The Chicago Bears lead 14-7 at halftime, and looked to have the Seahawk offense on its heels. The Seahawks responded by playing their best half of the season, and outscoring Chicago 31-0 during the third and fourth quarters. The second half comeback was a complete team effort, with two offensive touchdowns, two defensive touchdowns, and a Steven Hauschka 33-yard field goal. On offense, the Seahawks remained extremely balanced, passing the ball 31 times and rushing the ball 33 times. Defensively, the Hawks recorded four sacks, four interceptions, nine deflected passes, and returned interceptions by Red Bryant and Brandon Browner for touchdowns.
“Why the tale of two halves?” you might ask. The Bears’ starting quarterback, Caleb Hanie, has not won a game since taking over for Jay Cutler four weeks ago against Oakland. When the game was close, the Bears were able to play conservatively on offense, and not put Hanie in positions where he might make crucial mistakes. Additionally, the Bears scored a defensive touchdown when a hit from Julius Peppers forced Tarvaris Jackson to fumble the ball in the end zone. The ball was eventually recovered by the Bears for a touchdown. The offense was kept largely in check by the Chicago defense, and Seattle was never really able to build up much momentum.
Like they have in many games this season, however, Seattle came out of half time the better team. Jackson marched the offense 80 yards on five plays to open the second half with a touchdown, and the Seahawks never looked back. Seattle scored on three of its first four drives in the second half, largely thanks to Jackson’s efficiency. He finished the game 19 for 31 passing for 227 yards and a touchdown, which was necessary on a day that Marshawn Lynch was held to just 40 rushing yards (though he did score two touchdowns). Jackson missed a couple open throws, but was his patient, chain-moving self, completing passes to ten different receivers. He has really adjusted well to Pete Carroll’s style of football, and is giving the Seahawks a good chance of winning games. While many people want investment in the quarterback position during the offseason, I’m not sure the Seahawks will be able to find anyone right away that will play better than Jackson can.
The Seahawk defense forced three interceptions and four punts out of the Bears in the second half, while not allowing them to score. As the Seahawk lead grew and the Bears were force to be more aggressive on offense, the Bears began making mistakes. The Seahawks overcame Jackson’s early fumble to win the turnover battle 5 to 1 against Chicago, forcing over 1/3 of the Bears’ drives to end via turnover. In the Seahawks’ hot streak during the last six weeks, only the Redskins have topped 17 points against the Seattle defense, and they only had seven points entering the fourth quarter. With more time to develop (this year and into the next few years), the Seattle defense has a legitimate chance of becoming a perennial top-10 or even a top-5 defense. Although I hate to play the “if we had done this” or “if we wouldn’t have done that” game, it really is too bad Seattle lost a few close games earlier this year. The Hawks are one of the hottest teams in the league, and had they won a game or two more, would be the team everyone wanted to avoid entering the playoffs.
Regardless of whether they make the playoffs this year or not, playing winning football the way the Seahawks are breathes life into Seahawk Nation, and suggests there is a bright future ahead. I’m happy the Seahawks have given Pete Carroll a chance to rebuild the team from scratch, and just hope he and general manager John Schneider continue making good personnel decisions.
The Chicago game was a wonderful performance by the Seahawks, and hopefully at least two more such performances are on the way this year.
About the Author
Written by Erik Olsoy
Erik was born in Columbus, Ohio during the only Ohio State football victory over Michigan in the 1980s, but moved to Washington state and grew up there. His loyalty to Ohio State remains strong, but his strongest allegiances developed toward Seattle sports. Though he recently graduated from Boston College, he has not yet been converted to the ways of New England Sportsdom, and only roots for the Red Sox against the Yankees because the Yankees are the root of all evil.