Seahawks Shutout Bears, Still Face Uphill Climb

After starting the season 0-2, the Seattle Seahawks responded by shutting out the Chicago Bears 26-0 last Sunday afternoon.

After a forgettable first half, rookie phenom Tyler Lockett ignited a 20 point second half for Seattle, taking the second half kickoff back 105 yards for a touchdown, one of two on the day for Seattle. Lockett will etch his name in Seattle’s record books, now holding the record for the longest kickoff returned for a touchdown in franchise history.

It was Lockett’s second touchdown of the young season, after he took a punt back 57 yards in the season opener on the road in St. Louis.

“We know we have a great weapon in him,” said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

Later on in the quarter, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson connected with new tight end Jimmy Graham across the middle for a 30-yard score. It was Graham’s second touchdown catch of the season.
Graham—just one week removed from a one catch game—shined in his home debut, recording seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. As you may recall, Seattle traded its first round pick and pro bowl center, Max Unger, to New Orleans in exchange for the pro bowl tight end.

Lockett and Graham were not the only two new Seahawks to shine on Sunday. Undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls filled in admirably for Marshawn Lynch, notching 104 yards on 16 carries.
“The way he ran today was exactly the way we had seen him in college. Very aggressive, very downhill,” said Carroll. “A fantastic day for this kid.”

Lynch, nursing a calf injury, missed most of the first quarter while being attended to in the locker room and did not return in the second half. Lynch finished the day with only 14 yards on five carries.

In addition to the Lockett kickoff return, Seattle added a little trickery to its special teams play. On a Chicago punt, Lockett pretended to track the ball to the far side of the field, only to have Richard Sherman actually field the punt on the opposite sideline. Sherman stumbled fielding the kick, but stormed down the sideline for a 64 yard return, before eventually being tackled by the Chicago punter.

Sunday also saw the return of All Pro Safety Kam Chancellor. Chancellor, who had been holding out since training camp in the hopes of renegotiating his contract, reported to team facilities last week, and was the starter for Sunday’s game.

“Emotionally, I felt like I was in that ‘dark place’ again, didn’t change much. I felt good out there with my brothers,” Chancellor said after the game.

His impact was certainly noticed. Over the first two weeks, the defense seemed to have communication issues. Those issues faded Sunday with Chancellor back on the field.

While there were plenty of bright spots, Seattle still has much to improve upon. Russell Wilson was sacked four times, bringing the season total to 12—the second most in the NFL.

Despite the lack of pass protection, the Seahawks managed to put up 371 yards of total offense and Wilson finished the day 20 of 30 for 235 yards and one touchdown.

“The key is finishing strong. The key is finding a way to win the game and that’s what we were able to do tonight,” Wilson said.

Seattle (1-2) will play host to the Detroit Lions (0-3) on Monday Night Football this coming week.

AJ may be reached at [email protected]