Seattle Seahawks 30, Chicago
Sunday, November 18,
Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington
Play Of The
Day: With just
under six minutes remaining in the game, Patrick Kerney blew by Bears OT Fred Miller and sacked Rex Grossman for his second of the game, this time knocking
the ball loose. Darryl Tapp scooped up the ball and snuffed out Chicago’s
chance at tying the game. The Seahawks would go on to kick a field goal and
expand their lead to ten points and put the game out of reach.
Handouts to the Standouts: Matt Hasselbeck is making a strong
case for his return to Hawaii this winter, finishing the game 30 of 44
for 337 yards, two touchdowns and, perhaps most importantly, no interceptions.
Hasselbeck was outstanding on play action passes and enjoyed success on most
all of his audibles, even, surprisingly enough,
on running plays.
D.J. Hackett led the team in receptions for the second straight week with 9 catches
for 136 yards and touchdown, and could have had more as but he dropped a touchdown
in the third quarter and failed to drag his foot on a third down catch on
the sidelines that was close enough to prompt a review, although the challenge
Kerney finished the game with three sacks, one forced fumble, five tackles
and a big hit on a screen to Jason McKie that led
to an incompletion on what could have been a big gain.
Things That Made Me Go “Blech”: On the second play from scrimmage,
Cedric Benson ran off tackle right and scampered 43 yards for a touchdown
completely untouched. Brian Russell appeared to be rooted to the ground as
Benson breezed by him on his way to six. The only good thing about the play
was that it didn’t start from the 1-yard line, because there no chance that
anyone would have come close to tackling Benson.
previously mentioned, D.J. Hackett dropped an easy touchdown on third down
that forced the Seahawks to have to kick a field goal. It didn’t wind up
costing the Seahawks, but Seattle fans are hyper-sensitive about drops after
suffering through the Jackson/Stevens era, so let’s hope Hackett spends some
extra time this week working on his hands.
the first play of the Seahawks second possession of the second half, the pass
protection broke down leading to a sack of Matt Hasselbeck, and a forced fumble
recovered by the Bears, and all of this despite holding on Chris Gray. I’m
guessing that play won’t be fun to watch over and over again during the film
Offense: Once again, the offensive game plan
was centered on using the pass to set up the run and, once again, it worked
well. The Seahawks employed both the play action pass and draw plays to keep
the Chicago defense off balance and
generally picked apart the Bears secondary with slants and short checkdown
Seattle receivers had a solid outing on Sunday,
with all four contributing catches. Deion Branch nabbed 4 passes for 31 yards
in his first game back from injury. Several times Bobby Engram was matched
up linebackers in coverage, and each time Matt Hasselbeck hit him over the
middle for a solid gain. Nate Burleson only had one catch in the game, but
it was beautiful one-handed nab for a touchdown.
Maurice Morris turned in another solid performance in the backfield rushing 18 times
for 86 yards and a touchdown while adding another 19 yards through the air.
Morris still had to contend with defensive linemen in the backfield a few
more times that he should have, but, in general, the Seahawks run blocking
appears to have vastly improved over the course of the last few weeks.
factor in the running game’s turnaround has been Leonard Weaver, who was solid
as a lead blocker, sealing off Pro-Bowl LB Lance Briggs on Morris’ 19 yard
touchdown run in the second quarter, and absolutely destroying DB Brandon McGowan on an outside run in the second half. Weaver contributed 2 runs of
his own for 11 yards and hauled in 4 passes out of the backfield for 23 yards
and punished the poor defensive backs who came up to tackle him.
Defense: The Seahawks defense finished the
game with five sacks, two forced fumbles while forcing the Bears into four
three and outs and twice stopping Chicago on fourth down. There were
a few “duh” moments, such as the aforementioned 43 yard Benson touchdown run,
but, in general, the defense played well throughout the game.
Leroy Hill was a welcome sight in the defensive backfield, and he contributed a
sack and was, as usual, a monster in stopping the run. Julian Peterson and
Lofa Tatupu were a bit quieter than usual, contributing just 3 tackles combined.
Tatupu, in particular, seems to get taken out of blitzing plays by blocking
fullbacks, which makes me wonder why he gets called on to blitz as often as
secondary did a fine job in neutralizing the Rex Grossman deep ball, with
the only breakdowns occurring while Jordan Babineaux was subbing for Kelly Jennings who was sidelined for a quarter with sprained knee.
Special Teams: Josh Brown went 3 for 4 on field
goal attempts and made a great open field tackle on All-Pro return man Devin Hester. With Adam Viniteri’s sudden meltdown over
the last few weeks, Brown is the heir apparent to the NFL kicking throne.
Ryan Plackemeier kicked away from Hester all day, dropping one just inside the
five yard line, and kicking the rest either out of bounds or into the end
Burleson enjoyed a bit of the Hester Treatment as the Bears opted not to kick
to him in the second half but only after Burleson returned a kickoff 44 yards
The Golden Microphone Award: Kudos to Matt Vasgersian
and J.C. Pearson who called the game for FOX today. Vasgersian
did a wonderful job calling the play-by-play (I only caught one error by Matt
and he corrected himself almost immediately) and J.C. Pearson offered analysis
that was not only pertinent but actually interesting. The FOX booth crew
also eschewed the usual prepackaged video introductions and puff-pieces that
so often plague FOX broadcasts so that we actually saw every snap of the game.
It’s a shame that these guys aren’t considered the “A” team by the suits at
FOX Sports, because they infinitely better than anyone else on the network.
I sincerely hope that they get “stuck” doing more Seahawks games this year.
Random Notes: The Seahawks defense has faced five
fourth down attempts over the last two games and not one of them has been
home crowd didn’t like the illegal contact call against Marcus Trufant early
in the second quarter but it was good call by the official. In fact, Trufant
is lucky they didn’t call pass interference.
like that Mike Holmgren continues to go for it on fourth down, even if he
has to pass to get it done. Hasselbeck’s playaction rollout pass to Marcus Pollard was a thing of beauty.
knows that Josh Brown made a nice tackle on Devin Hester in the second half,
but he also forced Hester out of bounds earlier in the game. It’s that kind
of extra effort that should send Josh to Pro Bowl this year.
Summary: The Seahawks reestablished themselves
as a playoff team, improving to 5-2 in the conference and 6-4 overall. They
stayed one game ahead of the Cardinals. They also got a bit of blood back
after losing two games to the Bears last season - a regular-season blowout,
and a squeaker in the playoffs. They might not be on the same level at the
Packers and Cowboys in the NFC, but Seattle's new pass-first offense has some very
interesting wrinkles, and very few obvious challengers left on the schedule.
Next Week: On the road again in St.
Dylan is a die-hard Seahawks fan trapped
in Eagles Country and firmly believes that “Live At Leeds” is the single greatest
live performance since a deaf Ludwig Van Beethoven debuted his final symphony
in Vienna in 1824. You can e-mail
Dylan at NJSeahawksFan@gmail.com .