Seattle beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-19 on Sunday night to improve to 4-1 this season, matching the best start in franchise history. The Seahawks won four of their first five games in 1984 and 1986.
The win over the Niners also improved the Seahawks’ home record to 3-0, and with a victory over Chicago, they will tie the second-best home start in team history.
The Seahawks have a favorable schedule that could help them maintain first place in the NFC West. Only one of the next seven opponents—the Baltimore Ravens (3-2)—currently has a winning record.
Following Sunday’s matchup with Chicago, the Seahawks travel to Cincinnati (1-4), followed by a home game against Pittsburgh (2-4).
Seattle, however, is not looking ahead.
“I’m not even sure who we’re playing next week,” Seattle safety Reggie Tongue said. “To get where we need to be, we need to be on top of our division at the end of the year.”
Chicago hasn’t visited Seattle since a 38-9 loss on Sept. 23, 1984. The Bears have lost five of seven all-time meetings with the Seahawks, including a 1-2 mark in Seattle, and head into Sunday’s contest with just one win in five games this season.
Chicago had an impressive come-from-behind win over the Oakland Raiders two weeks ago for its lone victory, then returned to its losing ways with a 20-13 loss at New Orleans last Sunday.
The Bears fumbled five times, two by quarterback Kordell Stewart that were recovered by the Saints deep in Chicago territory.
“We beat ourselves again,” Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said. “We are our own worst enemy. We just can’t get things right, and we end up beating ourselves week-in and week-out.”
There will be one major change this week, with Chris Chandler starting at quarterback. Stewart, who is 30th in the NFL with a 56.0 passer rating, will be unable to play due to a leg injury.
Coach Dick Jauron wouldn’t speculate on what would have happened with the starting quarterback job this week had Stewart been healthy.
“It’s a question that doesn’t need to be answered, really,” Jauron said. “The fact is that Kordell is hurt and Chris is playing this week.”
Chandler, a 16-year veteran, completed 103-of-161 passes for 1,123 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions in relief of Jim Miller last season.
“I know this offense a lot better,” Chandler said. “I feel a lot more comfortable with this offense than I did last year.”
The Bears, who are 31st in the league in total offense, also might be without running back Anthony Thomas. The Bears’ leading rusher, who has run for 329 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per carry in his last three games, is listed as doubtful with a sprained foot.
Thomas would be replaced by second-year player Adrian Peterson.