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Today's Matchup

January 14, 2007|PETER YOON

SEATTLE (10-7) AT CHICAGO (13-3)

Kickoff: 10 a.m.

TV: Ch. 11.

Line: Chicago by 9.

* Seattle update: The Seahawks became the first Super Bowl runner-up since 1997 to win a playoff game the next season. They have not won a playoff game on the road since 1983. Receivers Darrell Jackson and D.J. Hackett were injured last week and might sit out this game.

* Chicago update: Last season, the Bears had a first-round playoff bye, then lost to the Carolina Panthers at home in the divisional round. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris and safety Mike Brown are out, which depletes a defense that ranked third in the NFL, giving up 15.9 points a game. The Bears are seeking their first playoff victory since 1995.

* Story line: Chicago's Rex Grossman, who has passed for 23 touchdowns with 20 interceptions, must show he's ready for the big time. Chicago defeated Seattle, 37-6, on Oct. 1, but the Seahawks were without running back Shaun Alexander and tight end Jerramy Stevens.

The pick: Chicago. The Bears' defense is good enough to shut down Seattle even if Grossman struggles.

-- PETER YOON

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