The Seattle Seahawks looked every bit the part of defending Super Bowl champions on Friday night, bludgeoning a hapless-looking Chicago Bears team to the tune of 34-6. If this preseason Week 3 contest was truly a dress rehearsal for the regular season, these teams are surely heading in opposite directions.
Before the game, head coach Pete Carroll spoke of his expectations during a press conference, via Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com:
I just want guys to play. You want them out there, and have to get more play time just to get adapted to the new season. As we stage it, this is the game they'll play the most. So other than that, it's consistency. We'd like to see us come out and play really good, smart football again. Take care of the ball, like we always do.
It's safe to say Carroll's expectations were exceeded.
Russell Wilson and Seattle's first-team offense mowed down the Bears' starting unit over the course of the first half.
Marshawn Lynch got things started for the Seahawks, plowing into the end zone on a seven-yard rush for the game's first score. Carroll and Co. apparently saw everything they needed from the starting running back, as his night ended after just three rushes.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport seemed to think Lynch is all set for the regular season:
Later in the first quarter, Wilson showed off his wheels as well, carrying for a seven-yard touchdown rush of his own. The Seahawks' official Twitter account noted just how many rushing scores Wilson has now accumulated:
Wilson continued to rack up the points for Seattle in the second quarter—this time, through the air. After hitting Jermaine Kearse for a 12-yard score, Christine Michael for a seven-yard touchdown and driving for a field goal to end the half, the rout was officially on.
NFL on ESPN tweeted the quarterback's impressive numbers:
Russell Wilson's first half: • 13-17, 174 yds, 2 TDs. • 4 rush, 23 yds, TD. 31 points. No punts. No turnovers. pic.twitter.com/ADL4JcG2EB— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 23, 2014
Bleacher Report's Ian Kenyon shared his thoughts in regard to one of the quarterback's monikers:
Russell Wilson has 174 passing yards, 23 rushing yards. His RBs have 62 yards. But he's just a game manager, you guys.— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) August 23, 2014
While Seattle's offense flourished, the same could not be said for the Bears.
One player who helped in a big way in the first half was Percy Harvin. He caught three passes for 61 yards and added a 46-yard kick return to open the game, showcasing his great speed and agility.
Here's a look at his return, courtesy of the Seahawks' Twitter account:
Quarterback Jay Cutler had his moments, but his game statistics didn't exactly tell the entire story. He completed 12 of his 20 passing attempts for 157 yards and one interception for a passer rating of 64.0 against Seattle. He played better than those numbers would suggest.
Cutler threw a beautiful deep ball to Alshon Jeffery, but the receiver couldn't bring it in. Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago tweeted the play as it happened:
Alshon Jeffery can't hang on to a deep ball from Cutler. Would have been a TD.— Jeff Dickerson (@ESPNChiBears) August 23, 2014
Later, Cutler completed a 23-yard pass to tight end Martellus Bennett. It was originally ruled a touchdown, but was overturned, as Bennett was ruled down at the half-yard line. That was followed by a glimpse of the bad Cutler.
No stranger to interceptions, the quarterback tossed one in the worst possible scenario, as Dickerson tweeted the occurrence:
Cutler picked off at the goal line by Jeremy Lane. He runs it back 41 yards. Like I said....go do something else.— Jeff Dickerson (@ESPNChiBears) August 23, 2014
Chicago's first-team offense didn't carry the ball much despite Matt Forte's three carries for 17 yards—an average of 5.7 per attempt. However, Forte is highly regarded as one of the most prolific backs in the league, and there was no reason to risk injury against a very aggressive defense.
Once the first half came to a close, Bleacher Report's Matt Bowen summed the game up perfectly:
Seahawks showing more speed than the Bears in all three phases of the game.— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) August 23, 2014
In the second half, backups got their shot on the field.
For Seattle, Tarvaris Jackson wasn't great, but did move the ball well enough, completing five of 10 attempts for 65 yards. It was completely different for Terrelle Pryor, who didn't fare well in a short appearance and is no lock to make the roster after a dismal showing.
Rob Rang of CBS Sports shared his thoughts on Pryor's performance:
Two lackadaisical passes (including duck for INT) from Terrelle Pryor demonstrate exactly why he's far from a lock to make Seahawks' roster.— Rob Rang (@RobRang) August 23, 2014
Jordan Palmer had some misfired passes for Chicago, but he did manage to complete seven of his 10 attempts for 48 yards and looks poised to beat out Jimmy Clausen for the backup quarterback position.
Seattle now moves on to face the Oakland Raiders in its final game of the preseason. Based on the way the team played on Friday night, it can be surmised the starters won't see much time on the field in the preseason finale.
It could be different for the Bears, as they close out the preseason against the Cleveland Browns. There are still plenty of unanswered questions for this team—many of them on the defensive side of the ball—and we could see the starters a bit more as the team attempts to iron out its problems.