Tuesday in Hawkville: Seeking a similar path to another road win in Chicago
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 27:
Da Bears. In not quite 2¾ seasons under coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks are 6-16 on the road. During this same span, the Chicago Bears are 16-7 at home. But two of the Seahawks’ road wins have come at Soldier Field – 38-14 in Week 15 last year and 23-20 in Week 6 in 2010.
Has there been a common thread in the Seahawks claiming a third of their wins on the road at one location?
“I hope so. I hope so,” Carroll said with a laugh. “We do know the setting. … We’ve found some success. We know how to travel there. We know what it takes and all that. We’ll try to bank of that the best we can and make the most of it.”
That’s exactly what the Seahawks did during their wins in the Windy City the past two seasons.
Last year, the Bears played without the injured duo of quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte. Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown combined to complete 11 of 23 passes for 123 yards, but the Bears rushed for 132 yards and a 4.3-yard average with Kahlil Bell (15 for 65) and Hanie (5 for 34) picking up the slack for Forte.
The Bears defense held Marshawn Lynch to 42 yards on 20 carries, but the Seahawks’ Beast Mode back managed to get into the end zone twice. The defense also scored twice, as end Red Bryant (20 yards) and cornerback Brandon Browner (43) returned interceptions for touchdowns.
In 2010, Cutler and Forte played, but Cutler was tackled in the end zone for a safety and Forte was held to 11 yards on eight carries. Lynch, in his first game with the Seahawks after being obtained in a bye-week trade with the Bills, scored a TD. So did two players who no longer are with the team – running back Justin Forsett and wide receiver Deon Butler. Two other since-departed players also made big contributions, as Mike Williams caught 10 passes for 123 yards and Matt Hasselbeck was 25 of 40 for 242 yards.
This week, the Seahawks need a repeat performance from their current players to register another upset and atone for Sunday’s fall-from-ahead loss to the Dolphins in Miami, which dropped their road record to 1-5.
BATES BACK, PORTIS RELEASED
Wide receiver Phil Bates has been re-signed to the practice squad. Bates, a rookie free agent, was with the team during training camp but released on the roster cut to 75 players. He was signed to the practice squad on Oct. 31 and then released on Nov. 14.
To clear a spot, quarterback Josh Portis was released. Portis was on the 53-man roster last season. This year, he was released on the roster cut to 53 players and signed to the practice squad the next day.
STATS ’N STUFF
Lynch has slipped to third in the league in rushing (1,051 yards) after being held to 46 yards by the Dolphins. The Vikings’ Adrian Peterson still leads the NFL (1,236), while the Texans’ Arian Foster (1,064) leapfrogged Lynch. Peterson ran for 108 yards against the Bears on Sunday.
Lynch also is fifth in the league in total yards (1,189).
Jon Ryan is ninth in the league in punting average (47.7), but fifth in net average (42.1). He also tied a club record against the Dolphins by having six punts downed inside the 20-yard line. That gives him 22 for the season, which ranks fifth in the league.
With his 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Dolphins, Leon Washington increased his average to 31.9 yards, which ranks third in the league.
Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner continued to lead the team in tackles with 90.
As a team, the Seahawks rank fifth in the league in total defense (12th against the run, third against the pass) and 27th in total offense (eighth rushing, 31st passing).
STAT DU JOUR
How efficient and effective has rookie QB Russell Wilson been over the past seven games? Only two quarterbacks in the league have a better QBR, the rating system used at ESPN.com, and their names are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Here’s a look at the Top 10 since Week 5:
Player, team QBR
Tom Brady, Patriots 84.7
Peyton Manning, Broncos 81.0
Russell Wilson, Seahawks 79.1
Drew Brees, Saints 76.9
Josh Freeman, Bucs 74.9
Robert Griffin III, Redskins 74.7
Matt Ryan, Falcons 73.2
Aaron Rodgers, Packers 72.7
Andrew Luck, Colts 72.3
Eli Manning, Giants 71.3
The players return from their “off” day to begin practicing for Sunday’s game on “Competition Wednesday.” Because the game is in Chicago, the team will leave on Friday for the second consecutive week and hold its Saturday walkthrough at a local high school.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Knee-jerk reaction: ‘Good teams don’t go 1-5 on the road. The Seahawks are a fraud. They’ll never make a dent in the playoffs as a wild-card team at this rate.’ Reality or not? ‘What did you expect, a 12-4 season? Seattle is building around one of the most impressive rookie QBs in the NFL. Simply reaching the playoffs should be enough.” – NFC West blogger Mike Sando in the weekly “Knee-jerk reaction” feature at ESPN.com
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