SEATTLE -- There was a Super Bowl caliber offense on the field Friday night at CenturyLink Field, and it did not belong to the Chicago Bears.
To make matters worse, the Bears' defense didn't look much better than last year's unit, which was one of the worst in the NFL. Oh, and Bears special teams allowed a 59-yard punt return that would have been a touchdown had the Seahawks' Earl Thomas not been brought down by punter Pat O'Donnell. Seattle's Percy Harvin also returned the opening kickoff 46 yards before he was tackled by Bears kicker Robbie Gould. That was a good indication of how the entire first half would go.
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It all added up to a lopsided 34-6 victory by the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks over a Bears team that didn't look like it belonged on the same field. Most starters on both sides played until halftime. By then it was 31-0 Seahawks.
"I've been on a team that lost four in a row (in the preseason) and was in the championship, so we've got to take it all in perspective," said Bears coach Marc Trestman. "I think we're humble enough to know that we've got work to do. We've got to clean up our football in all three phases."
On the offense's first possession, Brandon Marshall dropped a short flip and Alshon Jeffery had a long toss on his fingertips that was knocked away by Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell, saving a likely touchdown. Quarterback Jay Cutler's passes also wereo too high on a pair of targets to the 6-foot-3 Jeffery.
On the Bears' second possession, veteran Josh Morgan helped make his case for the vacant No. 3 wide receiver spot with a 17-yard catch and run late in the first quarter, which the Seahawks dominated in time of possession 10:48-4:12. Morgan added a 23-yard reception in the second quarter.
The Bears' defense frequently pressured Russell Wilson, especially defensive ends Lamarr Houston and Willie Young. But the slippery Seahawks quarterback was able to elude the rush and find secondary receivers or keep it for positive yardage, including a 7-yard TD run that put Seattle ahead 14-0 with 1:09 left in the first quarter.
After the Seahawks found the end zone on their third straight possession to open a 21-0 lead, Cutler suffered his first 2 sacks of the preseason. The Seahawks quickly made it 4 touchdowns on 4 possessions for a 28-0 bulge on Wilson's 7-yard pass to wide-open running back Christine Michael with 1:55 left in the half.
"We need to look at what happened early on that put us in a hole," said Cutler, who completed 12 of 20 passes for 157 yards with 1 interception for a 64.0 passer rating. "We had a few mishaps, and offensively, they were rolling pretty good, so we had to play catch up, and that set us back."
Even when the Bears' offense got close, as it did on its final possession of a forgettable first half, the result was embarrassing. Cutler and the offense finally heated up, and he completed 5 straight passes, the last of which was initially ruled a 23-yard TD catch by tight end Martellus Bennett, just his second catch of the preseason.
But replay review revealed Bennett was out of bounds a half-yard shy of the goalline, which proved too far for the Bears' offense on this night.
After Shaun Draughn's weak effort lost a yard, Cutler found tight end Dante Rosario in the end zone for an apparent touchdown. Away from the play, Marshall was flagged for offensive pass interference, a questionable-at-best call. Moved back to the 12-yard line, Cutler threw behind a well-covered Morgan just shy of the goalline, but the ball never got close to him.
Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane picked off the toss and returned it 40 yards, setting up Steven Hauschka's 59-yard field goal as the half ended, mercifully for the Bears.
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