Marshawn Lynch has found holes and hit them hard. The NFL hit him with a $5,000 fine for these green socks.
In doing so, Seattle also turned a 2-6 dismal season into a 7-7 team that is challenging for a playoff spot.
Seattle showed just how opportunistic their defense can be. Red Bryant helped change the momentum with a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the third quarter.
Not to be outdone by a lineman, cornerback Brandon Browner set the Seahawks single-season record for return yards off of interceptions. His 42-yard effort was his sixth interception this season and second for a touchdown.
Tarvaris Jackson had a huge transformation in the second half. He offered very little for the Seahawk offense in the first half, and his fumble in the end-zone allowed the Bears defense to post the teams' first touchdown of the half.
In pregame comments I mentioned Jackson's numerous receiving targets. Hit hit 11 of them...although Anthony McCoy dropped the ball while trying to tuck it under his arm. His 10 receivers that caught passes gained 227 yards on 19 receptions with 31 attempts.
Jackson posted a quarterback rating of 94.4.
Marshawn Lynch scored three touchdowns, running his streak to 10 consecutive games played with a touchdown. He only had 42 yards on the day, though. More importantly, Lynch reached the 1,000 yard mark for the season...three times after he twice lost yardage to move him under the benchmark.
This is the third time Lynch has reached the milestone. The prior two were when he was still with the Buffalo Bills.
The story was still the Seahawks defense. They forced five turnovers and scored two touchdowns. Raheem Brock and Chris Clemons each had two sacks and forced several holding calls to avoid at least two more.
Seattle also held the Bears to 57 second-half yards.
The Seattle Seahawks (6-7) face the Chicago Bears (7-6) in a game that, surprisingly, has playoff implications for both teams.
Headed into Week 10, the Seahawks (2-7) seemed to be playing for draft position. The Bears, on the other hand, were 6-3 and seemed primed for another playoff run.
What a difference a month in the NFL can make.
The Seahawks have found a rejuvenated ground game, even after losing three starters on the offensive line. Line coach Tom Cable has been able to move substitutes around, allowing Marshawn Lynch to rush for over 100 yards in five of his last six games.
While the Bears have been known for their tough defense, they are only 21st in the NFL in yards per rush. The Seahawks will look to extend their ground success, along with Lynch's streak of nine consecutive games played with a touchdown.
Seattle will likely focus on ball control and a conservative, error-free approach on offense. A combination of Lynch and Tarvaris Jackson moving the ball around to his many receiving targets should allow the Seahawks to move into scoring position.
Offense is definitely the big concern for the Bears. After riding Matt Forte early and often, an MCL sprain in Week 13 has sidelined his—and the Bears'—season. Marion Barber will attempt to find holes in Seattle's top-five run defense, but that isn't likely.
Caleb Hanie is directing the Bears passing game, filling in for Jay Cutler who suffered a thumb injury in Week 11. However, Hanie be doing it behind a porous offensive line with no viable receiving threats.
Tight ends seem to have the most success against Seattle, along with running backs catching balls out of the backfield.
The Bears' leading tight end, Kellen Davis, has just 14 receptions on the season.
Barber isn't known as a productive receiver, either. He hasn't averaged more than three catches per game in any season. In 2009, while with the Dallas Cowboys, Barber had just one catch for -2 yards.
The Bears defense may not have the same stopping power as previous seasons, but they don't allow teams to score often. They are eighth in points allowed per game at 19.6. The Seahawks are one place behind them, at 19.9.
Chicago should be able to keep the score close.
However, the resurgent Seahawks have shown the ability to move the ball and score since Jackson's pectoral injury has improved.
Injuries seem to be plaguing the Bears offense. Combined with a lack of talent at receiver and issues on the offensive line, one has to question how the Bears are a 3.5-point favorite.
In the three games since losing Cutler, the Bears have scored just 33 points—20 in a loss to the Oakland Raiders, along with three to the Kansas City Chiefs and 10 points in an overtime loss to the Denver Broncos.
Expect both teams to continue their current trends, creating two 7-7 teams just outside playoff position in the NFC.