Bears vs Seahawks: 3 lessons learned from Seattle’s win

Associated Press

p>After over nine months of waiting, the Seattle Seahawks are finally back in the win column.

Seattle put together a complete effort in a 26-0 shutout of a depleted Chicago Bears squad. While the Seahawks were aided by a few factors, including the absence of Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery, the team looked much better on Sunday than it did in the first two weeks, particularly on the defensive sie of the ball.

Still, the Seahawks were far from dominant at times against arguably the worst team in the NFL, even with the lopsided scoreline. The offense struggled mightily in the first half before opening things up down field after halftime, which may not work against some of the better teams Seattle will have to face.

The important thing is that the Seahawks moved to 1-2 with a very winnable game against the Detroit Lions on “Monday Night Football” coming up. Seattle has a lot of work to do to catch the Arizona Cardinals or Green Bay Packers, but can takeaway a few positives from the win against Chicago, especially on defense and special teams.

Thomas Rawls has a role in the offense

Rawls was largely an afterthought as an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan, but quickly impressed the coaching staff when given an opportunity during training camp. The Seahawks decided to trade Christine Michael just before the season, opening the door for Rawls to get a few carries as the third-string back.

Following Sunday’s win, it appears Rawls will have an even bigger part to play this season. With Marshawn Lynch hurting, the Seahawks decided to make Rawls the feature back while using Fred Jackson in third down duty.

Rawls responded by carrying the ball 16 times for 104 yards. For a rushing attack that had struggle to generate much on the ground in the first two games, Rawls represented a much-needed spark.

At 5-9, 215 pounds, Rawls is a bowling ball of a runner who is very difficult to bring down for a loss and brings the physical style that Seattle loves to use. Nobody will replace Lynch as the top back if he’s healthy, but Rawls appears to have set himself up nicely for a significant amount of carries moving forward.

Tyler Lockett has already justified his draft selection

Selecting Lockett in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft raised quite a few eyebrows. As productive as Lockett was at Kansas State, giving up three picks was a hefty price to pay for him.

Once again, John Schneider and Pete Carroll appeared to have found a steal, as Lockett has already justified his draft selection. On Sunday, Lockett returned the opening second half kickoff for a touchdown, Seattle’s first trip to the end zone of the game, ending much hope for a Bears upset.

With two return touchdowns in three games in addition to his outstanding preseason performance, it’s clear Lockett and the special teams unit are going to be a huge contribution to the Seahawks this season. A trick play on a punt return also set up a huge return for Richard Sherman, leading the Seahawks to a field goal in the first quarter.

The defense looked more cohesive than the first two weeks

Even if it was against a very depleted Bears offense, it was good to see the Seahawks’ defense get back to a dominant level after two shaky performances to begin the season. Whether it had anything to do with the return of Kam Chancellor or not, everyone on the defensive side seemed to play better as a unit in Week 3.

The Seahawks did exactly what they were supposed to do against a less talented opponent. Seattle’s corners were barely tested at all, while Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright flew all over the field to limit Matt Forte. Jordan Hill also had a nice game and was in the Chicago backfield on numerous occasions.

Things will obviously get harder, but it was an important first step in the right direction and a shutout is always an impressive effort. With Chancellor getting back to full speed and the rest of the secondary getting back to full health, the Seahawks should continue to show improvement on the defensive side of the ball in the coming weeks.

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Nathaniel Reeves

Nathaniel Reeves is a journalism student at the University of Washington, currently covering sports for The UW Daily in addition to Sports Out West. He has been closely following Seattle sports his entire life.


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