Chicago vs. Seattle: Report Card Grades for Each Seahawks Unit
Once again the Seattle Seahawks absolutely throttled their opponents, jumping out to a 28-0 lead with each team's starters on the field. The second half was a little less inspiring, and the final was 34-6.
It'll be tough to find anything negative to say about any Seattle players in this game. I don't envy the Seahawks for having to make some roster cuts by this August 26.
The way the Seahawks have performed over the last two preseason games, they look poised for another Super Bowl run. Let's take a closer look at the key components from Friday's game.
Russell Wilson has been on a roll as of late, looking like he's in midseason form. He went 15-of-20 for 202 yards and two touchdowns through the air and added on four carries for 23 yards and another score.
Wilson's touchdown run utilized several pump fakes as he seemed to jog in for the touchdown. He appears to have an even better grasp of the offense this season and is getting the ball to his explosive group of receivers.
By the time Tarvaris Jackson entered, the game was already well in hand. Several of his passes were dropped, and he was pressured by the Chicago Bears defense on several dropbacks.
He ended the day completing half of his 10 pass attempts for 65 yards. Overall, he performed well, not taking any chances with the football, escaping the pocket as well as he could and finding open men.
The battle for second-string quarterback seems to be tipping in his favor.
Terrelle Pryor came in and threw his first pass at his receiver's feet and then made a risky throw that was intercepted. Those were his only two passes in the game. He also ran for minus-two yards in the game.
Marshawn Lynch made his first appearance of the year with three carries for 17 yards and a touchdown. It wasn't the strongest day on the ground for the Seahawks, but it provided enough.
Robert Turbin took six carries 26 yards and had one grab for four more yards. It was a solid performance from him and Christine Michael, who rushed eight totes for 28 yards along with three receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown.
Altogether, Seattle rushed for 118 yards and two scores in the game and made quality contributions to the passing game.
Wide Receiver and Tight End
When the Seahawks lost Sidney Rice and Golden Tate there was a bit of concern over who would step up for an offense that was already considered devoid of receiving talent. However, what's been made clear is that all of the team's receivers are so shifty and explosive that the offense is still capable of great things when it's utilized correctly.
Jermaine Kearse led the team with 63 yards receiving and a touchdown. The team had 267 yards receiving for the game. The offense really died down in the second half but was able to do whatever it wanted with Russell Wilson on the field.
None of the tight ends really stood out, which was a theme from last year. Cooper Helfet led tight ends with one grab for eight yards.
The offensive line allowed two sacks throughout the game. Russell Wilson was taken down for a loss of nine yards, meaning he's yet to have a clean sheet this preseason.
As I mentioned earlier, Tarvaris Jackson was under a lot of pressure when he took the field. He did well to only be sacked once for a loss of six yards.
When it comes to run blocking, the first unit performed admirably against an improved Bears front that was without free-agent acquisition Jared Allen. Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin and Christine Michael found some space with their limited carries.
The only time the unit truly appeared to struggle was when the reserves came in, calling into question the team's depth again.
The Seahawks defense was able to rack up three sacks, six quarterback hits and four tackles for loss in the game, but defensive end O'Brien Schofield stood out among the rest.
Schofield finished the day with two tackles, one for a loss, a sack and three quarterback hits. Cassius Marsh also seemed to stand out, despite his lesser stats (two tackles, one for a loss, a sack and a quarterback hit).
Matt Forte and the rest of the Bears rushing attack were almost nullified, as they were held to just 51 yards in the game. It was a great all-around performance for the group.
The linebacker corps was without many of its usual starters, but with the depth the Seahawks have at the position, the team was just fine.
Heath Farwell and K.J. Wright stood out to me. Wright had four tackles, but his presence on the field was immense. Reserve linebacker Farwell made the most of his time, accumulating five tackles, one for a loss, a sack and a quarterback hit.
There wasn't much else to talk about in the group, but the unit helped hold the Bears to just six points throughout the game. As a group, the players were swarming and always there to help contain their opponent's rushing and short-passing game.
The Legion of Boom was everywhere in this game, though Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery combined for eight receptions for 82 yards. The two were never able to help put the Bears into a good position, ending their drives with three punts and an interception.
Jeremy Lane picked off the pass at Seattle's 2-yard line and returned it 41 yards, ending any chance of a Chicago score in the first half. He also had three passes defensed and six tackles.
Bears receiver Josh Morgan led the team with 48 yards on three catches, but the first unit was never able to string together a series of plays for a score. The Bears reserves were only able to set up two field goals.
Any concerns of Earl Thomas' punt-returning ability can be put to rest after Friday's game; the only concern left is for injury. Thomas made a 59-yard return in the second quarter that showed off his elusiveness and speed.
Percy Harvin also had a big return on a kickoff, taking it out 46 yards. No surprises here. With Harvin's incredible speed and agility, he's bound to make some huge returns a few times during the regular season.
Steven Hauschka nailed a 59-yard field to end the first half but later missed a 54-yarder. We'll call that even. He finished the day with two made field goals.
Bears punt returner Darius Reynaud took a wallop from Ricardo Lockette on the Seahawks' lone punt of the game. On kickoffs, the Bears were limited to an average of about 22 yards per return, with a long of 27.
Seattle's coverage units did a fantastic job of staying in their lanes and limiting returns. Punter Jon Ryan's sole punt went for 44 yards on a quiet day for him.
Pete Carroll has his team ready to defend its Super Bowl reign. For the past two weeks, the much maligned Seattle passing game dominated its opponents, and the defense remained in No. 1 form.
Carroll had his team well prepared to handle the Bears' monster receivers and treated the game like it was regular-season action.
It couldn't have been better symbolized than midway through the fourth quarter. Carroll challenged the completion of a pass by the Bears in hopes of maintaining a shutout. The pass completion was overruled and helped stem off the attack, but the Bears nailed a field goal.
It was a quality game from top to bottom, start to finish for the Seahawks.
|Positional Unit||Overall Grade|
Perhaps I'm expecting too much from this team, but I think there's still room for improvement. The grades were ultimately dragged down by the reserves, who may have let off a bit due to the score, but they should be playing to make the squad.
The Seahawks are primed to make a run at another Super Bowl with almost the exact same roster for their championship team, and their rapid improvement from one week to the next has given that argument weight.