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12th Fan View: Seahawks vs Chicago Bears
Seattle Seahawks fans are giddy.
I know I am. I can hardly contain my excitement for the upcoming season. After winning the Super Bowl last year and then re-signing a vast majority of the key players in one of the greatest defenses in League history, the fans are ready for another year of the same.
Only this year, I think it is going to be better.
After thrashing the Chicago Bears 34-6 at CenturyLink Field last Friday night, Seahawks fans have got to be saying to themselves, “Do we have to play the final preseason game?”
I don’t think there is a fan out there that isn’t ready for the season to begin today. Unfortunately, we all have to wait through the final preseason game in Oakland this Thursday night before the defense of the teams’ first title begins “for real.”
The Bears came in boasting a supposedly hardy passing offense. It was no match for the first-unit defense of the Seahawks, nor the backups which held the Bears scoreless for most of the evening. Jeremy Lane stepped up big with an interception deep in Seahawks territory to preserve the shutout into the second half. His return set up Steven Hauschka’s 59-yard field goal to put the Seahawks up 31-0 at the half.
Last year, everyone was talking about how good the Seahawks’ defense was. If the past two games are any indication, the talking heads from coast to coast will be chatting up the Seahawks’ offense. In the past two games, the No. 1 offense has not turned the ball over. They have not punted. They have scored on every possession, with the exception of running out the clock in the first half against San Diego.
Marshawn Lynch got his toes wet with three carries, including a seven yard touchdown run. Russell Wilson ran for a touchdown and threw for two more (one to Jermaine Kearse and one to Christine Michael). Wilson’s efficiency this preseason has been phenomenal, going with 30 completions in 39 attempts (an incredible 77% completion rate) for 360 yards, with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. His QB rating of 121.7 is jaw-droppingly good. A 9.1 yards-per-attempt clip isn’t too bad, either.
Granted, it’s preseason. But Wilson is supposedly still facing the opponents’ first-unit defenses. This team doesn’t need him to complete 30 passes in a game like some teams need their quarterbacks to do. This offense is all about controlling the ball. If Wilson can hit 75% of his throws, it’s bad news for the rest of the NFL.
Yet the past two weeks haven’t exactly been against defensive juggernauts. The Chargers and Bears ranked toward the bottom of the NFL in total defense last year. So a modicum of humility is served well in reviewing these statistics.
Special teams look in mid-season form, as well. Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff 46 yards, Earl Thomas returned a punt 59 yards, and Hauschka’s 59-yarder just before the half would have established a team record. Many are concerned with Thomas returning punts, but if he can break off a return like that every game, I think he may win some support.
The big question on special teams so far this preseason is: “Where is Jon Ryan?”
Ryan finally made his first home appearance as a punter this preseason with twelve minutes to play in the game against the Bears. He has been absolutely nails on his holding duties, though.
All three phases of this team seem to be in perfect working order. It is hard to point to any position or group on this team and say that it is a weakness. The defense looks as advertised again this season - they lead the NFL in preseason yards per game, rank second in points per game (trailing the Broncos, of all teams), and all indications are that this unit is set for more of the same.
As a Seahawks fan, I’m ready for more of the same if “the same” is winning the Super Bowl.
I think I speak for all Seahawks fans when I ask, “Is it next Thursday yet?”