JC's Live Game Blog: Bears vs. Seahawks

After successfully navigating a three-game tour of the division to start the 2006 season, the Seahawks come to Chicago in a battle for NFC supremacy. Your Editor in Chief will be running a live game blog, so be sure to refresh this page every 10 to 15 minutes for all the insider information from Soldier Field. From the field to the stands to the press box, JC will make you feel like you're there.

(5:17) What a gorgeous day to live in downtown Chicago. It's a shame that I'm stuck up here in the press box right now. Alright, it's better than working at Sears, but still, I wouldn't mind knocking back a cold one down at a parking lot tailgate party right now. Huge game tonight, Bears fans. If Lovie Smith & Company can topple the Seahawks and move to 4-0, they can take a firm grasp of the entire NFC ...

(5:34) Italian beef sandwiches and roasted potatoes for dinner tonight in the press box. Not too shabby. Some folks were disappointed with the hot dog spread for the Detroit game, but all the writer-types are stuffing their faces right now and quite happy ...

(6:15) Neither the Bears nor Seahawks are reporting any changes in the starting lineup. Inactive tonight for the Bears are QB Kyle Orton, WR Mark Bradley, CB Marcus Maxey, S Chris Harris, FB J.D. Runnels, OL Anthony Oakley, DT Alfonso Boone, and DT Antonio Garay. Looks like TE Desmond Clark is feeling pretty good today and will start after all. For Seattle, QB David Greene, WR D.J. Hackett, CB Jordan Babineaux, RB Shaun Alexander, DE Joe Tafoya, OL Floyd Womack, TE Jerramy Stevens, and DT Marcus Tubbs will watch this one from the sideline ...

(6:41) Since the Bears chose to wear their road white jerseys at Soldier Field in Week 2 against Detroit, this is the first time they have worn the home blues this season. It's such a classic look. The best jersey in the NFL for my money ...

(6:49) 69 degrees, clear skies, almost no wind. Just perfect. What a night for football ...

(7:09) Beautiful job on the national anthem by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. By the way, it's not a late-arriving crowd this evening. This place is packed and ready ...

(7:16) Several of the Bears players are running all over the field after introductions and doing what they can to get the crowd pumped up. I'm telling you, this place is electric. This should be a great ballgame ...

(7:18) Seattle has won the toss and elected to receive ...

(7:19) "For whom the bell tolls! Time marches on! For whom the bell tolls!" ...

(7:24) The Seahawks pick up one first down on their opening possession, but Mack Strong gets stuffed on third down as the Bears force a punt. They ran their four-wideout set on the first two plays of the drive. And it looks like special teams coach Dave Toub had a little chat with return man Devin Hester. He lets the punt go over his head and bounce at the 5-yardline and into the end zone for a touchback. Bears start out on their own 20 ...

(7:29) Thomas Jones gets nothing between the tackles on first and second down, and Grossman is incomplete to Rashied Davis on 3rd-and-8. Three-and-out for the Bears offense ...

(7:35) Josh Brown converts a chip-shot 23-yard field goal to get the Seahawks on the board 3-0. Matt Hasselbeck made a couple of gorgeous throws on the drive, a 31-yarder to Deion Branch down the left sideline and a 22-yarder to Darrell Jackson on the right sideline. But Brian Urlacher tipped away a throw for tight end Itula Mili in the back of the end zone to hold them to three points. This receiving corps is going to present quite a challenge tonight ..

(7:40) Grossman has got to learn to stop back-pedaling when he's under pressure. He just got sacked for a 13-yard loss. Losing five yards is fine, but 13 will just kill a drive ...

(7:42) That right there shows you how much confidence the Bears coaching staff has in Jones between the tackles right now. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner just called a play-action pass to Jason McKie on 3rd-and-1. The pass was completed, but he still came up short. Grossman sneaks it over Ruben Brown on the left side for a fourth-down pick-up to keep the drive alive ...

(7:46) Touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad, and after the Robbie Gould point-after, the Bears take the lead 7-3. Grossman threw the ball away on second down under heavy pressure and gave himself another chance. Muhammad dragged across the back of the end zone from nine yards out for his first scoring catch of the season ...

(7:54) Three-and-out this time for the Seattle offense. That was some Bears D right there. Tommie Harris busted through the line for yet another sack, and Ricky Manning Jr. destroyed Bobby Engram over the middle on 3rd-and-14 to force an imcompletion ...

(7:56) Cedric Benson is in the backfield right now. Worth noting. Especially after his DNP last Sunday ...

(7:57) That's the end of the first quarter as the Bears change ends of the field to a standing ovation. Grossman hit Bernard Berrian for a 46-yard completion two plays before the end of the period. He showed some nice touch and floated the ball over Berrian's outside shoulder where only he could make the catch. Bears driving again, leading 7-3. Running game non-existent again ...

(8:03) Gould lines up for a 36-yarder as the drive stalls, and he splits the uprights for a 10-3 Bears lead. Grossman is off to another wonderful start. He's 8-of-11 for 112 yards and a touchdown. Jones and Benson have combined for only 20 yards on seven carries, 15 of which came on one Jones scamper in the first quarter. Why can't this team run the ball anymore? ...

(8:07) Another three-and-out for the Seahawks. Branch couldn't haul in a quick slant on 3rd-and-8. Their four-wide look has produced very little so far. Mike Brown has been aggressive in run support tonight. Tank Johnson and Mark Anderson have been rotating in along the defensive front, so everyone should be well rested ...

(8:10) Two series in a row for Benson now. Jones has been given every opportunity to be the guy. He just hasn't produced. Three-and-out. Not very pretty there ...

(8:15) The Bears have been showing blitz a lot when Seattle goes to its four-receiver formation. Hasselbeck keeps checking out of the original play. He called a quick pitch to Maurice Morris right there and sprung him loose for a 15-yard gain ...

(8:17) Just as the Seahawks had a drive going, Ricky Manning Jr. stepped in front of a pass intended for Branch and picked it off. A 40-yard return gives the ball back to the offense on the Seattle 36-yardline ...

(8:19) John Gilmore gets open down the seam and had the ball for a second at about the 5-yardline, but Michael Boulware lights him up and knocks it loose. That was a serious collision right there. That's how they teach 'em down at Florida State. Sorry, my affection for everything Seminoles is rearing its ugly head. Back to the game ...

(8:22) Awesome throw to Berrian on the quick slant to convert on third down and get a 1st-and-goal at the 1-yardline. That was threading the needle right there. They need to punch this one in ...

(8:24) That hurts. 1st-and-goal from the just outside the goalline, but they have to settle for another Gould field goal. A play-action pass, a pitter-patter run from Jones, and another incompletion on a play-fake. I had a reader refer to Jones as 'Dancey McDance-a-lot', the other day, and I must say, that nickname is more applicable with every carry. Boulware suffered a concussion on that hit on Gilmore, by the way. His return is questionable. 13-3 Bears lead with about six minutes left in the half ...

(8:30) Hasselbeck makes an ill-advised throw on 3rd-and-long, and Ricky Manning Jr. comes up with a juggling catch for his second pick of the evening. He takes it all the way to the house for an apparent TD, but two block-in-the-back penalties after the interception negate the score. Bears take over deep in Seattle territory again ...

(8:34) Jones finally gets into the end zone for his first rushing touchdown of the season. Not many people expected this. After the PAT, it's 20-3 Bears. It's quite a scene here at Soldier Field right now. Chicagoans near and far are booking flights to Miami for the first week in February as we speak ...

(8:47) Hasselbeck puts together a pretty impressive drive on the two-minute drill, but it stalls once again in the red zone. Brown boots another short field goal and cuts the Bears lead to 20-6. The drive was helped out tremendously by a questionable late-hit penalty on Mike Brown after a Jackson catch. Tommie Harris is just an animal. He's been behind the line of scrimmage all night long and forced a Hasselbeck throwaway on 3rd-and-goal ...

(8:50) And that's the half as the Soldier Field crowd comes to its feet again. The Bears have played beautifully so far. The defense has given up some yards between the 20s, but as they have done all season long, they locked down in their own territory and kept the Seahawks out of the end zone. They have got to run the ball effectively to churn the clock and shorten this game in the second half. They've got their foot on Seattle's throat, but they can't relax and let them back up ...

(9:05) Davis is back deep as the Bears will get the ball to open the second half ...

(9:16) The Bears finally decide to get tough on the goalline as Jones pushes through from one yard out for his second touchdown of the evening. 27-6 Bears lead. Grossman drove them right down the field 65 yards on 10 plays in 4:55. The offense had one three-and-out in the first half, but aside from that, they have moved the ball at will against the Seattle defense. Jones is also starting to show some wiggle, racking up 77 yards on 17 attempts ...

(9:23) Hasselbeck is really starting to let his frustration show. Seattle picks up one first down on the drive, but they stall once again. Mike Holmgren's west coast offense is predicated on high-percentage passing, but Hasselbeck is only 11-of-28 for 136 yards with two INTs ...

(9:33) Hasselbeck tries to spin out of trouble on 3rd-and-13, but he spins right into Anderson and gets pummeled for a sack. Another hold for the Bears defense in impressive fashion. Expect a heavy dose of the run game the rest of the game. Leon Joe is out with a pulled hamstring, by the way ...

(9:40) Wow, Grossman finds Berrian behind the defense again for a long scoring toss, this time from 40 yards out. Seattle was even flagged for illegal contact on the play, but no matter. What is going on tonight? I thought this was supposed to be a battle between the two best teams in the NFC. This is an absolute pasting, 34-6 Bears ...

(9:46) That's the end of the third quarter. Bears dominating in every capacity. Grossman has thrown for 231 yards and two TDs without an interception. Jones and Benson seem to have the running game back on track, combining for 107 yards on 25 carries. Berrian is averaging 36 yards on his three catches tonight. Hasselbeck is still under 50% for the game at 14-of-33. Morris has been no factor whatsoever, running nine times for 25 yards ...

(9:59) Back-to-back sacks for the Bears, the first by Anderson and the second by Harris. That's two each for those guys. Five sacks for 49 yards lost on the evening overall. Then Hester finally finds some daylight and returns the ball 26 yards to the Seattle 31-yardline. A tired Seattle defense heads back to the field ...

(10:04) The Bears tack on to the lead thanks to a 41-yard field goal by Gould. That kick makes him 13-for-13 on the season. Offense, defense, and special teams, just a complete effort all around tonight ...

(10:07) Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace enters the huddle for Seattle. The white flag has officially been waved. Hasselbeck finished 16-of-35 for 196 yards and two INTs ...

(10:11) On the ensuing drive, the Bears follow suit with the second-string QB shuffle as Brian Griese takes over ...

(10:21) And that's the ballgame, football fans. For all of you who have been holding back on your Bears pandemonium thus far, you officially have permission to lose your minds. The Bears are 4-0, atop the North, and the only remaining undefeated team in the NFC. They could not have played better tonight. Seattle came into this game less than a year removed from playing in Super Bowl XL, but the Bears whipped their tails like a Clint Eastwood movie ... Every Which Way but Loose.

JC


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