The Seattle Seahawks (0-1) will spend a second consecutive Sunday on the road looking to even their record when they take on the Chicago Bears (0-1) on Monday Night Football. The Bears are coming off a heartbreaking 24 to 23 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Heartbreaking in that the Bears saw their 20-0 third-quarter lead evaporate thanks to the historic acts of a hobbling Aaron Rodgers.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has had his own share of heroics against the Bears. Last time Wilson played the Bears in Chicago he led the Seahawks to an improbable 23 to 17 overtime victory as a rookie quarterback. Here is what Wilson had to say about the December 2012 win and what the team needs to do to pull off a win against the hungry Bears.
(On what he remembers about playing against Chicago in his rookie season)
“That game back in Chicago my rookie year feels like yesterday. It’s exciting to go back to Soldier Field in one of the best cities in America. They love football and it’s a great environment. It doesn’t get much better than Chicago and Soldier Field. They have a really good football team right now, they really look good on film. It’s going to be a great game. We’re enthusiastic about going there and having a tough, tough battle and seeing what happens. I remember just going there and playing guys like (Brian) Urlacher and (Charles) Tillman and those type of players.
That’s really when you realize man I’m in the National Football League and this is real. To be able to find a way to win in overtime, I remember Sidney Rice making an unbelievable play. It was just a fantastic game, back and forth. I remember Brandon (Marshall) having a great game that game actually, it was fun to watch him play. Those are great memories. Hopefully, we can make another one this week.”
(On what the 2012 win in Chicago did for team morale after not having much success on the road prior)
“I think it gave us clarity on who we could be, I think that was the first thing. I think the second was that it taught us how to really go on the road and really be prepared at the highest level and all the details that it takes to be prepared. Just the whole team collectively playing together. That was a really good football team. I think their record was really good at the time. It was a tough environment. To be able to go into one of the best environments in the National Football League and come out with a win in overtime and go back and forth. I remember the ball was on the one or two-yard line, we had 98 yards to go with like two minutes to go. Just being resilient in our thought process and how we need to get things done.
Our backs were against the wall a little bit in terms of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. People weren’t expecting much I don’t think at the time. I think that we showed that we can play with some of the best players in the National Football League and make some things happen. That’s what showed up and hopefully, we can do that come this week.”
(On if he and Brandon Marshall had talked about the 2012 game)
“Yeah, me and Brandon (Marshall) have joked about it. He gave me nightmares because I remember we scored there at the very, very end there. I don’t know how much time was left, maybe 30 seconds. I was like ‘okay we got this dub, great game,’ and sure enough Brandon makes two or three crazy catches. Gets them in field goal range, they make the field goal. I was just hoping we won the toss and then, sure enough, we got the ball and went up and down the field and scored a touchdown.
Sidney (Rice) scored that touchdown and he’s just so smooth and made a nice catch and got in the end zone. It was an ugly hit though, I know that I remember that. It was just a great game all around.”
(On facing pass rushers in consecutive weeks going against Khalil Mack)
(On if he feels the pass protection is better than it has been in previous years)
“Yeah, I think we’re getting better for sure. I think that throughout the whole preseason we did a good job. Last week, I take some of the blame for those two sacks there. Just trying to extend the play, third downs and the stuff like that. I definitely think coach Solari is coaching the guys up really well. We had a chance. We had the three touchdown passes, we should’ve had the fourth one there, and we could’ve had a fifth one.
I just think about where we’re headed. I always believe in where we’re headed and what we’re going to do. I’m really looking forward to it. The guys are working extremely hard. It’s a pleasure to be able to come in this building every day and just get to work with the guys we get to work with. Guys from Justin Britt, to guys like Duane Brown, to guys like (Ethan) Pocic, and (J.R.) Sweezy, and (Germain) Ifedi. They’re working extremely, extremely hard. A guy like George Fant, so many different players. I love watching guys like (Jordan) Roos in the one-on-one and in pass protection and just how hard they’re working. I’ll go to battle with any of those guys.”
(On third downs) “Yeah, I think we’ve got to be great on third down. That’s like any game, that’s any situation. It’s always going to be the case all year and for the rest of football history. We got to be great on third down. I think for us, we just got to convert and continue to move the chains a little and stay on the field. I think we were on the field for only 24 minutes or something like that.
One, that’s a credit for us scoring fast. Two, it shows that if we can be on the field a little bit longer, how much more can we score. I think that’s what we look forward to is staying on the field. We want our great players like Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson and Brandon (Marshall) and those guys, you saw (Will) Dissly last week, Nick Vannett, we want them on the field. The more they can be on the field, the better.”
(On how the hurry-up offense may help the run game)
“Well, I think anytime you’re in hurry-up offense, I think it helps in the sense that the defense gets a little bit more tired. They get worn down, they don’t know what you’re going to do, they don’t know if it’s run or pass – that’s always the situation, but I think more so than anything, you kind of dictate the plays and everything else. It’s kind of like basketball.
I always relate it to basketball. You get the rebound, some teams bring it up slow and some teams pick it up and move the ball up and down the court really fast. I believe the (Golden State) Warriors style of offense is always good. Those guys can really shoot and make plays. The only negative is that you’re now running up and down the field all day. In this physical type of game, it’s a little bit different but I think we’re definitely well conditioned mentally and physically for that. Sometimes, the game dictates itself. I think that last game, we had a lot of penalties that put us, like I said, 1st-and-20 and everything else. If we can just stay on schedule, we can do all the things that we want to do and how to do it and the things that make us, I believe, an elite offense.”
(On Brandon Marshall praising him and the Sports Illustrated article discrediting him) “Well, I think for me, I’ve always been focused on helping this football team win in whatever form or fashion. From the moment I got here, I remember May 11, 2012, that’s been my focus and that’s my sole focus, and it’s to do everything I can to make this football team a winning, championship caliber football team every year.
Ultimately, try to do everything I can to lay it on the line every play. The one thing I can always say about my play so far in my career, I’ve laid it on the line every play. That’s the only thing that I can do and just going to try to continue to lead a group of men in the sense that, ‘hey, we’re going to try to be the best in the world every time we step on the field,’ and how we prepare and how we practice and all the other stuff, like I’ve always said, I just ignore the noise. I focus on the things that I know and the things that I know helps prepare this football team to help to try to win as many games as possible. Everything else, I don’t really worry about too much.”
(On his confidence in Will Dissly)
“Well, I think Dissly’s been exciting all year. I mentioned him in training camp. He’s been exciting just to watch how athletic he is and how determined, how physical he is. You saw him catch that mid-cross the other day, him breaking tackles running up and down the field against a very, very good defense and making plays. He’s a special talent and it’s good that he’s on our football team. Being a rookie, you would never know.
He has a Pro Bowl type of mentality in terms of how he prepares. Really. When I say that, I mean that. He’s got a tremendous, tremendous aptitude for the game, he has a clear understanding of how to take care of his body, has clear understanding of how to get ready for the game and everything else and he’s a pretty exciting player. I’m looking forward to playing with him for years to come.”
(On how different it might be without Doug Baldwin on Monday)
“I’m not sure if they’ve announced any of that stuff or anything like that. I don’t really know that situation as much, but I know guys are ready to step in if that’s the case. I think that we got a lot of great receivers. We didn’t have Doug, unfortunately, in the preseason but fortunately for us, we got to get a lot of reps with other guys.
I know when Doug comes back in there, he’ll be ready to roll if that’s this week or next week or whenever that may be. He’ll do everything he can to prepare and be the superstar that he is, but I think that the great thing of it all is that we’ve got a lot of reps with other guys. Keenan (Reynolds) has got tremendous reps, Tyler (Lockett) has got tremendous reps, a lot of other guys (too) so it’s exciting.”
(On playing against Vic Fangio’s defenses)
“Well, Coach Fangio, he’s tremendous in the sense that he has so many different looks and he just knows how to call the game. He’s tough to go up against. We’ve had some great battles over the years in terms of great situational football.
He always coaches up his defense in terms of technique and fundamentals. They really know what they’re doing and where to be and you can tell that on film with the Bears. They’re always in the right spot at the right time. It’ll be a great challenge and I’m looking forward to it, to go on the road and play in Soldier Field again.”