Although they have the luxury of playing in front of their home crowd, the Seahawks are going to be extremely outmatched when they take on the Saints this Saturday. Like almost everyone else, the Bears expect the Saints to advance beyond the first round with relative ease. According to ESPNChicago.com, Chicago head coach Lovie Smith said this week that the Bears are preparing to face the Saints.
Smith claims they’re scouting the Saints because they haven’t played them yet (whereas they’ve played Seattle and Philadelphia), but in reality he’s assuming the Saints are going to win. The Seahawks shouldn’t even be playing right now and you’d be hard pressed to find a team hotter than the Packers, but the fact that Smith was so open about it is a bit surprising. Coaches who aren’t named Rex Ryan usually refrain from saying anything that’s not a tired cliche, such as “we’re not worried about who we’re going to be playing” or “we’re focused on our own team.”
In reality, Smith and his squad would probably love nothing more than to face Seattle after their first-round bye. However, he’s taking the angle of being realistic and honest without coming off as arrogant, giving a little more than guys like former Browns head coach Eric Mangini without joining the likes of Ryan — something rarely seen in professional sports. Needless to say, it would shock the football world if the Bears have to face the 7-9 Seahawks in the Divisional Round.