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Bears Victorious In Seattle 25-19

It was difficult to assess this Chicago Bears team after the first two games of the season. Turnovers and miscues were their downfall in the season-opener; a very winnable game against the packers was followed by a pretty solid performance as they edged the Steelers 17-14 last week. So the question this week is which Chicago Bears team would show up against a battered and bruised Seattle Seahawks.

As has been the case in the first half through the first two games, the Bears squandered a couple of scoring opportunities in this one as well. Johnny Knox, who is rapidly creating a name himself, returned the opening kick 53 yards putting the Bears in Seahawks’ territory but the offense was unable to capitalize and Robbie Gould would miss a 53 yard field goal attempt. Later on in the half, with the Bears in red zone territory, Cutler would throw an ill advised pass to Knox and was intercepted by David Hawthorne, ending a second scoring threat. However, down 13-0 points in the closing minutes of the half, the Bears mounted a late drive into the red zone once again and it appeared that they had committed yet another turnover as Matt Forte was stripped of the ball trying to extend for additional yardage. However, the Bears caught a break as the play on the field was reversed and they would finally convert on 4th down as Cutler connected with tight end Greg Olson for a one yard touchdown pass cutting the lead to 13-7. Seattle would move the ball on their next drive but would come away empty-handed as Mare missed a field goal that would have put Seattle ahead by nine. The Bears would finish the half with 150 yards through the air but not much in the rushing game as Matt Forte gained only 37 yards on 13 carries.

Early in the second half, irony would come into play. Seattle wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh had stated earlier in the week that he was going to show the Bears would they had missed out by opting not to pursue him in the off-season and that he was going to be open 95% of the time against the team’s secondary. Well, after catching a pass from Wallace, Houshmandzadeh would lose the ball as he was hit by Manning & Tillman and the Bears would recover the fumble in Seahawk territory. To add insult on top of injury, Cutler would culminate a five play, 42 yard drive with a seven yard touchdown pass to Johnny Knox as the Bears would take their first lead of the game at 14-13. While a couple of penalties would prevent the Bears from really taking control of the game, the defensive play was pretty solid as they shut Seattle out in the third quarter and the Bears would go into the final period ahead 17-13.

The defense would continue to play well in the 4th quarter as well. Kevin Payne knocked away a third down pass forcing Seattle to settle for a 39 yard field goal cutting the Bears’ lead to 17-16. Later on in the quarter, following a turnover, Afalava almost intercepts a third down pass and the Seahawks would again be forced to settle for three and a 19-17 lead with just over five minutes to play. Would Cutler lead the team on another stirring 4th quarter drive? The answer would be a resounding yes!. Using a mixture of both the pass and the run, Cutler would effectively march Chicago down the field and would hit Devin Hester on a 36 yard touchdown pass that would give the Bears a 25-19 lead following a two-point conversion. However, there was still enough time for the Seahawks and they would advance the ball to the 29 but the Chicago’s defense would hold steady once again and the Bears would come away with a 25-19 victory in a game that probably shouldn’t have been this close.

The Good:
Jay Cutler showed for the second straight week that he can be clutch when the game is on the line. Cutler finished 21 of 27 for 247 yards and three scores. The defense turned in yet another solid performance and only gave up on one touchdown when Tillman tried to strip the ball from halfback Jones instead of tackling him.

The Bad:
The running game was almost a non-factor for the third consecutive game as Matt Forte totaled only 66 yards on 21 carries but did tack on 40 more yards of receiving. The offensive line is still a work in progress but here’s to hoping they continue to improve as the season progresses.

Players Of The Game:
While it would be easy to pick Jay Cutler or Devin Hester, the players that deserve the most credit for the Bears’ victory is the defense. Each time the Bears had a miscue on offense, the defense held the Seahawks out of the end zone.

Up next for the Bears are the Detroit Lions are who coming off their first win in 20 game after defeating the Redskins. Let’s hope they don’t overlook Detroit as I’m more than sure the Lions are looking to add to their win total from a season ago.

James Tillman


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