Clayton: Seahawks can start an important strong finish vs Bears

Dec 24, 2021, 2:55 PM | Updated: 8:28 pm

Seahawks Russell Wilson...

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson celebrates with fans after defeating the 49ers on Dec. 5. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are out of the playoff race at 5-9, but they can still salvage something out of a tough season.

Huard: Seahawks’ young core taking shape on defense

They have home games coming up against Chicago (4-10) and Detroit (2-11-1). Those are winnable games. The first one is a 1:05 p.m. Sunday game against the Bears (coverage will start at 10 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM).

The Bears will be without their top two quarterbacks. Justin Fields has been scratched and Andy Dalton, who just came off the reserve/COVID-19 list, has hand and groin injuries. That means Nick Foles gets the start.

There are other problems for the Bears. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks is out, one of 13 players they have on the COVID list. They hope that Allen Robinson, their best receiver, can be activated for Sunday.

Chicago’s biggest problems are that the they don’t have much on offense, and Matt Nagy is in his last days as the head coach. It’s been a really bad year for Nagy. Even though the Bears have had two playoff seasons during his run, the team kept getting worse and worse all season.

For the Seahawks, they do have some players returning from the COVID list. Leading wide receiver Tyler Lockett is back. So is running back Alex Collins.

The injury situation is good for Seattle, too. No regular is designated as out, so they won’t miss anybody due to injury just five days after their loss to the Rams on Tuesday. The same can’t be said for the Bears, who will be missing left tackle Jason Peters (ankle), defensive tackle Xavier Crawford (concussion) and wide receiver/returner Jakeem Grant (concussion).

Clearly the key to the game for the Seahawks will be the play off Russell Wilson. The Bears are perhaps the worst offense the Seahawks will face this year, so Chicago running twice the offensive plays as the Seahawks is doubtful. This might be a low-scoring game because the Bears are decent on defense, but the Seahawks have the advantage playing at home and because the Bears have an offensive line that isn’t really good.

This is an important game for Seattle to win. Not for the playoffs but to get some respect out of this bad season.

Seahawks likely to play just third home game ever in snow Sunday

Want more Seahawks-Bears coverage? Listen here to Friday’s edition of The Pete Carroll Preview, the weekly conversation looking ahead to Sunday’s game between Seattle’s head coach and the voice of the Seahawks, play-by-play announcer Steve Raible:

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Clayton: Seahawks can start an important strong finish vs Bears