- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO BEARS vs. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
When: Noon Sunday | TV: FOX
RADIO: 780 AM, WBBM & 105.9 FM; WLEY (107.9 FM)
CHICAGO BEARS (8-3)
Coach: Lovie Smith | Record including playoffs: 82-63
Career record (including playoffs) vs. Pete Carroll: 1-2 | Career record vs. Seahawks: 4-3
Last week: Defeated the Minnesota Vikings 28-10.
Key stat:The Bears hold a 13-2 record with Jay Cutler in the lineup since Week 6 of last season, and without the quarterback the club is 1-6. The Bears average 28.7 points per game, 325.7 total yards, and 197.9 passing yards with Cutler at the helm since Week 6 of 2011. Over that span without Cutler, the Bears averaged 13.1 points, 263 total yards and 129.9 through the air.
Offense rank: 30th (299.1 ypg) | Defense rank: third (307 ypg).
Offensive leader: Brandon Marshall has scored 57.1 percent of Chicago’s receiving touchdowns this season, which ranks as the highest percentage in the NFL. He also accounts for 38.1 percent of Chicago’s targeted pass attempts this season, while no other player in the league accounts for more than 31.4 percent, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The fifth player in NFL history to gain 1,000 yards receiving with three different teams, Marshall has scored seven touchdowns in his last eight games.
Defensive leader: Defensive tackle Henry Melton ranks No. 2 among DTs with six sacks, giving him 15.5 sacks for his career, including 13 over the last two seasons. Melton sacked Minnesota’s Christian Ponder last week on the Vikings’ first play from scrimmage. His 13 sacks since 2011 rank second in the NFL among defensive tackle, and the most by a Bear at that position since Tommie Harris generated 13 from 2006-07.
The Bears have won five of their last six against NFC opponents.
The Bears have lost two consecutive regular-season games to Seattle at Soldier Field.
The Bears are 13-1 when Matt Forte rushes for 100 yards or more.
Julius Peppers has contributed two tackles or fewer in 10 consecutive games.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-5)
Coach: Pete Carroll | Record: 55-57
Career head-to-head record vs. Smith: 2-1 | Career record vs. Bears: 3-2
Last week: Lost to the Miami Dolphins 24-21.
Key stat: The Seahawks are 1-5 on the road, yet undefeated at home (5-0). Seattle has finished with a losing road record for six consecutive years, which ties a franchise record. The Seahawks are 6-16 on the road over the last three seasons, and only the Arizona Cardinals have a larger difference in win percentage between home and road games over that span.
Offense rank: 27th (316.7 ypg) | Defense rank: 5th (309.4 ypg).
Offensive leader: The sixth rookie quarterback drafted in the third round or later to start a season opener since 1970, Russell Wilson has broken rookie records for most consecutive completions (16), in addition to finishing his last three games with a passer rating of 125.9 or better. Wilson is coming off a loss at Miami in which he completed 77.8 percent of his throws for two touchdowns.
Defensive leader: Chris Clemons ranks eighth in the NFC with eight sacks, and tied the NFL record for the most sacks in the first half with four on Sept. 24 against the Green Bay Packers. Clemons is fifth among defensive ends in sacks since the start of 2010 and has played an instrumental role in the Seahawks racking up 29 sacks over the first 11 games, which ranks No. 9 in the NFL.
Wilson is one of five quarterbacks since 1970 to start their careers with a record of 5-0 or better at home.
Seattle has gained 100 yards rushing or more in 16 of its last 20 games, and since Week 9 of 2011, the Seahawks 2,732 rushing yards rank No. 6 in the NFL.
The NFL’s third-leading rusher, Marshawn Lynch has averaged 4.6 yards per carry or better in four of his last five games.
Second-round pick Bobby Wagner has averaged 9.2 tackles per game, in addition to generating double-digit tackle totals in three of his last six games.