The Seahawks enter today's NFC divisional playoff game at Chicago as 10-point underdogs despite having beaten the Bears earlier this season at Soldier Field, 23-20.
Is this a sign of a team being over its head against a superior opponent? Or have the so-called experts missed the story on the surging Seahawks? Consider:
You might have heard the Seahawks had the worst record, at 7-9, of any division winner in NFL history. But they knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints at home last week, 41-36, in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bears went 11-5 in the regular season to win the NFC North Division and the conference’s No. 2 seed. But the Bears are the only team remaining in the playoffs that didn’t win their most recent game. Chicago, which had a bye last week, lost its regular season finale to the Green Bay Packers, 10-3.
Winning a road playoff game isn’t something the Seahawks have done often over the years, going 1-7 in playoff games on opposition turf – and that win came in 1983. But home-field advantage in the second round of the playoffs has not been a huge factor recently. Since 2005, home teams are 11-11 in second-round games, although one of those wins was by the Bears over the Seahawks on Jan. 14, 2007.
The Seahawks are attempting to win their third game in a row – something they did not do during the regular season. The last time the Seahawks had a winning streak of at least three games was during the 2007 season, when Seattle won five from Nov. 12-Dec. 9. And to win back-to-back playoff games? That’s something the Seahawks have done twice – in the Super Bowl season of 2005 and in 1983.
The Bears are making their first playoff appearance in four seasons and are led by quarterback Jay Cutler, who is making his first playoff start.