The focus of my story today was how the Seattle Seahawks will defend one of the most productive receivers in the league in Chicago’s Brandon Marshall.
Marshall is among the league leaders in receptions (81), and yards (1,017). His 124 targets dwarf the second-most targeted receiver on the team, Earl Bennett (40). And at 6-4 and 230 pounds, Marshall will be one of the most physical receivers Seattle cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman face this season.
“I’m impressed about their swagger, and they present some challenges just because of that, Marshall said. “I’m excited about the matchup and getting this opportunity to compete against them.”
However, Browner and Sherman have done a good job of limiting talented, big receivers this season, holding Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (four catches for 63 yards), Dallas’ Dez Bryant (three, 17) and Detroit’s Calvin Johnson (three, 46) all under 100 yards receiving.
Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times writes that the Seahawks are looking to rediscover the team’s elite defense, which seems to be missing in action the last, few weeks.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that former Chicago Bear Frank Omiyale is pleased he decided to sign with Seattle in free agency this offseason, rather than return to his former team. “It’s not a big deal, but I’m excited to see some of the guys,” Omiyale said about his return to Solider Field. “Other than that, we’re trying to win a game. So that’s what this week is all about.”
ESPN’s Mike Sando takes a closer look at the Seahawks offensive numbers against the NFC North this season, with the team travelling to Chicago on Sunday.
Doug Kretz of Scouts Inc. breaks down the game here. You must be an ESPN Insider to view this. Kretz likes Chicago 24-20. Kretz expects the Seahawks to lean on Marshawn Lynch. Kretz: “After watching Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson gash the Bears for 108 yards on 18 carries in Week 12, look for a heavy dose of Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch. Chicago has given up more than 100 yards rushing for five consecutive games after holding opponents to an average of 71 yards for the first six games. Coach Pete Carroll will want his Seahawks to sustain drives and use up a lot of clock as they try to keep the ball out of the hands of Jay Cutler and his explosive passing attack.”
Mark Potash of The Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Bears have respect for Russell Wilson. ‘‘He’s got our attention,’’ Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago writes that the Bears will try and limit Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks running game.
Michael Rushton of The Sports Network previews the Seahawks-Bears matchup here.
Dave Wyman of 710 ESPN Seattle does not expect Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman’s looming suspensions to serve as a distraction for the rest of the team.
Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times reports that Monte Kiffin will step down as USC’s defensive coordinator, where his son Lane Kiffin serves as the head coach, after the team’s bowl game. Kiffin said he stepped down to pursue opportunities in the NFL. One of Pete Carroll’s mentors, Kiffin seems like a natural to return to the NFL as part Carroll’s staff.