While you can only read so much into the preseason, the Seahawks did their best to show they are ready to make a run at repeating. The third preseason game is the best indication of how ready the starters are, and the Seattle players looked more prepared than Chicago’s. At the end of the third quarter they were up 34-0, with just the end of the depth chart eventually putting up points for the Bears.
Despite the lopsided score, there was still reason to be optimistic in Chicago and reason for concern in Seattle. One of the Bears’ biggest weaknesses last year was their defensive line, which in this game was their biggest strength. On the other hand, the Seahawks’ offensive line was the weakness last year, and that could remain true in 2014.
Let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy performances.
Chicago Bears – Performances of Note
Stephen Paea, DT, +2.3
Breakdown: He was very involved in the run game in the first half facing the Seahawks’ centers. There were a number of times where he was able to push back the center disrupting the running lane and forcing backs to make a cut and change directions. He had gone seven straight games including the preseason with one or fewer pressure, but he recorded two in this one.
Signature Stat: He recorded two run stops on just 13 run plays, giving him a Run Stop Percentage of 15.4%.
Matthew Mulligan, TE, -2.3
Breakdown: The Bears are in need of a blocking backup tight end behind Martellus Bennett, and Mulligan was in the lead going into this game. Early in the game he had trouble blocking Bennett’s brother Michael Bennett, among others. He played late into the fourth quarter which helped him redeem his grade.
Signature Play: Q2, 5:28. Pass rusher O’Brien Schofield is able to quickly run inside Mulligan giving him a straight path to Cutler for an 11-yard sack.
Dennis Roland, RT, +3.0
Breakdown: All five members of the Bears’ backup offensive line received positive grades in this game, but none shined brighter than Dennis Roland. On 22 pass blocking snaps he didn’t allow a pressure, and he had some strong snaps in the run game as well. If there was an injury to one of the starting offensive tackles, Roland might be the man to step up.
Signature Play: Q4, 6:46 to go. On a pitch to the right, he was pull blocking. He met his man with enough momentum to instantly push him to the ground. Unfortunately for the Bears, another blocker wasn’t as successful which hurt the outcome of the play.
Seattle Seahawks – Performances of Note
Russell Wilson, QB, +4.0
Breakdown: Wilson looked in midseason form already with an NFL Passer Rating of 140.0 in this game. He had four completions to Jermaine Kearse and another three to Percy Harvin; all of which went for 12 yards or more. The first four drives of the game all went for touchdowns with two of them coming in the air.
Signature Stat: In this game he had an Accuracy Percentage of 88.9% after completing 15 of 20 passes. Two of those incompletions were thrown away, while another was dropped.
Justin Britt, RT, -5.1
Breakdown: The second-round rookie is the front runner to be the starting right tackle this year, but was not ready to take on the likes of Lamarr Houston, Jeremiah Ratliff and Lance Briggs. While he didn’t allow a sack or hit, he allowed a lot of pressure. He struggled with defensive linemen going inside of him, as well as blocks on the second level.
Signature Stat: Over the first two weeks of the preseason, only one offensive tackle allowed more than six pressures. In this game Britt allowed seven.
Tharold Simon, CB, +1.0
Breakdown: The 2013 fifth-round pick had his second straight week with good play in coverage. In the preseason he has allowed just 42.9% of passes thrown his way to be caught, has a pass defense, and has allowed just 8 yards after the catch. In this game he was targeted on just three of 19 plays in coverage. His only catch allowed was a defensive stop.
Signature Stat: 6:08 in the 3rd, he helped prevent a catch, was in position to stop the receiver before the first down had the catch been made, and had the courtesy to help the receiver up after the play.
PFF Game Ball
For the first of potentially several times, Russell Wilson did a lot for this offense and was by far the single biggest factor in the victory.
Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke