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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

December 3, 2012 at 6:02 AM

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Revisiting the 'Keys to the Game' for Seahawks at Bears

So how did the perceived keys to Sunday's game in Chicago actually pan out? We start by resurrecting Saturday's forecast, and then breaking down how those factors panned out:

Keys to Seahawks victory

Seahawks 1. Stop Chicago's running game.

Scouting report: Seattle's rush defense allowed 189 yards rushing in Week 12 at Miami, a team that hadn't run for more than 100 yards as a team since September.

Result: The Seahawks allowed 132 yards rushing to the Bears, which was more than Chicago's season average. But 27 of those yards were gained by Jay Cutler on four scrambles, and 10 of the 28 rushes by Chicago's running backs gained 2 yards or fewer.

Seahawks 2. Get pressure on Jay Cutler.

Scouting report: The Bears have allowed 35 sacks this season, third-most of any team in the league while Seattle had a single sack at Miami, fewest since Oct. 14.

Result: The Seahawks had one sack for the second consecutive game, and Seattle got that sack only because Cutler couldn't field the snap. Seattle is now 2-2 in games when it has one been held to one sack.

Seahawks 3. Don't get too conservative in crunch time.

Scouting report: The Seahawks had the ball, first-and-10 at the Miami 40 on their final possession in Week 12 when coach Pete Carroll tried to grit out field-goal position with a a handoff and a screen pass. The Seahawks would have been better off putting the game in Russell Wilson's hands there at the end, and letting him try to throw Seattle into field-goal range.

Result: Wilson threw 37 passes, his most in any game this season. He was 7-for-10 passing on Seattle's final drive of the fourth quarter, throwing for 77 yards. But Seattle ran most of the way to a victory in overtime, throwing only three passes during the 80-yard touchdown drive. Conservative? Perhaps. Effective? No doubt.

Keys to Bears' victory

bea-mark-1-cl.gif 1. Stop the Seahawks' running attack.

Scouting report: The Bears ranked No. 8 in rushing defense in the league, but they have allowed three different opponents to rush for more than 100 yards this season.

Result: Marshawn Lynch rushed for 87 yards, but 51 of those were in the first half. Wilson is the one whose legs really hurt Chicago. He rushed for 71 yards, 43 more than he had in any previous game this season. The option-read was particularly effective late in the game.

bea-mark-1-cl.gif 2. Take the ball away.

Scouting report: The Bears forced 33 turnovers, entering Sunday's game, the most in the NFL. Seattle didn't commit a turnover last week, the first time this season the Seahawks didn't give away a possession on the road.

Result: The Bears forced the game's only turnover, stripping the ball from Lynch in the first quarter. Chicago fumbled twice, but recovered both. Seattle won despite having a negative-turnover ratio for only the third time under Carroll. The Seahawks are 3-13 when committing more turnovers than they force under Carroll.

bea-mark-1-cl.gif 3. Don't start slow.

Scouting report: The Bears have failed to score in the first quarter of four games this season. They have lost three of those four games. Those three losses are also Chicago's three lowest-scoring games of the season.

Result: Chicago scored a touchdown on its first possession, ,only the third time this season the Seahawks have allowed their opponent to score first. The Bears managed just 10 points after that opening possession, though. The Bears failed to score 20 points for only the fifth time this season.

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Kinda looks to me that the selected keys didn't fit the lock. Maybe the key the... MORE

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