Skip to main content

What we learned from Bears' victory over Seahawks

Vic Fangio's swarming Chicago defense sacked Russell Wilson six times and forced a pair of fourth-quarter turnovers to seal the Bears' 24-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. Here's what we learned on *Monday Night Football:*

  1. Sebastian Janikowski's 56-yard field goal as the clock expired in the second quarter is the lone blemish on Fangio's first-half defense through two weeks. In addition to the six takedowns, the Khalil Mack-led Bears (1-1) sent waves of pass rushers to hit a frenetic Wilson seven more times. Taking advantage of Mitch Trubisky's mistake-prone offense, however, Wilson kept Seattle (0-2) in contention early in the fourth quarter, unfurling a beautiful rainbow to Tyler Lockett in the back of the end zone to trim the lead to seven. Chicago's veteran defenders took over from there, with linebacker Danny Trevathan following cornerback Prince Amukamara pick-six with a strip sack of Wilson to effectively stifle the comeback bid.
  1. Mack and the Rams' Aaron Donald, the last two NFL Defensive Players of the Year, are putting a lie to the notion that the preseason is a necessary evil to knock off the rust of a long offseason. After dominating the season opener last week, Mack was once again a force to be reckoned with, wreaking havoc up front and creating opportunities for Trevathan, Akiem Hicks and Aaron Lynch to make big plays. Mack keyed Chicago's shutdown run defense and stripped Wilson from behind for a second-quarter fumble that forced a punt. Already a promising unit before Mack's arrival, the Bears are making a strong argument to join the Jaguars, Vikings and Rams as the league's most imposing defenses.
  1. With star linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright sidelined by injuries, All-Pro safety Earl Thomas was the lone defensive starter remaining from Seattle's two Super Bowl squads under Pete Carroll. The rebuilding, injured-riddled Seahawks were simply outmanned by a much more talented opponent on this night. Throw in slot receiver Doug Baldwin's absence, and it's fair to question whether Carroll's roster is currently one of the NFL's five shallowest. If the dispiriting performances continue, perhaps the front office will reconsider its stance on trading impending free agent Thomas at next month's deadline. After the game, Carroll said Wagner, Wright, Tre Flowers and D.J. Fluker could be back next week, but he wasn't sure if Baldwin would return.
  1. Wilson is one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in football over the past half-decade, yet the Seahawks have gone 31 consecutive games without scoring a touchdown on the opening drive. For comparison's sake, the Bears have managed to pull off the feat in each of Matt Nagy's first two games as head coach. Scripting "openers" -- as Hall of Fame coaches Bill Walsh and Paul Brown labeled their 1970s invention -- is a fine art of offensive football. Nagy appears to have a knack for it, guiding second-year quarterback Trubisky to 11 of 12 completions for 154 yards and scores via the air and the ground on picture-perfect drives of 86 and 96 yards to open games this season.

Descending from the Andy Reid-Doug Pederson coaching tree, Nagy's aggressiveness on fourth downs is also a marked departure from the archconservative philosophy of previous Bears headsetter John Fox.

  1. New Seahawks play-caller Brian Schottenheimer, on the other hand, is overseeing a toothless offensive attack that looks eerily similar to the 2017 version that got Darrell Bevell fired. Facing a string of desperate third-and-long wasteland situations, Seattle's first 21 plays generated a paltry 42 yards. Although Wilson has been sacked more times (12) than any quarterback this season, the blame goes beyond the perennially beleaguered offensive line. Schottenheimer abandoned the running game for more than 20 minutes on the game clock, the receivers haven't been gaining separation and Wilson is constantly running into or away from pressure to compensate for an inner clock that no longer tells the correct time in the pocket. With a deficiency in surrounding talent over the past two years, Wilson's margin for error has vanished. For the majority of the evening, Seattle's best offense appeared to be waiting for Trubisky to make a game-changing mistake.
  1. While Trubisky has excelled in executing Nagy's plan of attack early in games, he remains a work in progress as a developmental quarterback. Much like Carolina's Cam Newton and Jacksonville's Blake Bortles, the second-year signal-caller has a tendency for sloppy footwork that affects his accuracy and consistency, particularly on intermediate and deep throws. His decision-making has also left a lot to be desired, leaving the door open for the opponent's fourth-quarter comeback attempt in each of the first two games. Nagy deserves credit for the bubble screens, fly sweeps and read-option looks borrowed from college ball -- as NFL Network's Bucky Brooks noted -- but Trubisky appears lost when dropping back on more conventional NFL pass plays.
  1. Days after Carroll acknowledged that Chris Carson "really took the lead" in Seattle's backfield, the promising power back took a backseat to rookie Rashad Penny throughout the second half. Much to the dismay of frustrated fantasy footballers, Carroll explained after the game that Carson was "gassed" after doing double time on special teams duty.
  1. As if booming rookie Michael Dickson wasn't already a punting sensation, the former Aussie leaguer turned back the clock to the 1930s with a nifty dropkick to pin the Bears inside their own 15-yard line on a late fourth-quarter kickoff. Through two weeks, he might be generating as much excitement as any player in Seattle.
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content