The Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks both enter their Week 3 matchup this Sunday with identical 0-2 records. But the similarities between the two ball clubs start and stop there.
Actually, I’ll throw in another similarity: they have high-priced quarterbacks who recently signed contract extensions, and who both are at least somewhat overpaid (Jay Cutler more so than Russell Wilson).
The differences between the two quarterbacks are far greater than their exorbitant cap figures.
Wilson is short in stature and does not possess the the prototypical size of an NFL quarterback. Cutler has the big frame ideal of a starting signal caller. Wilson is a running quarterback who can also throw the ball; Cutler is a passing quarterback who can also run it. Wilson routinely is at or near the bottom of the league in number of turnovers whereas Cutler generally takes the cake. And perhaps most defining of all is that Wilson’s career win percentage trumps Cutler’s.
But therein lies part of the problem. The Seahawks have had a Super Bowl caliber defense for most, if not all of Wilson’s short career. The Bears’ defense, meanwhile, has not been an imposing unit in quite some time. Maybe not even since the Bears lost in the NFC Conference Championship game in 2010.
I suppose you can add good pass-catching tight ends to the list of similarities. The Seahawks added tight end Jimmy Graham in the offseason in a trade with the New Orleans Saints. The Bears have a Pro Bowl tight end of their own in Martellus Bennett (the brother of Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett — another similarity). Graham is perhaps the best receiving tight end outside New England’s Rob Gronkowski, but the Seahawks are not utilizing his full potential. They’re using him more in blocking situations to help set the edge for running back Marshawn Lynch.
That brings us to another similarity. Both the Seahawks and the Bears operate their offense through their run game. Lynch is a bruising back who gets lathered up as the game goes on and thrives off contact. The Bears’ Matt Forte, however, is a slashing, one-cut back who makes defenders miss in the open field and rarely takes on a collision. Both are among the best backs in the league and are largely responsible for the successes of their individual teams.
Okay, so maybe there are more similarities than we originally thought. However, the discrepancy between the Seahawks’ top-flight defense and the Bears’ rebuilding group, as well as the overall depth on each roster and the fact that Cutler will miss this week’s game, is enough to separate these teams quite a bit.