Balanced Seahawks break through for road win over Bears

RENTON, Wash. -- Pete Carroll hoped the Seattle Seahawks' breakthrough would arrive before Week 6.

The fact that a balanced effort that didn't completely rely on one dominant aspect of his team came on the road held even more importance for the Seahawks.

"I wished it would have happened earlier, but at least we have a real confident idea and mindset for going on the road from this point forward," Carroll said Monday.

Not to mention confidence in what a complete effort from his offense, defense and special teams can look like.

Seattle's 23-20 win over Chicago on Sunday was the first road win for the Seahawks (3-2) outside the NFC West since a victory over Philadelphia in Week 13 of the 2007 season. Beyond that, it was Seattle's first win over a road team with a winning record at the time of the game since a 23-3 win over San Francisco in Week 4 of 2007.

Seattle was 3-15 since the beginning of the 2008 season on the road before beating the NFC North-leading Bears.

"We hadn't won a game like this and we needed to. And we needed the challenge and we needed it to be a really good football team to add to it," Carroll said. "Just to get the win on the road is one thing, but to beat a team that is leading the NFC or AFC when we get those chances, those are accomplishments. We put this in its proper perspective. We've been counting on this happening. It's not like we're shocked.

Unlike its two previous victories this season when defense and special teams were the reason behind the win, Sunday's win over Chicago was a complete effort.

Seattle skirted through its season-opening win over San Francisco thanks to its defense and the poor play of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. Two weeks later, the Seahawks were outgained 518-271 in total yards by the San Diego Chargers, and won only because of two kickoff returns for touchdowns by Leon Washington in the second half.

Above all else, those first two wins came at home, while their two road losses -- at Denver and St. Louis -- were filled with mistakes and lackluster effort. Seattle's offense failed to cross midfield in the second half of its 20-3 loss to the Rams.

"We're growing," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said after Sunday's win. "We're building on everything that we're doing. We're finding out who we are. As Pete would say, 'We're making us' by how we do, by how we perform."

The victory over the Bears was highlighted by Seattle's defense that didn't allow an offensive touchdown after Matt Forte's 6-yard run on Chicago's first series and sacked Bears quarterback Jay Cutler six times. Offensively, Seattle got a season-high 111 yards rushing from the combo of Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett, while Hasselbeck avoided throwing an interception for the first time in nine games.

Aside from Jon Ryan's fourth-quarter punt that was supposed to go out of bounds but that Devin Hester returned 89 yards for Chicago's final score, the Seahawks special teams managed to keep Hester and Danieal Manning mostly in check.

"We take a lot of pride in it because we have such regard for Chicago and the team that they have and the players that they have and the coaches. ... It's a big accomplishment so we're proud of that," Carroll said.

While his players had Monday off, Carroll had a special visitor in former President Bill Clinton. Carroll tweeted a picture of his visit Monday morning with Clinton, who was in the area to participate in a rally for Sen. Patty Murray.

Carroll said the pair first connected a few years ago in Southern California.

"They called this morning and said that he was going to be available so we just jumped together and hung out for a little while," Carroll said. "It was a great honor, a great honor. He's an amazing guy. He's got so much to do right now."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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