O’Neil: Seahawks’ loss to Bears was painful for what it represented
It was six years ago in Chicago that Seattle found out that it truly had the last piece to its championship puzzle.
It was an overtime win against the Bears when the Seahawks knew they had their quarterback in Russell Wilson.
Six years later, he’s about the only thing this team has left.
That was painfully evident in Seattle’s 24-17 loss to the Chicago Bears in which he was batted around by the Bears. The offense was absolutely brutal for the first three quarters and then did just enough to provide a little heartbreak. Seattle had the ball midway through the fourth quarter, down seven when Wilson was intercepted by Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara, who returned it 49 yards for the backbreaking touchdown.
Don’t get fooled by the final result. This was way more painful than the final score made it look.
The Seahawks punted on their first five possessions of the game. They gained 80 yards through the first three quarters while gaining just five first downs, which not so coincidentally happened to be how many sacks they allowed.
As bad as that sounds, it looked even worse and it was compounded by the Seahawks’ situation. K.J. Wright missed his second straight game as he comes back from knee surgery. Bobby Wagner was out with a strained groin muscle and starting cornerback Tre Flowers was out with a strained hamstring. The Seahawks didn’t have a linebacker in uniform who had been with the team before this year.
And given all that, the defense played pretty well. The Seahawks surrendered a touchdown on the opening drive but didn’t let the Bears reach the end zone again until the first minute of the fourth quarter.
That second touchdown put the Bears up 17-3, because for the first three quarters of the game Seattle’s offense was every bit as inert as it was last year.
The Seahawks ran the ball on the first three plays of the game, but that commitment evaporated at some point in the second period and Seattle went 17 minutes of game action without ever handing the ball off.
Not that you could blame Seattle for that. The Seahawks weren’t running the ball effectively. They weren’t passing effectively, either, and that was largely because Wilson either didn’t have time or didn’t have the confidence that he would have time.
And while that offense came alive in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks gaining 194 yards and scoring its only two touchdowns in that final period, Seattle waited so long before it got going that it left itself no margin for error, let alone errors, and Wilson had two of them.
The first came when Chicago cornerback Prince Amukamara anticipated Wilson’s throw to running back Rashaad Penny, driving on the ball and picking it off while making a bee line toward the end zone. Seattle lost a fumble on its next possession when Wilson was hit from the side by Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan.
Those turnovers prevented the Seahawks from completing a comeback, but that’s not why Seattle lost this game. Seattle lost this game because the offense that had bottomed out in the final month of last season has not yet bounced back. The Seahawks have a new offensive coordinator in Brian Schottenheimer, a new offensive line coach Mike Solari and a renewed emphasis on the running game.
Through two weeks, though, the results look awfully familiar to what sunk Seattle’s playoff chances last year. Wilson is about the only thing Seattle has left, and he wasn’t close to being enough in the first two games of this season.