The talk of the town leading into Sunday's showdown with Chicago was how Seattle's big summer acquisition, wide receiver T.J. Houshmanzadeh, was going to make the Bears pay for not showing enough interest in the former Bengal in the offseason. Instead, Housh got hushed and the Seahawks lost 25-19.
“He didn't say anything. I think it was 95 to 5 the other way.”
Those were the comments from Bears free safety Danieal Manning, who was credited with stripping Houshmanzadeh on a key play in the third quarter. The “95 to 5″ quote is a response to Houshmanzadeh's boast earlier in the week that he'll win 95 percent of the time against Chicago's defensive backs. In reality, Housh finished with a pedestrian four catches for 35 yards, good for 8th best on the team. T.J., as he's done all season, went the humble route(sarcasm alert): “I was open all game. They just didn't throw me the ball.”. In three games this season, the ex-Bengal big mouth has 14 catches for 145 yards and no touchdowns. This, of course, after he declared in June that he and QB Matt Hasselbeck were going to finish in the Top 5 in receiving and passing respectively and both were going to the Pro Bowl.
As for the game, the Seahawks played with a lot of heart despite being without eight starters. They jumped out to a 13-0 lead and went into halftime up 13-7. Then, Houshmanzadeh fumbled and the Bears scored five plays later to take the lead. On the bright side, backup QB Seneca Wallace player surprisingly well, throwing for 261 yards and a touchdown against a tough Bears D. Wide receiver Nate Burleson became the first Seahawk to eclipse the century mark in receiving yards with his 9 catches for 109 yards. Running back Julius Jones also nearly hit the century mark, in rushing, with 98 yards on 19 carries(He also scored the game's first touchdown on a 39 yard catch from Wallace on the opening drive). Perhaps Seattle's biggest star was fill-in middle linebacker, David “The Heater” Hawthorne, who had 16 tackles and a interception is his NFL debut.
In the end, however, Bears QB Jay Cutler was just too much for a depleted Seahawk secondary. Cutler hit speedster Devin Hester with two minutes left in the game for the game-winning 36-yard score. After the game, coach Jim Mora put the brunt of the blame on himself, but saved some for someone special. “There's no excuses for those. If you're a kicker in the National Football League you should make those kicks — bottom line. End of story. Period. No excuses. No wind, doesn't matter. You've gotta makes those kicks.” Mora said about kicker Olindo Mare's misses from 43 and 34 yards, misses that tend to stand out in a 6 point loss.
Oh, but Mora wasn't done.
“Especially in a game like this, where you're kicking and fighting and scratching your tail off and you miss those kicks, it's not acceptable. Not acceptable. Absolutely not acceptable,” Mora fumed. On the bright side for Mare, Mora didn't use the words “diddly-poo”.
He did, however, have more to say.
“We're not going to fight our ass off, and have a field goal kicker go out there and miss two field goals and lose a game. It's not going to happen.” At least nobody asked Mora if he thought his team, at 1-2, was going to make the playoffs.
Once he calmed down, Coach Mora had a positive message for everyone going forward: “As gloomy as I feel, I will say this to you: The sky is not falling. We are about to get some really good football players back playing football for us. We just have to weather the storm, and the way you do that is to hang in there together.”
Finally, a Seahawk with something smart to say.
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.