“[Matt] Hasselbeck used veteran guile, sleight of hand and 6-5 wide receiver Mike Williams (10 receptions, 123 yards) to terrorize the Bears. His description of the victory against the Saints could have applied to the earlier Bears game.
‘‘’We got a rhythm going, with pass protection, and I was using my cadence pretty good, and quick counts and sort of quick counts, normal count, hard count, double count,’ Hasselbeck said. ‘Using all those things in our toolbox.’’’
The difference is, of course, that Seattle is now bringing a running game to town in the form of Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks have the look of a much more balanced team this time around – the type of offense that often gives the Bears trouble. The Bears are going to have to adjust if they want to win in the playoffs as pointed out by defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli via Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune:
“The pace and tempo are going to pick up now. That’s a fun part of this thing. They understand it. They know the importance of details and execution. We’ve got some elite players who play as a team.”
Nevertheless they lack playoff experience on the offensive side of the ball. While we sit and sounder whether the Bears can adjust, we already know that they Seahawks can. They dialed it up and played noticeably faster Saturday.
The Seahawks still don’t exactly execute like the Patriots. And the Bears will be a lot different offensively compared to the last time they played them, as well. But nevertheless the Seahawks are a dangerous team.
I’m not saying the underdog Seahawks will win. But I’d take the points.
A friend (who is rather anti-Bear) and I were debating the merits of the Green Bay Packers when he brought up this observation: the Packers are team in the NFC playoff picture with the best chance to beat the Patriots. An anonymous quote from the Audibles feature at Pro Football Weekly reminded me of his comment:
“If you want to beat the Patriots, you need to look at the job Cleveland did on them. The one thing (Eric) Mangini definitely knows is how to beat New England. They had a phenomenal game plan. I’ve never seen Tom Brady so confused. They had 11 guys standing, and (Brady) had no idea who was coming and who was dropping. No team is good playing from behind, especially if the offense can run at you. Colt McCoy made a few plays early, and (Peyton) Hillis ran at them. That is the winning formula to beat New England. It’s a copycat league, and you have to know where you could pull from.”
Defensively this is exactly what the Packers did to the Patriots and they almost beat them. They run a look with only two down linemen and everyone else stands around so you can’t tell who is coming from where. It’s problematic but it also looks to me like the type of defense that you could beat with the run if you had the right blocking scheme.
Frankly I don’t see anyone in the NFC beating the Patriots in a Super Bowl matchup. But I said that the last time they were there and they lost. It will be interesting to see if more teams do, in fact, copy the Cleveland game plan and what the Patriots do to try to stop it.
‘‘’If I look up right guard in the dictionary, I see a picture of Lance Louis,’ Tice said in August.”
“Tice proved adept at not only acknowledging a mistake but correcting it — both rare commodities at Halas Hall in recent years. It took the Bears four years to realize Mark Anderson wasn’t a starting defensive end. It took Tice four games to realize Louis wasn’t a starting right guard.”
“I never thought anyone would say this, especially in Chicago, but go Pack go!”
Tom Kowalsi at mlive.com breaks down the Lions roster. Big needs in the back seven of the defense should tell us what direction they’ll go in free agency and the draft.
Here’s the Detroit Lions season wrapup with Brian VanOchten and Bill Simonson at mlive.com. Some good points made here including the fact that the Cleveland Browns ended on a winning streak last year (though the Lions are probably different):
This week’s Audibles at Pro Football Weekly was particularly good. Here’s yet another astute observation:
“Coaches remember what a player did. Personnel guys are supposed to be on top of coaches to remember what (players) can do. Every team has different power structures. What you have to realize with coaches is that very few of them can separate the emotion.”
Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh gets a few warm comments from the Kansas City fans yesterday after their win: