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Justin Forsett gained 67 yards and rushed for a score on 10 carries, while Marshawn Lynch added 44 yards and a touchdown on 17 totes for the Seahawks (3-2), who were coming off a bye week that followed a 20-3 defeat at St. Louis.
Mike Williams posted game-highs of 10 receptions for 123 yards and Deon Butler recorded a 22-yard TD catch for Seattle, which registered its first road win of 2010.
"I really think we waited too long to get one (a road win)," said Seattle head coach Pete Carroll. "We wanted all the guys to answer the call and play well in all three phases of the game. We had six sacks, knocked the quarterback around all day long, and we were able to run the football today."
Seattle went up 23-13 three plays into fourth quarter after a one-yard run from Lynch to cap a 92-yard drive, then the Bears had an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Danieal Manning negated due to a holding penalty.
Both clubs traded three straight possessions each without much offense. Chicago wasted its third drive in the series of futility when Robbie Gould missed a 54-yard try.
However, after Seattle went three-and-out on the next series, Hester took a punt 89 yards for a 23-20 game with 1:54 remaining. The onside kick was hauled in by a Seahawks special teamer on Chicago's 42, and Hasselbeck worked off the remaining time with three kneels.
"You have to be ready each week to play your best ball, and we didn't play our best ball today," said Bears head coach Lovie Smith. "If you can't convert offensively and let them convert and not get takeaways, it'll be a tough day."
Chicago struck on the first possession of the game, helped by a defensive pass interference call on Seattle which set up the Bears on the visitors' 22. Cutler hit Forte for a 13-yard gain, then a three-yard rush preceded his six- yard touchdown run.
Seattle responded on its first drive on a Hasselbeck pass to Butler for a 22- yard score, then moved ahead 14-7 early in the second on Forsett's nine-yard scamper.
A 34-yard make from Gould on the ensuing possession brought the Bears within four, and his 24-yarder with 1:10 on the clock made it 14-13 at the half.
Cutler was brought down by Jordan Babineaux in the end zone on the Bears' first drive of the third quarter, and though the Seahawks failed to capitalize, they kept that slim edge heading into the fourth after halting a pair of successive Chicago drives.
Seattle has won eight of 13 meetings with Chicago, including two of the last three matchups...The Bears listed linebacker Lance Briggs as inactive with an ankle issue that kept him out of practice all week, and guard Roberto Garza was absent following knee surgery...Safety Major Wright also missed his fourth straight week with a hamstring issue...The Seahawks listed defensive tackle Brandon Mebane as inactive with a calf injury that was aggravated in practice...Forte ended with 11 yards on eight carries and three catches for 40 yards...The Seahawks racked up 353 yards of total offense to 307 for the Bears...Seattle punter Jon Ryan suffered injured ribs during Hester's TD run in the fourth quarter, and cornerback Kelly Jennings left the game with a hamstring issue.
A punt return touchdown and long pass interference penalty were the only real blemishes for the Seahawks in Chicago today. Seattle hung on to win after tight end John Carlson recovered the onside kick following Devin Hester’s punt-return touchdown.
The defense was dominating at times, forcing Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to throw under duress for most of the game. Cutler spent more time on the turf than his feet, with the Seahawks bringing pressure from all angles.
The final score in Chicago: Seahawks 23, Bears 20.
With two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks made what could’ve been a fatal mistake, kicking to the Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester. The always explosive Hester took the punt return to the house, bringing the Bears to within seven.
Seahawks punter Jon Ryan was lit up on a block for his mistake, staying down for several minutes.
At the half, the Seattle Seahawks lead the Chicago Bears 14-13. The Seattle defense settled in after an early touchdown by the Bears in the first quarter. The touchdown drive was helped by a 60 yard pass interference penalty on the Seahawks.
Matt Hasselbeck drove the Seahawks down the field on their first drive, connecting with Deon Butler for the score. Marshawn Lynch has impressed in the first half, leading the Seahawk rushers to 79 yards. The Seahawks were averaging 78.5 yards per game on the ground so far this season.
The Seahawks are second in the NFL against the run and are allowing an average of 19.3 points per game, while Chicago is rated third in run defense and fifth in points surrendered.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is expected to return under center this week to put Seattle’s dreadful pass defense to the test. The Bears were forced to utilize their ground game in last Sunday’s 23-6 win at Carolina, since Cutler was inactive due to a concussion suffered in an ugly road loss against the New York Giants the previous week. Cutler gave way to backup Todd Collins, who was simply awful with just 32 passing yards and four interceptions while completing 6-of-16 attempts.
Cutler has been cleared to practice without restrictions and all signs point to the gunslinger starting under center against Seattle. Cutler missed a start due to injury for the first time in his career last week.
“It feels good,” Cutler said of getting back to practice. “It was a long week last week, tough to watch the game. But we got a ‘W’ and I am back this week.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz said Cutler looked sharp in practice and the rest of the team is happy to see him back. Cutler has thrived so far under Martz’s new system, passing for 912 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions and a 102.2 passer rating that ranks fifth in the NFL. Cutler owns 14 touchdown passes, ranks second in yards per attempt (8.45) and third in passer rating (107.6) since Week 16 of last season.
Bears running back Matt Forte was a part of running attack that produced 218 yards on the ground — the franchise’s most in 20 years — on 42 attempts compared to just 19 pass plays. The lopsided distribution is unheard of in a Martz offense, but since Collins was brutal the Bears had no choice but to ride Forte. The third-year back rushed for a career-high 166 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries for a Chicago ground game ranked 31st entering the contest.
Chicago, first in the NFC North with a 4-1 record, will host Washington next week before entering its bye. It is off to its best start since opening the 2006 season with a 7-1 mark en route to a 13-3 finish and a Super Bowl appearance.
The Seahawks, one half-game behind Arizona for first in the NFC West, entered their bye with a 2-2 mark under first-year head coach Pete Carroll and have been awfully busy personnel-wise. Seattle traded for Bills running back Marshawn Lynch and sent wide receiver and former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch to New England during its break.
Lynch said he is excited to get a fresh start after being one of three backs in Buffalo. While the coaches are pleased to have him aboard, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck enjoys the acquisition as well.
“He brings something to our team that we didn’t have,” Hasselbeck said on the team’s website. “He’s a big, powerful, strong back who loves football, has a good football IQ and complements Justin (Forsett) and what he does well. So it’s exciting to have him.”
Lynch joins a ground attack rated 29th in the league, averaging 79.5 yards per game, and Hasselbeck leads the team with two rushing touchdowns and is second on the team in rushing yards with 33. Lynch’s presence should keep his quarterback healthy and out of site from defenders.
Carroll is counting on young receiver Deon Butler to break free from the defense now that he’s been elevated to the starting lineup with Branch out of the picture. Butler has caught just eight passes for 83 yards and a score this season.
John Carlson has been Hasselbeck’s top target through the first four games with a team-best 14 receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown, while Branch was second with 13 catches. Rookie Golden Tate, Mike Williams and Brandon Stokley will still battle for playing time for a Seattle team in the midst of playing five of seven games away from the Emerald City.
The Seahawks lead their all-time regular season series with the Bears by a 7-4 count, but were 25-19 home losers when the teams last met, in Week 3 of last season. Seattle won the previous meeting, taking a 30-23 decision at Qwest Field in 2007, and is 0-1 in regular season games played in Chicago since last winning there in 1999
In addition to the regular season series, the teams have met once in the playoffs, with the Bears winning a 2006 NFC Divisional Playoff, 27-24 in overtime at Soldier Field.
Chicago head coach Lovie Smith is 3-1 against the Seahawks in his career. Carroll is 1-1 in his career against the Bears, including a loss during his tenure with the Jets (1994) and a win while with the Patriots (1997).
WHEN THE SEAHAWKS HAVE THE BALL
The Seahawks will unveil their new toy in Lynch on Sunday against a Bears defense that is allowing 78.6 rushing yards per game. Seattle averages 79.5 yards on the ground and 3.6 per carry this season. Lynch, who had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons after being Buffalo’s top pick in 2007, saw his carries shrink last year and even more so this season with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller splitting time. Carroll hopes Lynch can pound the football for those tough yards on second and third down. Forsett (215 rushing yards) is still the featured back and leads the team in yards and carries (51). He had 65 yards on 19 carries in a loss to St. Louis before the break. Rookie tackle Russell Okung should be back at full strength from a high-ankle sprain, while right tackle Sean Locklear is expected to be rested from a knee setback. Guards Ben Hamilton and Chester Pitts have been splitting time on the line, with Pitts re-signed earlier this month when Seattle released guard Evan Dietrich-Smith. Another reason to hope for an improved rush attack is the mediocre play of Hasselbeck (814 passing yards, 4 TD, 6 INT), who has thrown more interceptions than touchdown passes. The offense was held to a field goal against the Rams in Week 4 and produced 257 total yards, only 64 of which came on the ground.
A big reason for Chicago’s 4-1 start and first-place tag in the NFC North has been its ability to stop the run and keep teams from racking up yards and points. The Bears’ defense could use some improvement in defending the pass, though, and Seattle hopes to do that successfully on Sunday. Bringing in All- Pro defensive end Julius Peppers has turned out to be an excellent move, because he’s made such an impact on the front line. Peppers had an emotional return to Carolina last week, and the former Panther celebrated his homecoming with an interception and a handful of hurries on rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen. The addition of Peppers has opened lanes for opposite end Israel Idonije (15 tackles, 4 sacks), who leads the Bears in sacks. Idonije posted three of Chicago’s five sacks last Sunday, shattering his previous career high of 1 1/2 sacks in a win over Jacksonville in 2008. He became the first Bears player to record three sacks in a game since end Adewale Ogunleye did it back in November of the 2007 campaign. One of the main reasons for Peppers signing in Chicago was to play with linebackers Brian Urlacher (35 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT) and Lance Briggs (33 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT). Briggs left Sunday’s win in the second half with a left ankle injury and was replaced by Brian Iwuh (5 tackles). He should be ready for Sunday, however.
WHEN THE BEARS HAVE THE BALL
Cutler (912 passing yards, 6 TD, 3 INT) got the go-ahead to start this weekend and hopes to put an awful performance from his last time out behind him. He was bruised and battered by a swarming Giants defense to the tune of nine sacks and a concussion and had a streak of 57 consecutive starts dating back to 2006 snapped, including 20 in a row with the Bears. Chicago is aware of Cutler’s current condition and feel he is ready to move forward after taking a week off. Chicago will have another starting combination on the offensive line Sunday, as guard Roberto Garza — who has made 69 straight starts — will miss the game to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and left tackle Chris Williams is back from a hamstring injury suffered back in Week 2 against Dallas. In Sunday’s win at Carolina, the Bears had Frank Omiyale at left tackle, Olin Kreutz at center, Edwin Williams at right guard and J’Marcus Webb playing right tackle. Collins (68 passing yards, 5 INT) was sacked three times and had trouble connecting with his own teammates, throwing four picks. While Forte (300 rushing yards, 2 TD) has been a force on the ground, he owns a team-best 18 catches for 231 yards and three scores as well. Wideout Johnny Knox (13 receptions) leads the Bears with 272 receiving yards.
Seattle’s defense played poorly in the loss to Rams and gave up 349 yards of offense to a team with a running back with a sore groin and a rookie quarterback. The Seahawks were able to register four sacks on the day, two by defensive end Chris Clemons (15 tackles, 4 sacks), and St. Louis’ Steven Jackson was able to run for only 70 yards against Seattle’s tough rush defense spearheaded by big tackles Colin Cole (15 tackles) and Brandon Mebane (8 tackles, 1 sack). The push up front opens holes for linebackers Lofa Tatupu (25 tackles) and Aaron Curry (14 tackles) to track down ball carriers in coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme. Tatupu and Curry have the luxury of stopping a red-hot Forte, who will be running behind a determined offensive line coming off a huge performance against the Panthers. Rookie safety Earl Thomas (23 tackles, 3 INT) is aiming for his third game in a row with an interception and is making Carroll appear as a genius for picking him 14th overall and over former USC standout Taylor Mays. With Cutler back under center, Seahawks defensive backs Lawyer Milloy (29 tackles, 1 sack) and Marcus Trufant (19 tackles, 1 INT) have to play better than they did against St. Louis. Bradford was able to throw for 289 yards and a score, but did have a pass picked off by Thomas.
Neither team is expected to have success running the football Sunday, but that shouldn’t stop fantasy owners from using either Forte, Lynch or Forsett. Cutler is back under center and should be in most leagues, while Knox and Chicago’s defense deserve a look. The Seattle defense is just as tough on running backs as that of the Bears, but may get burned in pass defense. Hasselbeck is losing trust around the fantasy world, but give him a few more weeks.
The Bears can get back to their usual offense under Martz now that Cutler has dusted off the cobwebs from a concussion sustained a few weeks ago. But that doesn’t mean they’ll stray away from Forte, who’s been a double threat running between the tackles and catching passes out of the backfield. A stingy Chicago defense will make it tough on Seattle, which is 0-2 on the road this season and has dropped nine of its last 10 contests outside of Qwest Field.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bears 17, Seahawks 13
Chris Mortenson is reporting on NFL Live that Marshawn Lynch will be the starter at running back for the Seattle Seahawks today against the Chicago Bears. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll refused to tip his hand this week, only saying that a starter would be named at game-time.
Lynch, who was recently acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills, is a power running back that should help bolster the Seahawks backfield. It’s likely Lynch and Justin Forsett will split carries, but Lynch should see plenty of time in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
The Chicago Bears have placed linebacker Lance Briggs on the inactive list with an ankle injury, forcing him to miss today's game against the Seattle Seahawks. 950 KJR's Curtis Crabtree reported the news on Twitter.
Brandon Mebane wasn't able to go this morning in Chicago and will be inactive for today's Seattle Seahawks game against the Chicago Bears. Chester Pitts, who was also dealing with an injury, is inactive, as well.
ESPN's Mike Sando had the list.
Back with the Bears list when we get it.
Seeing Pitts listed as questionable, instead of out, is a bit of a surprise considering what was said yesterday.
As we noted earlier, the other big decision coming at game-time will be whether Justin Forsett or Marshawn Lynch starts at running back. Lynch, acquired last week in a trade with the Buffalo Bills, is expected to see significant time in the Seahawks backfield against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
The Bears and Seahawks kick it off this Sunday at 10 a.m. on FOX.
The Seahawks went through a light workout at the VMAC this morning before taking off to Chicago for Sunday's game against the Bears. Besides Brandon Mebane, who sat out practice today, a few other Hawks were dinged up, though only Chester Pitts was ruled out.
The Tacoma News Tribune's Eric Williams had the injury report.
As we noted earlier, Marshawn Lynch is a game-time decision to start. Outside of those three, the Seahawks are healthy after the bye, which is good news for a team that had a long list of players banged-up after the St. Louis game.
With running back Marshawn Lynch now in the fold, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has a decision to make on who will start for the Hawks. If he's made the decision, Carroll isn't tipping his hand in the days leading up to this weekend's game. One thing is clear: Lynch will see plenty of time right away for the Seahawks.
950 KJR's Curtis Crabtree had the notes from Pete Carroll's meeting with the media.
Carroll wouldn't announce a starter at running back between Marshawn Lynch & Justin Forsett. Said it would be game-time decision. #Seahawksless than a minute ago via TweetDeckCurtis Crabtree
Naturally, the sly head coach will keep the decision under wraps until the last minute. Whomever is named the start should expect to share the load in the backfield, though.
Lynch is a great red zone threat for Seattle and should also see plenty of time in short-yardage situations. Justin Forsett, on the other hand, will play the role of a speed back, giving the Seahawks a slam and slash combination.
Adjust your fantasy football lineups accordingly.
950 KJR's Curtis Crabtree tweeted the news from the VMAC.
Pete Carroll is at Garfield for the Portland Trailblazers charity scrimmage tonight, handling the opening tip-off duties. The Seattle Seahawks twitter account posted a picture of Carroll chatting it up with Blazers head coach Nate McMillan on the sidelines.
"Hey Nate, how bout you move that team of yours up here? We could use an NBA team again. You've already got a hometown hero"
The Portland Trailblazers are moments away from beginning a charity scrimmage at Seattle’s Garfield High. Though former rivals of the Seattle Sonics, the Blazers are led by Seattle native, and UW alum, Brandon Roy. In an effort to raise money for Garfield, Roy brought his Blazers to town, vowing to match the donations raised from ticket prices.
Enter Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Never one to shy away from charity, Carroll will be in attendance at Garfield tonight, even throwing up the opening tip-off for the scrimmage.
If you’re near the area, go check it out.
950 KJR's Curtis Crabtree passed along the news on Twitter.
Cutler took quite a few shots at the hands of the New York Giants two weeks ago and has been dealing with the lingering effects since then. His full-participation in today's practice is an encouraging sign for Bears fans and fantasy owners everywhere.
The Seattle Seahawks hit the field after taking Tuesday off and the listed of injured and non-participating players was relatively short. John Carlson, Marcus Trufant and Dexter Davis were the only Hawks to sit out today's session.
950 KJR's Curtis Crabtree tweeted the injury report from the VMAC.
The Seahawks are continuing to shuffle the offensive line around in an effort to find a combination that works. With Russell Okung finally healthy and rested after the bye week, Seattle will get a chance to see what he can do at the left tackle spot in extended minutes. Sean Locklear will slide back to right tackle and Ben Hamilton will start at left guard, according to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
The 950 KJR's Curtis Crabtree tweeted the news from Pete Carroll's Wednesday press conference.
One Deon replaces another Deion in Seahawks practice this week after Deion Branch was traded to the New England Patriots. In his place, second year receiver Deon Butler will start for the Seahawks. Butler has made an impact this year for Seattle, showing off his route-running ability and making some clutch catches.
The Seattle PI's Greg Johns passed along word of the changes on Twitter today.
Ben Obomanu may be the biggest benefactor of Branch's departure. Obomanu goes from little moved to likely seeing heavy time in the rotation with Branch gone.
Jeff Nusser took a look at five burning questions facing the Seahawks after the bye week. Does Matt Hasselbeck have anything left in the tank? Will Marshawn Lynch have an immediate impact? Jeff muses on those issues and more in his feature.
Hasselbeck has been the starter for the Seahawks for nearly a decade, and the last two years have been marred by injuries. We had been told he was healthy, even given the old "best shape of his life" line. Many fans held out hope that Hasselbeck would be able to come back as the quarterback of old -- after all, his last full season (2007) could arguably be considered his best.
But this year has hardly been up to that standard so far, and at 35 years old, he's looking more like an aging quarterback well on the back half of his career. It's not just the arm strength that seems to be fading -- although it's clear that's happening. It's that Hasselbeck's decision making seems to be reverting to its early-career form. Upon his arrival from Green Bay, he used to drive Mike Holmgren nuts with his cavalier attitude toward throwing the ball. In time, Holmgren reigned that in, leading to his seminal 2005 season.
Coverage maps for all the week six NFL games are out and the Seattle Seahawks – Chicago Bears game will be seen by 16 percent of the country. Among the areas getting the Seahawks are the Northwest, Idaho, Montana and much of the Northern Midwest region.
The full coverage map is here.
Lance Briggs went down during Chicago’s game against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, re-aggravating a high ankle sprain suffered before the season. The Bears linebacker is uncertain for this week’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks after leaving the stadium in a walking boot last week.
Lance Briggs left the locker room after Sunday’s game wearing a walking boot on his left ankle, casting doubt about his availability for this weekend’s game.
Briggs aggravated a high-ankle sprain he first suffered in the third preseason game while stuffing Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart late in the third quarter.
Jay Cutler is improving and hasn’t suffered any setbacks, but his status for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks is still up in the air. Bears head coach Lovie Smith didn’t elaborate, only saying he’d know more on Wednesday.
"We’ll continue to evaluate Jay Cutler," Smith said. "Hopefully Jay will be able to go this week. He hasn’t had any setbacks. He’s doing better. On Wednesday we’ll be able to tell you a little bit more."
Without Cutler, the Bears were forced to use veteran journeyman Todd Collins as the starter, with third-year quarterback Caleb Hanie manning the backup role. It’s safe to say they want Cutler back as soon as possible.
With or without Cutler, the Bears take on the Seahawks at Soldier Field this Sunday at 10 a.m.
The Seahawks travel to Chicago this week to take on the Bears after getting a week to rest and recuperate. The Hawks, coming off a loss to the Rams, needed a week to regroup and figure out what went wrong in St. Louis.
The biggest change in the off week came at running back, where Marshawn Lynch joins the team and is expected to contribute immediately. Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider pulled a rabbit out of the hat, grabbing immediate help for the Seahawks backfield for a reasonable price. Our own Jeff Nusser looked at the impact of the Lynch trade.
My guess is that he'll essentially split the workload with Forsett -- at least at first -- and immediately take over short-yardage and goal line carries. (So, yes, for those of you looking for the fantasy football impact of the Lynch trade ... I think that's what's most significant.) And the possibility certainly exists that Lynch ends up in the 18- to 20-carry range.
The Chicago game marks the beginning of a tough stretch for the Seahawks. The Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil examined the schedule and the road ahead for Seattle.
Four of Seattle's next six games are on the road, and three of those games are against teams that currently have winning records.
The Seahawks' road woes are well documented, and this team is going to have to fix that if it's going to avoid another November swoon.
Field Gulls John Morgan took a look at Seattle's inability to play from behind, something that was evident in Seattle's game against the Rams.
I'd like to think of Seattle's passing game as capable of recovering from an early deficit, but that proved incorrect. Since it was incorrect, in many ways, this game was about who could stake an early lead and hold on. That's pretty much what the Rams were able to accomplish, plus a little flourish in the second half.
The Seahawks lost some ground in the off week after the Arizona Cardinals pulled off a shocker against the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. However, the log-jam at the top was broken when St. Louis lost, leaving the Seahawks in sole possession of second place, one game behind the Cardinals.
Looking ahead, the Chicago Bears were without starting quarterback Jay Cutler last week against the Carolina Panthers. Cutler suffered a concussion in the first half against the New York Giants two weeks ago and was still feeling some of the effects. Chicago head coach Lovie Smith is optimistic Cutler will play this week against the Seahawks.
The question, and it's impossible to answer, is could Cutler miss more than one game?
"There's no reason to think that," coach Lovie Smith said. "He's making progress. You guys have seen him around here right now. Hopefully that won't be the case. Of course all we know right now is he's not playing this week. Hopefully he'll be ready to go next week."
The Seahawks take on the Bears at Soldier Field this Sunday at 10 a.m. on Fox.
The Tacoma News Tribune's Eric Williams had the report from the VMAC.
Trufant and Locklear will get an extra day to heal Tuesday, as the team is off for the day just like every other game week. The good news is they're expected to recover and play Saturday against the Bears.
Outside of those two, the Seahawks were good-to-go as they hit the field. The much-needed bye week allowed players to rest up and heal from some of the bumps and bruises that go along with the rigors of the NFL season.
Deion Branch missed the Seahawks first practice following the bye week today and head coach Pete Carroll side-stepped questions about his status. Officially, Branch was away tending to personal matters. Carrol said “at this point” he expects wide receiver to return Wednesday and also said Branch’s status with the team is not in doubt “at this point.”
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