Seahawks head to Chicago | Seahawks Gameday

Leon Washington set a new NFL record with his eighth kickoff return for a touchdown, but it wasn
Leon Washington set a new NFL record with his eighth kickoff return for a touchdown, but it wasn't enough to get his team a win.
— image credit: Courtesy photo, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks were unable to win a third straight game last weekend in Miami, falling 24-21 to the Dolphins on a last-second field goal from kicker Dan Carpenter.

Seattle returns to the road this Sunday to face the Chicago Bears and quarterback Jay Cutler in a 10 a.m. West Coast start from Soldier Field.

The Bears (8-3) are coming off a 28-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings in which Cutler threw for 188 yards and wide receiver Brandon Marshall hauling in 92 yards worth of those. Chicago looked like a completely different team offensively in the previous losses to Houston and San Francisco, after Cutler was knocked from the game against the Texans.

Coach Pete Carroll's team finds itself in desperate need of a win to keep its playoff hopes alive after last week's loss put the team squarely in the middle of a muddled NFC Wildcard picture that also includes Tampa Bay (6-5), Minnesota (6-5) and Green Bay (7-4).

The two teams stack up similarly on both sides of the ball, with Seattle bringing in the league's 27th rated total offense and fifth ranked total defense to contend with a Bears team that has the 30th ranked offensive attack and third best defense. The 15.9 points per game Chicago is allowing is is good for second best in the league, just in front of the 16.8 allowed by the Seahawks.

Marshall has been the main weapon in the passing game throughout the year. His 81 catches and 1,017 yards lead the team and he has hauled in eight touchdowns for the year.

Defensively, Tim Jennings and his eight interceptions, along with the pass rush of Julius Peppers and Henry Melton, will be the main points of contention for Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch. Melton and Peppers share the team lead for sacks with six each.

The two teams have become increasingly familiar with each other over the past several years after a handful of regular season and playoff matchups.

The Seahawks won a 38-14 game last year in Chicago before losing the final two to miss the playoffs. Carroll's team went to Soldier Field twice in 2010, as the Hawks picked up a 23-20 win in the first and fell 35-24 in the playoffs. The Bears also won a 2009 regular season game and beat Seattle twice in 2006, once in the regular season and again in the divisional playoff round.

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