Three things we learned: Seahawks 38, Bears 14
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Three things we learned
- Tarvaris Jackson can do more than just manage a game.
His second-half turnaround was among the more impressive, more important things that happened for Seattle on Sunday. The Bears were so focused upon stopping Marshawn Lynch that they were bringing one of their safeties up into the box. That was a surprise given Chicago's devotion to the Cover Two defense. That put the onus on Jackson to make something happen. He did most notably on his 43-yard pass to Ben Obomanu against man-to-man coverage, setting up the game-tying touchdown. He completed 15 of 19 passes in the second half for 176 yards.
- Raheem Brock is in fact still on the team.
He and Chris Clemons were one of the league's most effective pass-rushing tandems last season, and while Clemons has his second double-digit sack total, Brock hasn't been nearly as productive this season. Before Sunday in Chicago, he had not had a sack since Week 3. Well, he had two sacks in the second half against the Bears.
- Tarvaris Jackson needs to avoid sacks like he avoids interceptions.
He hasn't been picked off in any of the last three games, showing that he won't take unnecessary chances. Now if he could just stop taking unnecessary sacks. There are times he simply holds the ball too long even when it's third-and-long and Seattle is pinned against its own end zone. That was the situation that led to his first-quarter fumble when Chicago's Julius Peppers actually slipped and fell during his speed rush around left tackle Paul McQuistan, got up and still hit Jackson before he threw, forcing a fumble Israel Idonije recovered.
Three things we already knew
- Seattle gets better as the game goes on.
That was true from the very beginning of this season when it took Seattle three games before it scored a single first-half point. The Seahawks again played a forgettable first half. Their offense had less than 100 yards of total offense at halftime, and the only time the Seahawks were in Chicago's half of the field was after a turnover. Seattle ticked off 31 consecutive points in the second half, continuing a turnaround.
- Seattle's secondary has some ballhawks.
There isn't a coach in the league that doesn't think turnovers are the most important part of the game. Not every coach has a defense as successful in taking the ball away like the suddenly sticky-fingered Seahawks. They forced another five turnovers Sunday and now stand at +8 for the season in turnover margin. Each of the starting cornerbacks intercepted a pass Sunday, strong safety Kam Chancellor forced a fumble that teammate Earl Thomas recovered and tipped a pass Thomas intercepted. Seattle is 5-1 in games where it has more takeaways than turnovers and 0-4 when it commits more turnovers than the opponent.
- Seattle's defense has some staying power.
There was a time when Seattle's defense would whither if it was left on the field too long. That time was three or four years ago, however. The Seahawks have shown they can stand in the trenches and slug it out for a full four quarters even when its offense sleepwalks through a first half.
Three things we're still trying to figure out
- Is Golden Tate ready for this opportunity?
He has made great improvement, and his 33-yard gain in the third quarter showed how explosive he can be with the ball. The past month and a half showed the promise that Seattle believes Tate possesses. Now, the Seahawks won't be hoping for him to blossom, but increasingly relying on it after Mike Williams' injury. He is the second starting receiver Seattle has lost to injury in the past four weeks. While Williams' season was a disappointment, his loss puts a bigger burden of expectation on Tate. Seattle will be counting on Tate to produce consistently. Is he up to that challenge?
- How much of Seattle's run of success has to do with the opposition?
Five victories in six games counts as the Seahawks' most successful stretch of football since 2007. But only of those six games has been against an opponent that currently holds a winning record: Baltimore. Four of those games have been played at home, too. So while the schedule doesn't explain all or even most of Seattle's recent success, it is a factor.
- What would Seattle's season have been like if there were a regular offseason?
The lockout prevented coaches from working with players during offseason minicamps and organized training activities, and no unit on the team was more impacted than Tom Cable's offensive line. With three new starters added to the team and the team's fourth line coach in three years, it's clear the Seahawks were navigating their way by feel for that first month and a half when they couldn't run the ball nor really protect the passer. Well, Seattle has lost three starting linemen in the past five weeks, and they've remained functional.
Dec 24 - 6:10 AM Looking back: Revisiting Sunday's scouting report
Dec 24 - 1:09 AM Seahawks' scoring binge
Dec 24 - 1:01 AM Video: Summing Seattle's victory
Dec 24 - 12:58 AM Video: Russell Wilson post-game comments
Dec 24 - 12:21 AM Rookie passing roll call