With that in mind, here are four questions for this matchup:
Will Bears improve at protecting Cutler?
Jay Cutler has been sacked 52 times this season (or once in every nine pass attempts). The Seahawks, who rank 16th in sacks per pass attempt, dropped Cutler six times in their previous meeting, primarily using a blitz scheme. That game really exposed Chicago's weakness in pass protection, and soon after the Bears changed their ways on offense. They put the running game back in the equation and shortened Cutler's pass drops.
By no means have the Bears solved all of their pass-protection issues. In the season finale, the Packers sacked Cutler six times. The Seahawks got to Brees once last week and hit him another four times, and you can count on them coming after Cutler once again. But this time it might be more with their front four than the blitz.
Can Seattle take Forte out of the game again?
Can the Seahawks protect Hasselbeck?
You'd think the quick answer would be that no way can a rookie left tackle handle Julius Peppers. But the last time these teams met, that's exactly what Russell Okung did. Hasselbeck was only sacked once last week in 36 pass plays, and the Bears have to get to him or their 20th-ranked pass defense is going to be in trouble.
Right now the Seahawks have their West Coast rhythm-passing attack working well, and Ben Obomanu, who wasn't even an afterthought the first time these teams met, has become a nice piece. The Bears need interceptions from Hasselbeck, who is 1-3 when he throws multiple picks this year, and the only way to get those interceptions is disrupting Hasselbeck in the pocket. Chicago is not a big blitz team, relying on its front four in the Tampa 2. Linebacker Brian Urlacher will come occasionally, but in the end if Okung can block Peppers it's going to be a long day for Chicago.
What to do about Hester?
Devin Hester scored on an 89-yard punt return last time. The Seahawks weathered that storm because it came too late. Seattle is mediocre at best in their coverage units, and its best bet is to just kick it out of bounds on punts. Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, who had three punts inside the 20 last week, is capable of pinning the Bears deep. It's a challenge to give up some of that excellent field position to take Hester out of the mix, but I think it's worth it.
Seattle is a hot team that nobody respects. Once again people expect them to lose by double digits. But I suspect that once again this game will be won by a field goal or less, and it could go either way.