Chicago Bears get game they wanted: rematch with Seattle

Published on January 10, 2011 by     Seahawk Fanatic

All those Bears fans who celebrated loudly after Packers cornerback Tramon Williams picked off Michael Vick in the final minute to clinch Sunday’s NFC wild-card playoff win over the Eagles, brace yourself.

The line at the therapist’s office could be a long one.

Has there ever been a Packers victory so many people in Chicago wanted so badly?

All that was missing around town was a foam Cheesehead on the Picasso sculpture at Daley Plaza. All to set up a matchup Sunday at Soldier Field against the Seahawks (8-9) in the Bears’ playoff opener.

“I never thought anyone would say this, especially in Chicago, but go Pack go!” Bears kicker Robbie Gould urged the WMVP-AM audience before Green Bay’s win.

First, the Seahawks became the NFL’s first sub-.500 division champion to win a playoff game by ousting the defending Super Bowl champs. Then Eagles kicker David Akers added his name to the Bears’ Christmas card list, ahead of Joe Webb alphabetically, by missing two makable field goals. The Packers won 21-16.

In a Bears season full of breaks, this one might turn into the biggest yet. Instead of playing host to MVP candidate Vick and the Eagles or perennial Pro Bowler Drew Brees and the Saints, the Bears get to welcome the most beatable team left in the NFC field.

Chicago hasn’t been this excited to see a group of guys from Seattle arrive since the last Pearl Jam concert here.

“There’s not a team that I least want to play, but I definitely want to play the Seahawks because they beat us earlier in the season,” Chris Harris told WMVP-AM on Sunday.

Now Lovie Smith has ample supply of motivation at his disposal from the Bears’ 23-20 loss to the Seahawks on Oct. 17 — before offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s intervention that changed the season.

That was back when the Bears still were searching for their identity like a college kid taking a year off to backpack in Europe. With Jay Cutler coming off a concussion and the Bears one game removed from rushing for 218 yards, Martz called 47 pass plays and 12 runs against the Seahawks. At one point, Martz called 11 straight pass plays. The Bears were 0 for 12 on third downs.

If the Bears commit to running the ball, they should look like the Bears we saw for most of the second half of the season.

A Seattle Times online poll Sunday of more than 5,000 readers showed 88 percent of respondents wanted a Bears-Seahawks matchup. Without conducting a similar poll around here, I’d say that sounds a little low locally.

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