By Andrew Pappas @AndrewPappas24 on August 19, 2014
The third NFL exhibition game always acts as a "dress rehearsal" for teams, and the Chicago Bears couldn't have a more formidable opponent lined up for their rehearsal. The Seattle Seahawks are the defending champs and didn't seem to do anything but improve in the offseason. Both teams are trying to fully prepare for week one of the regular season, here are a few things you can expect on Friday night.
The Bears are hopeful that much-maligned safety Chris Conte will return Friday in Seattle. First, the Bears brass must wait to see how he responds to his first full week of practice all training camp. He recently returned after missing the entire offseason program and all of camp with a shoulder injury. He sounds confident and played well when the guys in front of him were healthy two years ago. I hope and expect the same from him this week.
The Seahawks had five rushing touchdowns last week -- four of them by quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Terrelle Pryor and B.J. Daniels, the other by running back Robert Turbin. They will not continue to enjoy this success as teams will start spying and containing Seattle's athletic quarterbacks. One of the strengths of the Bears linebacking corps is their athleticism and speed as well. There will be zero rushing touchdowns for the champs this week.
Despite the signing of Santonio Holmes this week, Josh Morgan will show out this Friday and prove to be worthy of the third receiver slot. If this were the Holmes of a few years ago, he’d be a shoo-in for the job, but his best days are behind him. Morgan has caught five passes for 77 yards through the first two games, and outside of a healthy, productive Holmes, he appears to be the most capable fill-in option at the No. 3 receiver.
Tarvaris Jackson and Pryor are in a true competition for the backup quarterback position. Jackson, a veteran, seems to have the upper hand at the moment, but coach Pete Carroll has taken a liking to Pryor. Carroll has expressed that he has confidence, not just in Pryor's athleticism (his biggest strength), but in his arm as well. Pryor will continue to show his worth in his reps on Friday night.
Cutler has statistically fared pretty well against the Seahawks throughout his career. He has a career passer rating over 90 against Seattle, but their defense has never quite looked like this. The defending champs are mean, fast, smart and big on the defensive side of the ball, but Cutler just seems to be in his happy place with the Bears and Marc Trestman right now. He should have a great game against Seattle on Friday and a career year.
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