NFL Wire News

Far from perfect, Seahawks hang on signs of improvement

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RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks used their home opener against the hapless Chicago Bears to get right in all three phases in a 26-0 shutout victory on Sunday afternoon.

After losing two close games on the road to begin the season, Seattle earned its first victory against a Bears team that was significantly lacking in firepower without quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. It once again showed the potential of a team still loaded with talent that has represented the NFC in the past two Super Bowls.

The defense looked dominant once again with strong safety Kam Chancellor back from a 54-day holdout. Seattle had been unable to hold fourth quarter leads against both St. Louis and Green Bay in falling to 0-2. Against the Bears, the scoreboard was never threatened. Chicago punted on all 10 possessions and never managed to drive inside the Seattle 45-yard line.

“Just to have (Chancellor)’s presence out there I think is huge for us,” defensive end Cliff Avril said. “People respect him around the league and sometimes people will cringe if they know he’s around so it’s big having him out there.”

After a sluggish first half where Seattle went 0-for-6 on third down, the offense began to find its stride as well. Thomas Rawls, playing in place of an ailing Marshawn Lynch, rushed for 104 yards on 16 carries as the Seahawks gained 371 yards of total offense. The offensive line continues to be a work-in-progress but the unit performed much better in the second half.

Rawls gained 98 of his 104 yards after halftime as Seattle’s offense found its rhythm.

“That was really satisfying to have that feeling again,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “We really executed well in the second half across the board.”

The Seahawks won the special teams battle as well with Tyler Lockett’s 105-yard kickoff return touchdown to open the second half broke the game open. Richard Sherman also had a 64-yard punt return on a misdirection play that caught the Bears chasing Lockett while Sherman fielded the punt on the other side of the field.

Seattle has a chance to quickly get headed back in the right direction. Two of the next three games are at home with a reeling 0-3 Detroit Lions team coming to town on Monday night.

INJURY NOTES: RB Marshawn Lynch (back/hamstring) was scheduled to have an MRI on Monday with the team waiting to assess his status until later in the week. Carroll said the calf injury he dealt with a week ago is resolving itself and shouldn’t be an issue. … TE Luke Willson had back spasms and was held out of Sunday’s game. Carroll said Willson could have played but they elected to give him an extra couple days off to recover. … DT Brandon Mebane (groin) will be assessed later in the week when the team returns to practice on Thursday. Carroll said Mebane was “moving around OK” on Monday. … S Steven Terrell (hip) will be evaluated at the end of the week to see if he can play against Detroit. He missed Sunday’s game against Chicago. … CB Tharold Simon (toe) will be evaluated at the end of the week to see if he can play against Detroit. Simon has yet to play this season after suffering a dislocated toe in practice before the season opener.

REPORT CARD VS. BEARS:

–PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus. Russell Wilson completed 20 of 30 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. The offensive line struggled to provide protection early. The Bears, who entered the game without a sack through two games, sacked Wilson four times.

–RUSHING OFFENSE: B. The Seahawks rushed for 159 yards with rookie Thomas Rawls leading the way with 104 yards in place of an ailing Marshawn Lynch.

–PASS DEFENSE: A. The Seahawks held Jimmy Clausen to just 63 yards passing and sacked him twice. Clausen completed just 9 of 17 passes. No player had more than 21 yards receiving for Chicago.

–RUSH DEFENSE: A-minus. Matt Forte found early success in the running game for Chicago, rushing for 38 yards on eight carries in the first quarter. Seattle’s defense adjusted and held Forte to just 36 yards on his final 12 carries and held the Bears to just 3.6 yards per carry for the game.

–SPECIAL TEAMS: A. Tyler Lockett returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a franchise-record 105-yard touchdown. Richard Sherman also had a 64-yard punt return that led to a field goal. Steven Hauschka had four field goals and five touchbacks on kickoffs.

–COACHING: B-plus. The Seahawks weren’t expecting the formations they saw from Chicago early in the game as Matt Forte kept the chains moving for the Bears’ offense. They hadn’t seen the looks on tape and had to adjust on the fly. Once the adjustments were made, the Bears’ offense became completely ineffective, gaining just one first down in the second half.


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