Up one after the first 30 minutes of play in Chicago, the Seattle Seahawks needed a stand to prove that the team could play on the road successfully in 2010.
On Chicago’s second play of the third quarter, the call for such a stand was answered. A 10-yard sack of Jay Cutler for a safety by defensive back Jordan Babineaux not only increased the Seahawks’ lead to 16-13, it gave the team’s defensive unit momentum. That momentum helped propel the Seahawks to a 23-20 victory.
The win gives Seattle (3-2) its first win on the road this season and puts the Seahawks in a two-way tie atop the NFC West with the idle Arizona Cardinals.
Despite the loss, Chicago (4-2) remains in first place in the NFC North.
After allowing 188 yards passing in the first half, the Seahawks’ defense got more pressure on Chicago’s quarterback after halftime. Seattle defenders brought Cutler down behind the line of scrimmage four times in the final half of the game and six times overall.
The six-sack performance extended Seattle’s streak of consecutive games with four or more sacks by its defense to three.
Cutler wasn’t the only one suffering from the second-half collapse of Chicago’s offensive line. Holes were hard to come by for Chicago’s running backs, as Matt Forte and reserve Chester Taylor managed 42 yards and a touchdown combined on the ground.
While Chicago’s offense stumbled, Seattle’s didn’t.
Entering the contest, the Seahawks’ ground game ranked 29th in the NFL in yards per game with 79.5. Behind recently acquired Marshawn Lynch and third-year veteran Justin Forsett, Seattle amassed 111 yards. Each running back scored.
The improved play from the team’s running backs made the day easier for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Connecting with Deon Butler for a 22-yard pass-and-catch in the end zone with 10:03 in the first quarter, Hasselbeck finished the day with 242 yards through the air, the score and no interceptions. The game was the first time since Week 13 of last season that Hasselbeck hadn’t thrown an interception.
Chicago’s second touchdown came via its special teams. Down by 10 with 1:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, Devin Hester fielded a Jon Ryan punt and scooted 89 yards down the field for his ninth career punt return for a score.
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