With starting quarterback Jay Cutler out for the Seattle Seahawks game and the Bears playing in a deafening arena against a tenacious pass rush, the Bears came out of the gates on Sunday and ran the football like it was 1950. They did not want backup Jimmy Clausen to have to drop back 30 or 40 times — who would have? — and risk throwing interceptions or fumbling the ball away while getting sacked.
The results were almost all positive. Using an extra tight end or tackle for much of the first half, the Bears controlled the line of scrimmage, moved the chains, and chewed up the game clock, keeping Seattle’s offense on the sideline, while riding Matt Forte for most of the game. The Bears owned the time of possession in the first half and dictated the pace of the game.
Unfortunately, the Bears could not gain a single point from their efforts, but what I liked about the strategy is that offensive coordinator Adam Gase saw a problem — a potentially embarrassing one — and found a way to neutralize it.
Sure, a 26-0 shutout could be considered embarrassing, but the Bears kept it a game in the first half and played tough throughout the entire game.
Said Seahawks Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman: “We kicked a lot of field goals, I think they felt like they were in it. A touchdown here, a turnover here, another touchdown, there’s a chance they can get back in the game. So I don’t think either team let up.”
Although they were never likely to win the game, the Bears proved that against a team that is closer to their caliber, a solid game plan and consistent effort could allow them to excel.