The Bears evened their record at 1-1 with a 24-17 win over the Seahawks Monday night at Soldier Field. Here are three things that stood out in the game:
(1) Fueled by a ferocious pass rush, the Bears defense dominated the Seattle offense, recording six sacks of quarterback Russell Wilson.
The Bears generated consistent pressure on Wilson, especially in the first half when they registered five sacks. They held the Seahawks to three points, five first downs and 80 total yards on 34 plays through the first three quarters and then sealed the win on cornerback Prince Amukamara's 49-yard interception return touchdown.
"It was pretty obvious how well the defense played," coach Matt Nagy said Tuesday. "They played special. They were able to create fumbles, have turnovers, keep the field position. They were relentless all night. The challenge to them was to play all four quarters, along with the offense, and I thought they followed through with that."
Through two weeks, the Bears lead the NFL with 10 sacks and are tied for first with five forced fumbles. On Monday night, they were once again led by outside linebacker Khalil Mack, who registered a strip/sack for the second straight game.
"He's shown now two weeks in a row what he can do," Nagy said. "When you're on the other side of the ball and you have a Khalil Mack that you've got to prep for, you saw the amount of times that they were trying to chip him and double-team him.
"That's what he's going to see. What does that do, though? That allows a Danny Trevathan to come out and have six tackles and two sacks, right? It allows the Eddie Jacksons and the Aaron Lynches and the [Eddie] Goldmans and all these other guys=the [Akiem] Hickes—everybody to step up their game. If they're going to double him, someone else is free. He raises the level of every player on defense."
(2) For the second straight game, the Bears offense drove the length of the field for a touchdown on its first possession before struggling on subsequent drives.
The first time the Bears touched the ball Monday night, Mitchell Trubisky engineered an impressive 10-play, 96-yard drive that the second-year quarterback capped with a touchdown on a 3-yard shovel pass to tight end Trey Burton.
But just like a week earlier in Green Bay, the offense sputtered after the first drive, mustering only a field goal on six possessions in the second and third quarters.
"I think it's where we're at in this offense right now," Nagy said. "When you have a first 15 [plays scripted], these guys have these plays the night before and so they're able to really hammer through and study them and see where we're at.
"To me, that's exciting, because they're able to study this stuff and really understand what they're supposed to do when it's given to them. It's kind of [having] the answers before the test, and they're producing. They've done it twice now."
The next step for the offense is to move the ball more consistently throughout the course of the game. But the good news Monday night was that, unlike the previous week against the Packers, the unit rebounded to later score a second touchdown, as Trubisky's 10-yard strike to rookie receiver Anthony Miller increased the Bears' lead to 17-3 on the second play of the fourth quarter.
(3) The Bears were determined to finish what they started Monday night and play a complete game, and they accomplished both of those goals.
After their 20-0 third-quarter lead in Green Bay turned into a 24-23 loss, the Bears vowed to finish Monday night's game, and they did just that.
Amukamara produced the key play, intercepting a Wilson pass and returning it 49 yards for a touchdown to put the Bears ahead 24-10 with 6:37 left in the fourth quarter. In a similar situation a week earlier, fellow cornerback Kyle Fuller dropped a would-be interception from Aaron Rodgers that could have sealed a win.
"Prince has done a great job," Nagy said. "He had a really good training camp until he had that injury. He's very studious out there. He's going to sit there and be very smart in regards to how he decides to pick and choose on certain plays.
"I think it was pretty savvy of him on how he let that happen a few times and then went ahead and made a pretty good decision in jumping that. I had a perfect angle on it. Once I saw he caught it, I felt good with him taking that there and finishing off for the touchdown. Well-deserving. Great player. And that was a huge play in the game, considering where that happened at."
Prime Photos: Bears vs. Seahawks 9.17.18
Bears photographer Jacob Funk selected his best photos from the Bears 2018 home opener against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football at Soldier Field.