SEATTLE (AP) – Bloodied Rex Grossman hopes this wasn't a knockout blow in his fight for the Bears' quarterback battle.
Grossman started and completed 9 of 15 passes with one interception in a harried, sputtering quarter and a half before Kyle Orton led Chicago to a field goal during a crisp two-minute drill in the Bears' 29-26 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.
Bears coaches had hinted this preseason test could go a long way in deciding who starts the opener Sept. 7 at Indianapolis.
Orton missed on his first two throws Saturday but finished 5-for-9 for 43 yards in two series and yielded to rookie free agent Caleb Hanie to begin the second half. Chicago gained 54 yards in 12 plays with the fourth-year veteran, who started last week at Kansas City and was 7-for-10 for 56 yards.
"Kyle made some good throws," Bears head coach Lovie Smith said of opening half's final drive. "That's the way you like to see an offense execute."
Bears Pro Bowl kicker Robbie Gould missed a 47-yard field goal as regulation time expired. Then impressive rookie Justin Forsett, who finished with 136 yards on 15 carries, ran the Seahawks from their own 13 into range for fellow seventh-round draft pick Brandon Coutu to kick his fifth goal. Coutu made it from 36 yards 3:28 into overtime.
The Seahawks relentlessly blitzed Grossman during his five series, two of which ended with three-and-outs. The first drive ended with Grossman getting cut just below the bridge of his nose after a sack by unblocked linebacker Leroy Hill.
Chicago produced 82 yards, three first downs and no points in 23 plays with the maligned sixth-year veteran, who is 19-11 as a starter. He was sacked once and pressured many more times. He committed one intentional-grounding penalty out of self-preservation.
"We didn't play real smart," said Grossman, who is 13-for-23 for 118 yards with one touchdown and one interception this preseason. "We will go back to the drawing board as far as our approach. We have to play a lot smarter in every single area. Seattle played pretty well, but we hurt ourselves for the most part."
Grossman may have had a 66-yard touchdown pass to Earl Bennett on the second series had he lofted the pass down the hashmarks. Instead, Josh Wilson dived from behind to knock down the line-drive throw and force another punt.
The third series ended in three plays with Grossman's intentional grounding, as four blitzing Seahawks were about to drill him into the 5-yard line.
Late in the opening quarter with Seattle leading 3-0, end Darryl Tapp sped around tackle John Tait and rammed into Grossman's side as he was trying to throw. The ball fluttered into Leroy Hill's arms for an interception he returned 29 yards to the 5.
But Seattle could only turn that into a 26-yard field goal by Coutu, who is battling veteran Olindo Mare to be the Seahawks' new kicker.
Orton entered with 7:23 remaining in the second quarter and most of the first-team offense still in, after the Bears got a safety off a blocked punt by Darrell McClover.
With 1:50 remaining in the half, Orton used shotgun formations and hit on five of seven passes – the last one a well-placed throw in the end zone to Devin Hester that Kelly Jennings and Deon Grant forced out of Hester's hands. Gould's 39-yard field goal on the next play made the score 9-5 at halftime.
A 6-yard interception return for a touchdown by Corey Graham and a 75-yard punt return for another score by Bennett rallied Chicago in the third quarter. Seattle's T.J. Duckett tied the game at 19 with 7:24 left on a 1-yard run. Then Hanie threw an interception and Forsett ran 10 yards while carrying defender Craig Steltz across the goal line to put Seattle ahead 26-19 with 5:22 remaining.
Bears rookie tight end Kellen Davis tied the game at 26 with a leaping, one-handed catch of a 9-yard pass from Hanie for a touchdown with 2:50 left in regulation.
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