Chicago Bears: 7 Bears Who Made a Difference Against the Seattle Seahawks
Julius Peppers looked five years younger, while Kahlil Bell played like an old pro.
Caleb Hanie was alternately terrible and horrifying but consistently induced panic.
Johnny Knox was the latest Chicago starter lost to injury.
But Dane Sanzenbacher picked up the slack and Brian Urlacher stayed strong in a losing effort.
Sadly, the Bears were no match for the little beasties from Seattle, getting spanked at home, 38-14.
And if you saw that coming, play the lottery. Better yet, apply to be the new GM of the Chicago Bears.
Despite the outcome, here are seven players who made a difference.
Hanie changed the game, all right. He was a difference maker—an undeniable part of everything that went wrong against Seattle.
For the third time in four games, Hanie tossed three picks.
Twice against Seattle he threw a pick-six. Meanwhile, Tarvaris Jackson managed only one passing touchdown for the Seahawks. Overheard in the locker room after the game: Caleb voted Seattle's MVP...
Hanie was so bad, the Bears brought in Josh McCown. (Bet you can't read that again without weeping.)
JOSH. MC. COWN.
And he was dreadfully, woefully and willfully unprepared. Because the Bears coaches gave him zero reps in practice.
So it's no surprise he came into the game and did his best Hanie impression, tossing an interception almost immediately.
And somewhere, Todd Collins is laughing.
Yep, Marshawn Lynch had two cheap touchdowns that counted for the full amount of points.
But it's not Brian's fault the the Bears lost.
He led the team with six tackles, and was the primary reason Lynch had just 42 yards on 20 carries.
Is he upset about it?
"Yeah, I'm mad. This is not our team. This is not how we're supposed to play. This is not how we should play. Doesn't matter who is playing quarterback. The defense has to play better. That's all there is to it," said Urlacher.
He's a class act, pretending the offense isn't putrid while keeping a straight face. I wonder how he does that every week.
Bell turned in his most complete NFL performance.
He carried 15 times for 65 yards. He caught five more passes for 43 yards and a touchdown.
On Bell's scoring play, before all hope for the season was erased, he stayed alive long enough for Hanie to find him running through the secondary (elapsed time: approximately four minutes).
It was his seventh reception ever. It was his first NFL touchdown, rushing or receiving.
And it was a miracle Hanie didn't throw an interception.
For Kahlil Bell, it won't be the last time he scores. He has good burst and breakthrough power. He can run inside the tackles or turn the corner on the outside.
And while he doesn't have Matt Forte's acceleration, he's quicker than Marion Barber and has good vision. He can pass block, too.
Even after Matt returns, Bell will continue to get touches, as he gives them a complete player in the backfield.
He also gives the Bears leverage in contract negotiations with Forte.
Nearly all the Bears best plays came on the defensive side of the ball.
And Peppers might have had the day's biggest play when he forced a fumble in the endzone. The ball was recovered by teammate Israel Idonije for a touchdown, putting Chicago ahead 14-7.
At that point it appeared the defense was going to lead the Bears to victory, and maybe the playoffs.
Alas, Peppers doesn't play on offense.
Because when he was on the field he was a force.
He was credited with a sack and two assists but his pressure and containment befuddled the Seahawks all afternoon.
Johnny Knox was carted off the field but he should be able to resume football next year.
In his absence, Dane stepped up.
The Bears had no shot, it turns out, but Sanzenbacher didn't know that. And he showed good effort throughout the game.
A gritty and gutsy receiver with excellent hands, he finished as the Bears top wideout. Sadly, that means just two receptions for 26 yards and a third catch broken up by the defense.
Kahlil Bell led all Bears with five catches and no other receiver had more than one.
It was that kind of day for Chicago. After all, Caleb Hanie was quarterback.
Jerry Angelo and Mike Martz
Angelo and Martz didn't set foot on the field but that's the only way they could make this team worse.
Hey Jerry, you're the general manager of an NFL team, here's a tip: get someone who can play quarterback behind Jay Cutler.
Because Caleb Hanie, Todd Collins, Josh McCown and Nathan Enderle, are a waste of time.
What's the point of a backup quarterback if his appearance in the game means the team has effectively conceded?
And speaking of losing games before they start, is Mike Martz still in Chicago?
Didn't some college in the desert want him to obfuscate their offense?
Wish that had happened.
Because there's no point in the Bears continuing to run a scheme so complicated nobody except Martz can understand it.
Newsflash: if the 11 guys on the offense can't figure out how to run the play, the team might as well draw routes in the dirt. It will be more effective than tossing interceptions.
Get this, Angelo signed Josh McCown to be the backup because he "understood the Martz playbook."
Apparently, the part he understood was "throw it to the other team."
Too late. Hanie already mastered that section.
Here's what I want to know: did Martz and Angelo float rumors of their impending retirement or fake coaching opportunities to open a backdoor for when they get run out of Chicago?
If so, give 'em a pat on the back. Smartest thing they've done in years.