Sunday, October 17, 2010
Mike Williams sets career high in Seahawks 23-20 win over the Bears
The Seahawks won their first road game outside the NFC West for the first time since 2007 with a 23-20 road win at Chicago. The Seahawks defense proved to be to much for Jay Cutler and the Bears. The Seahawks had a career receiving day from Mike Williams and with the recent addition of Marshawn Lynch added a running game. Matt Hasselbeck also had his best game of the season.
The Bears on the opening series of the game were helped by a 58 yard pass interference penalty on Roy Lewis. Then the Bears Matt Forte ran for six yards out for a touchdown and the Bears lead quickly 7-0. It was looking like another typical road game for the Seahawks defense. The Seahawks wouldn't allow a touchdown the rest of the game.
The Seahawks would respond behind quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and newly acquired Marshawn Lynch. Lynch would rush for nine yards on his first Seahawks carry. Facing a critical third and six Hasselbeck would hit Mike Williams for a 16 yard gain. Then on the next play Hasselbeck would again hit Williams for a 24 yard gain. Hasselbeck would hit Deon Butler for a 22 yard touchdown to even the score at 7-7. Hasselbeck was 4 for 4 on the drive for 76 yards passing a touchdown.
The Seahawks defense would start to pressure Cutler in the next coming series. The Seahawks would fluster Cutler as he was making his first start since receiving a concussion two weeks ago in a loss to the Giants. Cutler would begin the game 1 for 6 passing and the Bears had no running game at all. Starting running back Matt Forte was held to just 11 yards rushing on 8 carries. The Seahawks would three and out the Bears on three consecutive possessions setting up the Seahawks next score.
Facing a third and four Hasselbeck would hit Mike Williams again for a 12 yard gain. Then Hasselbeck would hit Butler for 11 yards setting up a first and goal from the eight yard line. The Seahawks facing a third and goal from the nine called a draw play to Justin Forsett who had been replaced by Lynch as the starting running back. Forsett hit the hole hard and the offensive line led by sixth pick overall Russell Okung pushing the pile Forsett would score a touchdown giving the Seahawks a 14-7 lead. The Bears would tack on two field goals but stall in the red zone to cut the lead to 14-13 at halftime.
In the second half the Seahawks would continue to pressure Cutler. Jordan Babineaux coming on a blitz would hit Cutler on the one yard line then Cutler would fumble the ball. Fortunetly for the Bears they recovered the ball however since the ball was in the endzone the Seahawks received the safety and took a 16-13 lead. The Bears offense was a mess in the third quarter and despite having good field position most of the second half they couldn't do anything with it. The Bears also blew two second half timeouts which would haunt them down the road.
The Seahawks began the drive up 16-13 on their own eight yard line. Hasselbeck would hit Williams on a second down play for 21 yards to give the Seahawks some breathing room. Hasselbeck would hit Williams again for 18 yards on the next play. Facing a third and four from the Bears 44 yard line Hasselbeck would hit Butler for a gain of 15. Forsett then would rush the Seahawks down to the seven yard line. Hasselbeck would again hit Williams for a great diving catch to give the Seahawks first and goal from the one yard line. Thats when "beast mode" would come into play. Marshawn Lynch bulldozed through the Bears defenders to give the Seahawks the lead 23-13.
The Bears offense was still ineffective all game. The Seahawks sacked Cutler six times while the Bears defense recorded no sacks or turnovers on the game. Okung shut down top Bears pass rusher Julius Peppers holding him to two tackles, no sacks and not even one hit on Hasselbeck. The game appeared over with two minutes to go up 10 then Jon Ryan who had a great game up until that point made on fatal mistake. He kicked the ball to Devin Hester who returned the punt 89 yards to cut the lead to 23-20. On that punt return touchdown he tied Brian Mitchell for most return touchdowns in NFL history. The Bears had already blown their timeouts earlier were forced to onside kick the ball and John Carlson caught the ball for the Seahawks. Seattle simply ran out the clock for a rare road win especially against a team who was previously 4-1.
Matt Hasselbeck was huge today completing 25 of 40 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown. Most importantly Hasselbeck didn't throw an interception. Jay Cutler was 17 of 39 passing for 290 yards and a passer rating below 70. The Seahawks got a career game from Mike Williams who had 10 receptions for 123 yards. Deon Butler who will see increased playing time with Deion Branch traded had 4 receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. The Seahawks actually had a running game as well. Forsett had 10 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown, while Lynch ran hard for 44 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. When you combined those numbers the Seahawks ran for 111 yards on 27 carries.
The Seahawks improve to 3-2 on the year and will square off next week with first place on the line with 3-2 Arizona Cardinals at Qwest field. The Seahawks somehow found a way to not only win but dominate on the road. Don't let the final score fool you the Seahawks dominated this game and Pete Carroll has this team going in the right direction.
- The Seahawks rush defense again this year has been stellar. The Seahawks under Ruskell were small and would get ran on week after week. This year moving Red Bryant to defensive end and David Hawthorne who is a middle linebacker at outside linebacker makes Seattle tough to run on. The Sehawks haven't even allowed a running back to rush for 80 yards.
- Scheinders draft picks are winning the Seahawks game. Earl Thomas has been awsome all season long. Golden Tate has contributed on special teams although had a bad game today, Walter Thurmond had a strong game replacing Kelly Jennings. Cham Chancellor has done a good job on nickel situations. There was a huge difference with Russell Okung at left tackle today. The Seahawks were giving Hasselbeck time and they were running the ball. That is five rookies who are making immediate impacts on this roster that is competing for a division title.
- Pete Carroll has blown this roster up and so far its worked out. The guys he has brought in off the scrap heat have worked out. Mike Williams didn't play in the NFL since 2007 and he has had three strong games for the Seahawks this year. The offensive line is a total patch work job and so far they haven't looked bad this year. The Seahawks have brought in guys like Raheem Brock who was huge today he recorded a sack but also was in on Cutler that I counted at least four times.
- The Seahawks had 3.5 sacks on safety/corner blitzes. Jordan Babineaux, Lawyer Milloy and Roy Lewis each record a sack. In fact Babineaux record 1.5 sacks. The Seahawks blitz a ton today and they got burned on some long plays but none of those plays went for touchdowns was the key.
- Special teams was a total disaster today. The Seahawks first of all allowed a kick off return touchdown that was called back to two obvious holding penalties so disaster avoided #1. Golden Tate muffed a punt and had negative two yards on the day but thankfully recovered that fumble so disaster avoided #2. The Seahawks Jon Ryan kicked the ball to Hester. The Seahawks up 10 with the two minute warning looming and the Bears having no timeouts the game was over. Kick the ball out of the bounds.
- The Seahawks avoided a few more disasters. Hasselbeck fumbled the ball on the one blitz he faced all game but he shovel passed it much like tuck rule and it was an incompletion. Hasselbeck with the game on the line fumbled the ball at midfield but thankfully it was a false start penalty on Ben Hamilton. Seattle must clean those mistakes up or that could prove costly.
- The Seahawks have won just their second road game since the start of the 2007 season out of division. The previous one was in November against the Eagles. This is huge for the Seahawks confidence. Nobody picked the Seahawks to win and they were almost a touchdown underdog. The Seahawks answered the opening touchdown drive with a touchdown of their own. The defense was stout all game long.
In the end the Seahawks had a big road win against a winning team. Now they must avoid the letdown factor that has plagued losing teams forever. The Seahawks are playing a Cardinals team who has been outscored 82-10 in their last two road games. The Cardinals are starting a rookie quarterback and this would be a great time to take first in the division. This game isn't a make or break game but with the Seahawks currently at 1-1 in division this game is pretty huge. If the Seahawks defense comes out like they did today and keep on attacking that should make for a nice winning streak.