Currently locked in a big battle for Wild Card positioning in the NFC, both teams desperately needed the win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Seattle was the team that clearly wanted it more.
There were a few items of concern and a lot of really good plays to build momentum as the Seahawks careen into the last few games of the season.
When teams are pinned deep in their own territory, it’s generally football cannon to run the ball out. In a creative moment, the Seahawks tried to throw it.
That idea backfired miserably.
Tarvaris Jackson was caught in the middle of his end zone when he was brought down by the Bears defense. Instead of taking the sack and accepting a safety, Jackson instead fumbled in the end zone. The Bears recovered for a touchdown.
That type of play really hurts, especially when it brings a close game to a tie.
The Seahawks are one of the most penalized teams in the league, and they continued that trend against the Bears.
There were six flags thrown against the Seahawks for a total of 36 yards. Many of these penalties were dead play flags—the ball wasn’t in play, which means that the penalty was theoretically completely avoidable.
In this case the penalty yardage did not have the negative impact on the team that it has in the past, but this is something the Seahawks must continue to work on in the future as they turn hopeful eyes towards the playoffs.
Throughout the first half of the game there was just something about the Seahawks offense that wasn’t quite right.
There were several low snaps and a couple of fumbled balls by Tarvaris Jackson. That’s in addition to the poorly-thrown balls and dropped passes.
It’s not abnormal in the NFL for teams to need halftime adjustments to get their offense back on track, but it is concerning that the Seattle offense runs hot and cold quite so dramatically.
One of the hallmarks of a good offense is the ability to spread the ball around instead of focusing on one or two specific receivers.
Ten different Seahawks caught passes from Tarvaris Jackson, which is an excellent indicator of how well this offensive unit is starting to mesh.
This diversity in receivers also forces defenses to stay honest in defending against the passing threat, which opens the way for better running plays.
When Tarvaris Jackson connected for 43 yards with Ben Obomanu, the Seattle Seahawks demonstrated that their deep passing threat has been revived.
It has become increasingly clear over the past several weeks that Tarvaris Jackson is finally recovering from the strained right pectoral muscle injury. His downfield throws have been increasingly accurate with each passing week.
Against the Bears, Jackson was able to connect deep a couple of times. It’s still not quite the type of quarterback play that the Seahawks will need to carry them forward, but it’s a definite improvement over what the Hawks have brought to the table in the past.
Marshawn Lynch is beloved for gaining yards after first contact for the Seahawks. It’s too bad that the Seattle defense is returning the favor for the other team. Fortunately for the Hawks, though, this is yet another trend that seems to come and go.
In the first half the tackling was terribly frustrating. The Bears were able to effectively march down the field even though they were missing their first-string quarterback and running back.
In the second half the defense was able to lock it down and better control of the Bears offense.
When the Seahawks defense runs hot, they really run hot. After some halftime adjustments the Hawks defense transformed from a lackluster bunch into a turnover machine.
The Seahawks defense came up with the ball a total of five times over the course of the game, returning two interceptions for touchdowns.
Even though the offense put up enough points on their own to win the game, the defense gave them the momentum and the field position that they needed to succeed.
Darrell Bevell is a rare breed of offensive coordinator. In some ways, he embodies the video game player who uses Madden to control a team of his own.
Instead of insisting that something different on every down, Bevel is willing to repeat plays on back-to-back downs if they’re effective the first time.
It’s a special spin on the offense that defenses often aren’t prepared for. It just goes to show that different isn’t always the best when it comes to picking offensive plays.
Marshawn Lynch has enjoyed a number of games this season when he seems to be absolutely unstoppable. He’s hard for defenses to bring down, which is a great benefit for the Seattle offense.
Against the Bears, Lynch seemed a little bit more human than we’ve been used to. He was brought down behind the line of scrimmage several times, and was limited to a long run of just 15 yards.