Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagers between the Bears and Seahawks.
First team to score
Bears. If for no other reason than having the benefit of homefield advantage, the Bears should take the early lead in this game as long as the defense doesn’t come out and flop. Of course, if field position hinders the offense early, they’re not going to get any points until the defense or special teams reverse it.
First Bears player to score
Robbie Gould. I don’t think I’d be alone in feeling utterly hopeless about this Bears offense. It’s one thing to face a bit of decline when losing your two best offensive players; it’s a completely different thing to have a backup quarterback who can’t throw the ball and an offensive line that can’t block. I’d be surprised if the Bears score a touchdown before a field goal.
First Bears player to catch a pass
Kahlil Bell. Remember early in the season when Matt Forte was the leading receiver because the offensive line couldn’t protect Jay Cutler? Exit Cutler and enter Caleb Hanie and a whole new set of blocking problems. Bell was targeted twice on the opening drive last week and he should be an early target again.
Bears player to catch most passes
Johnny Knox. Knox is still Hanie’s favorite receiver, or, at least, the preferred target based on a three-game window. He should get a lot of attention from Hanie all game.
More passing yards – Caleb Hanie or Tarvaris Jackson
Tarvaris Jackson. How sad is it to be able to definitively call Tyler Palko, Tim Tebow, and now Tarvaris Jackson bad quarterbacks, but readily admit that they’ll have more success than Hanie? If the Bears fall behind, Hanie has a chance to have more passing yards because the Bears will have to throw more, but I wouldn’t put money on Hanie to outperform any quarterback.
More touchdown passes or interceptions by Caleb Hanie
Interceptions. See above description for more sentiments on Hanie, but he has just two touchdowns to six interceptions on the season and hasn’t shown any signs of improvement in three games.
Caleb Hanie sacks
5. Hanie has been sacked 15 times in his three games, an average of five per game, as a replacement for Cutler. By comparison, Cutler was sacked 23 times in 10 games this season, an average of 2.3 per game. The offensive line hasn’t gotten that much worse; it’s just that Hanie doesn’t feel the pressure as well and doesn’t know what to do with the ball when it does come.
More rushing – Bears or Seahawks
Bears. I know everybody is on the Marshawn Lynch bandwagon as of late, but the Seahawks haven’t faced a run defense better than No. 17 in the last four games, which have accounted for 47.6% of his total rushing yards this season. In the other two-thirds of the season, Lynch has rushed for 507 yards on 129 carries, an average of 3.9 yards per carry. The only way Lynch has a big game in this one is if there is a broken play by the Bears defense.
Total combined rushing and receiving yards by Marion Barber
100. In Barber’s first game as the lead back in replacing Matt Forte, he racked up 140 combined yards while splitting time with Bell. I don’t expect the same kind of production this week against Seattle’s 11th-ranked run defense.
Team to win the turnover battle
Bears. Barring another dumb mistake by Barber, the Bears should do what they do best in protecting the football and winning the turnover battle by taking away the ball from Seattle’s offense.
Total points scored
23. Why would we expect anything but a low-scoring game here? The Bears offense hasn’t been able to put up points in the absence of Cutler and their defense is playing solid football and keeping opponents off the scoreboard.
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