CHICAGO – A recap of the Seahawks’ 38-14 victory over the Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
K.J. Wright. Say what? With all the big plays by the defense and Marshawn Lynch continuing to trample his way in franchise history? That’s exactly the point. The rookie strongside linebacker did a lot of the dirty work that led to a lot of the big plays, as well as making a game-high eight solo tackles.
Red Bryant’s interception and 20-yard return for a touchdown to ignite the Seahawks’ 31-0 run in the second half? It was Wright who hit Bears QB Caleb Hanie to set up the pick-six.
“I can’t take credit for it, because K.J. did a great job of rushing him and getting in his face,” Bryant said. “He just threw the ball up, and I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time.”
Or, like the rookie linebacker was for most the afternoon, the Wright spot at the Wright time. Wright also tackled the Bears’ Kahlil Bell for a 4-yard loss and ran down Henie twice on scrambles.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: A tie between Lynch’s 2-yard touchdown run for the Seahawks’ first TD and his 12-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The scoring run marked his 10th consecutive game with a TD, setting a franchise record. The old mark of nine was set by Shaun Alexander in 2005 and tied by Lynch in Monday night’s win over the Rams. The 12-yarder put him over 1,000 yards – for good – making him the first Seahawks to do it since Alexander, also in his league MVP season in ’05.
“It means a lot,” right guard Lemuel Jeanpierre said of Lynch’s double achievement. “But I know Marshawn, he’s shrugging it off. His eyes are already on the next game.”
Lynch hit 1,000 two other times earlier in the game, but then lost yards to dip below the milestone mark.
Defense: With apologies to Brandon Browner and his 42-yard interception return for a score in the fourth quarter, when a 330-pound defensive end picks one off and runs it in, well, that has to be the choice.
“A big guy gets an interception, everybody loves that,” Bryant said with a big laugh. “They put the camera in your face and everybody talks about it.”
Including your head coach. “To see big Red score a touchdown, oh man, that’s special,” Pete Carroll said.
Special teams: Leon Washington’s 36-yard punt return on the second play of the fourth quarter to set up Tarvaris Jackson’s 2-yard touchdown pass to fullback Michael Robinson that ran the Seahawks’ lead to 31-14.
Mike Williams, the team’s leading receiver last season, broke his left ankle in the third quarter and will miss the final two games. Adding irony to injury, Williams went out after catching passes on back-to-back plays for 21 and 10 yards.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith got a head injury in the third quarter, but returned.
The Seahawks’ 38 points were a season high, and they’ve now scored 30-plus points in three consecutive games for the first time since the final three games of the 2002 season – and two of those were overtime victories.
The Seahawks had five turnovers (four interceptions and a fumble recovery) to tie their season high, and now have 12 in their past four games. In addition to Browner and Bryant, free safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman also had interceptions. Strong safety Kam Chancellor tipped the pass that Thomas picked off and also forced a fumble that Thomas recovered to setup Lynch’s first TD.
Browner’s interception was his team-high sixth, and fifth in the past four games. His return allowed him to break the single-season record (179 yards) that was set by Dave Brown in 1984. Browner now has 220.
Chris Clemons had two sacks, giving him 11 to tie his career-high from last season. Raheem Brock also had two sacks, after getting one in the first 13 games.
The Seahawks have won three road games, their most in a season since winning five, four and three in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
The Seahawks’ string of six consecutive games rushing for at least 100 yards was snapped, as they gained 60 yards on 33 carries. But they stayed after it with the running game, which helped set up some the play-action passes QB Tarvaris Jackson was able to complete.
Wide receiver Golden Tate and tight end Zach Miller each had four receptions to share team-high honors, as Jackson spread his 19 completions to 10 receivers. Miller became the 10th player this season to lead, or share the lead, in receptions.
With his eight tackles, Wright became the seventh player to lead the team in tackles this season.
YOU DON’T SAY
“In the NFL, any win is really great, but now it’s on to the 49ers.” – Jeanpierre, wasting no time savoring the victory over the Bears before looking ahead to the Christmas Eve game at CenturyLink Field