By Jeff Joniak-
HALAS HALL (WBBM) Brandon Marshall is prepared with a heightened level of excitement for his Sunday showdown at Soldier Field with two of the best cornerbacks in the NFC.
“I’ve been excited about this game for some time,” Marshall said. “Whenever you get a chance to play a little one-on-one, it’s exciting. I’ve been watching film and I saw what they did against Calvin (Johnson) and Larry (Fitzgerald).”
Calvin Johnson caught three passes for 46 yards, with a long reception of 25 yards. Larry Fitzgerald caught four passes for 63 yards, with a long reception of 23 yards in games against the Seahawks this season.
Seattle’s secondary is big, long, physical, and fast.
Marshall is too, and while not 4.3-forty fast, he’s fast enough and creates space with his size.
“I like their defense, “ Marshall said.
You know Jay Cutler is throwing him the ball. Marshall is the NFL’s most targeted receiver. He will bang with the man-coverage Seattle thrives on from 2011 Pro Bowler Brandon Browner and soon to be Pro Bowler Richard Sherman.
“They present some different challenges,” Marshall said. “I’m ready to compete.”
The Seahawks’ safeties are big and bad as well with 2011 Pro Bowlers Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. It’s as good a secondary as there is in the NFL.
Like the Bears defense, the Seahawks prevent yards after the catch as well as any team in the NFL. The Bears are tied with Carolina allowing only 4.4 yards after the catch. Seattle is third best allowing 4.6 yards after the catch.
However, the Seahawks’ defense is better in Seattle than it is on the road.
Opposing quarterbacks have a 69.2 quarterback rating in Seattle, but 81.2 in their own buildings. The Seahawks have allowed only three passing touchdowns at home, seven on the road. They have five more sacks at home in one less than game than they do on the road.
It’s not much of a statistical difference save for one fact. They are 1-5 away from home. They’ve yet to conquer the task of playing well enough to win on the road in 2012.
Marshall’s longest NFL pass play came against Seattle his rookie season (2006) in Denver when he turned a short catch into a tackle-breaking 71-yard touchdown — on a throw from Jay Cutler.
Hope to see that again Sunday at Soldier Field.
Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bears on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffJoniak.