Bears: 20 interceptions, 13 forced fumbles and six pick-sixes.
I like the Seahawks’ chances if they stress Plan A, giving the ball over and over again to Marshawn Lynch. Then use play-action here and there. Emphasize the short passing game just like the Bears plan to do because their offensive line can’t hold up long enough for Jay Cutler to go through all of his progressions in the pocket.
This is probably the dumbest pick I’ve made all season, but I’m going to take the team that’s 1-5 on the road. They’ve won at Soldier Field in each of the last two seasons and are 9-4 all-time against the Bears.
As an added bonus, look for the game to go under 37.5 in a big way. And prepare for the Seahawks to come home with a 7-5 record after Steven Hauschka hits the game-winner in overtime. That’s right, overtime! As Wilson would say: Go Hawks.
Seahawks 13, Bears 10 (OT)