Last year it took the Seahawks until the 16th game of the regular season to reach seven wins. This year they did it in 14 with a dominant 38-14 win over the Chicago Bears.
Since going 2-6 to start the season, Seattle is 5-1 in their last six. The Seahawks, who scored a total of 30 points in their first three games, have now scored at least 30 points in each of their three straight wins.
While the Seahawks' offense was able to put three touchdowns on the board, much of their success against the Bears came through the help of the defense.
The Seahawks' first points of the game came after Kam Chancellor forced a fumble on a Johnny Knox reception. Unfortunately for Knox, the play ended his season when he went down to recover the ball and was met by defensive end Anthony Hargrove.
Knox’s body was bent backward and he was carted off the field, but the initial report from the Bears was that he had movement in all of his extremities.
The Seahawks recovered the ball and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson immediately linked up with tight end Cameron Morrah, sending Seattle down to the one-yard line.
Seattle was forced to kick a field goal, but a penalty by the Bears extended the Seahawks' drive, allowing Marshawn Lynch to get in the end zone for his 10th straight game with a rushing touchdown.
Lynch’s touchdown accounted for the Seahawks' only points of the first half.
After the game, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll talked about the difference between the team in the first half and the one that scored 31 points in the second half.
“We were playing in our own end zone half the time,” said Carroll.
Without the turnovers, the Seahawks would have been playing on a long field all day. Seattle’s second half 80-yard opening drive was the Seahawks' only touchdown drive that started on their own side of the field.
The Hawks struck quickly. A 30-yard pass to Golden Tate was followed by a 43-yard pass to Ben Obomanu on first down. Lynch was able to punch the ball in from the three-yard line for his second score of the day.
In addition to his record-breaking streak of touchdowns, Lynch eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season, becoming only the fifth member of the Seahawks to achieve that accomplishment.
Coach Carroll appeared happy with the win and proud of Lynch’s accomplishments, but he seemed even more satisfied with the defense’s ability to take away the ball.
“It’s absolutely the number one thing in our philosophy of how you play the game,” said Carroll. “It’s all about the ball.”
Cornerback Brandon Browner and defensive end Red Bryant each had an interception they returned for a touchdown.
Seahawks fans have almost come to expect an interception at least every other game out of Browner, but to see Bryant go high-stepping into the end zone was quite a sight.
Now that the Seahawks have managed to climb their way back to a .500 record, they now look to eclipse that mark—something they weren’t able to do last year.
Of course, the playoffs also continue to be on fans' minds.
To make the playoffs for the second straight year under Carroll, Seattle has to earn wins in the final two weeks over the NFL’s stingiest defense in terms of points allowed, and a team with an active winning streak that is only eclipsed by the Saints and Patriots—the 49ers and Cardinals, respectively.
And to think that it was just a year ago when 7-9 could win the division in the NFC West.
Brandan Schulze is a Navy veteran and member of the military chapter of the Sea Hawkers, the official booster club for the Seattle Seahawks. For more information on the chapter, visit www.militaryseahawkers.com. Membership is free for all military service members and veterans.