Bears-Seahawks preview: Seahawks ball

953417.png

Bears-Seahawks preview: Seahawks ball

Stop Lynch, stop Seattlenot necessarily; rookie QB Wilson the real worry
The Seattle Seahawks really do just one thing very well on offense: give the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch is behind only Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster in NFL rushing ranks, going over 1,000 yards in 10 games and sitting at 1,051 through 11.
But the Bears have throttled Lynch the last three times they faced him, giving up just 44 rushing yards in their 2010 game and 42 in a loss last season. Not that it did them much good; the Seahawks won both regular-season games.
Indeed, Lynch powering for 100 yards actually does little good for the Seahawks, who traded fourth- and fifth-round picks to acquire him from the Buffalo Bills. Seattle is 6-6 in regular-season games when Lynch has rushed for 100 yards.
By contrast, the Bears in Lovie Smiths coaching tenure are 25-9 when they have a 100-yard rusher.
Lynch has topped 100 yards and averaged more than 4.5 yards per carry in four of his last five games. And the Bears have fallen from No. 1 against the run (77.1 yards per game) to No. 8 in just five games, albeit against a roll call of the NFLs elite backs: Foster, Peterson, Chris Johnson and Frank Gore.
Every week theres someone for us, linebacker Brian Urlacher said, laughing. But Lynch is a hard running back to tackle. He likes to get downhill, makes guys miss, (has) got great speed.
Wilson worries
But the considerably greater problem lies in Russell Wilson, a Wisconsin teammate of Bears tackle, now guard, Gabe Carimi.
Wilson was a borderline afterthought (for a quarterback) pick in this years draft, going to Seattle in the third round, 75th overall.
Wilson already has 17 touchdown passes (vs. eight interceptions), a completion percentage of 63.6 and passer rating of 93.9 better than Jay Cutlers career-bests for completions and rating and only slightly below Cutlers best per-game rate for TD passes (27 in 2009, when he also threw 26 interceptions).
Wilson has thrown seven TD passes and zero interceptions in the last three games, and no interceptions in his last 80 passes. He set an NFL rookie record with 16 consecutive completions in last Sundays Seahawks loss at Miami.
He is listed at 5-11 so clearly too short to be an NFL quarterback, right?
What you have to do is keep him in the pocket and make him throw from a well, said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. Thats what youd like to be able to do. But thats where the problems come because hes tough to keep in there...
He forces you to defend the width of the field as a pass rusher. He runs a little bit of option, read-option, so you've got to defend that.
The problem is that Wilson is accustomed to throwing out of wells, or at least getting out of them in order to throw.
I know that Im a shorter quarterback, Wilson said. I know that I have to stay tall. I know that I have to have a high, quick release, throw the ball on time. I know I have to understand the game and understand the defenses. I think thats what helps me. I know where people are going, I know where theyre going to be, and obviously my feet help me a little bit too to extend the play and get away from some pressure at times.
Rookie QB? So what?
The Bears have beaten Andrew Luck (Indianapolis) this season in their only game against a rookie quarterback, a notion that is fast becoming irrelevant with the performances of rookies like Luck, Wilson and Robert Griffin III in Washington this season, and Cam Newton and Andy Dalton last year.
Indeed, rookie quarterback is a meaningless standard for assessing Wilson. He has out-performed Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo and Newton already this season.
The Seahawks won all four of those games.
All things considered, however, the Bears are just fine with facing a rookie.
He's got a laser for an arm, said linebacker Lance Briggs. He's short -- everybody knows that, that hurt him in the draft and all that good stuff. He's a smart guy, he's producing, they're getting some wins.
But at the end of the day he's still a rookie. He's still a rookie, and you get pressure on him, keep him in the pocket and force him to beat us.

92 Days to Kickoff: Plano

planoslide.png

92 Days to Kickoff: Plano

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Plano

Head coach: Brad Kunz

How they fared in 2016: 7-3 (4-1 Interstate 8 Large), lost to Manteno in the 4A  opening round action.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – Johnsburg

Sept. 1 – @ Harvard

Sept. 8 – Herscher

Sept. 15 - @ Sandwich

Sept. 22 - Manteno

Sept. 29 – @ Coal City

Oct. 6 - Streator

Oct. 13 - Reed-Custer

Oct. 20 - @ Westmont

Biggest storyline: Can the Reapers reload?

Names to watch this season: Senior DB Mauricio Perez Senior DB Alec Chavez

Biggest holes to fill: The Reapers will need to replace 20 graduated starters from a season ago, and that group also included several multi-year starters for Plano.

EDGY's Early Take: The Reapers no question have work to do this summer, yet head coach Brad Kunz and staff always finds a way for Plano to compete in the Interstate 8 conference and beyond.

Lyons Township's Ben Bryant leads list of top 5 uncommitted Illinois recruits

Lyons Township's Ben Bryant leads list of top 5 uncommitted Illinois recruits

With the end of the college football recruiting spring evaluation period this week, focus for college programs will turn towards uncommitted recruits in the 2018 class. While the Illinois class already has 16 of the top 25 names already verbally committed, many top names still remain available.

Here are my top five uncommitted names still available in the 2018 Illinois class.

Lyons Township QB Ben Bryant: Bryant (6-foot-3, 195 pounds), a three-star recruit, originally committed to Wisconsin in December but was dropped by the Badgers a few weeks ago. Bryant recently has added offers from Georgia, Western Michigan, Temple, Bowling Green and Cincinnati.

Bolingbrook DT Dashaun Mallory: Three-star Mallory (6-foot-3, 265 pounds) has been very impressive this winter and spring on the camp circuit. Mallory has eight offers so far from various FBS and FCS schools. Several Power 5 programs, including Michigan State and Purdue, are waiting on Mallory's test score and spring semester grades before they extend him a scholarship offer. Mallory could see his recruiting stock soar this summer and early fall.

Marist DL Gavin McCabe: McCabe is currently touting nearly 30 scholarship offers and hasn't yet narrowed down any list of favorite schools. However, McCabe (6-foot-3, 255 pounds) was planning to camp at a handful of schools this summer, including Wisconsin and a recent offer from Navy. McCabe was considering making a summer unofficial visit to the Naval Academy.

Bolingbrook WR I'Shawn Stewart: Stewart was originally planning to be verbally committed by now, yet increased college looks this spring made him hold off on a decision. Stewart, who currently has offers form the likes of Illinois, Iowa, Syracuse and NIU is planning to camp in early June with both Michigan State and Wisconsin. Stewart (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) is planning to narrow down his list of favorite schools after his camps and is also looking towards making a late June decision.

Marist TE T.J. Ivy: Ivy recently narrowed down his favorite schools to a top 4 (Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and West Virginia). Ivy (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) is still open to other schools and is also planning to make his college decision before the start of his senior year.