Even in the persistent mist and intermittent sunshine, Seattle looks lovely with its evergreen trees lining the horizon and the ocean in the distance, a reminder just how flat and boring Chicago can be.
The tugboats and stacked shipping containers and boom cranes of the industrial corridor look strangely exotic to this Midwestern boy. OK, so I don't get out much.
The Bears are 1-4 and the Seahawks are 4-1. Symmetry rules.
The 10-point spread on this game is the only double-digit line on the board this week. But the real question is when the multiple-concussed Chris Chandler will be knocked out of the game. The over-under up here is mid-second quarter, which means the dawning of the Rex Grossman era starts today. Maybe.
Marty Booker and Anthony Thomas are out today. Translation: With the only two working parts on the shelf, it'll be a long day for the Bears' offense.
We'll have an approximation of football soon
Now this is how you build a new stadium. This place is awesome. The trellises on the roof are something out an English football ground. Brilliant! Cheeky! Actually, I'm not certain I know what a trellis is. But whatever you call the support structure of the roof here, it's cool.
Mike Brown calls tails and it turns up heads. This one's over folks.
The Seahawks will receive as two pip-squeaks from the pre-game pee-wee football game trot out to hand the ball and tee to referee Tony Corrente. Game on. Edinger's kick is short as usual; Maurice Morris takes it at the 15 and the Seahawks will start at the 42. Matt Hasselback hits former Bear Bobby Engram wide open for a 15-yard gain. Do the Bears ever show up early? Shaun Alexander picks up a couple off right tackle. Alexander then catches a screen and gets 7. Third and a long 2. They're short. Josh Brown's 50-yard kick is wide right. According to some new rule the Bears will start at the spot the kick. As opposed to what, I don't know.
Chandler changes the play at the line and then fumbles the snap. Sweet start. Dez White, today's No. 1 receiver with Booker out, catches an 8-yard pass. David Terrell jumps before the snap and we've got a third-and-11 on the first series. Anthony Simmons comes on a linebacker blitz and plants Chandler into the ersatz grass. Grossman start warming up that arm. The first of what promises to be many Brad Maynard punts goes 50 yards.
Love the TV timeouts. Just love 'em.
Alexander up the middle for 3. A Seahawk is hurt, which means another TV timeout. Darrel Jackson catches a ball for 10 yards. Engram catches another one for 7 yards and is hit hard by Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. Urlacher had some words for his former teammate. Alexander busts one for 20 yards. The Bears can't stop the pass or the run early. Hasselbeck takes a shot at Jackson down the near sideline but it's out of bounds. Alexander runs for a few more, tackled by "Urlicker," according to the pressbox announcer. Oh, no. There's a receiver un-covered. Bears call timeout. Meanwhile, the Bears have -2 total yards on offense. The defense isn't doing much better. Michael Haynes shows up with a coverage sack for a loss of a yard. The Bears will take a sack anyway they can. Seahawks punt and R.W. McQuarters makes a fair catch at the 12.
Phillip Daniels just walked to the locker room. There are some major issues with the game clock. Let's go, people. It's a new stadium.
Adrian Peterson runs up the middle for not much, maybe 4 yards. Holding on the defense. First down Bears. Peterson is gobbled up at the line. Chandler hits Peterson for a short pass and Peterson fails to break a tackle. Gain of 5. Linebacker blitz again and Chandler is nailed. But he got it off to David Terrell for 13 yards and the first. That looked like a real offensive play there. Perhaps, the Bears' first of the season. Chandler dumps a quicky to White and the Bears get 15 more for a face mask penalty on Marcus Trufant. The Bears goes five wide--and Chandler runs it up the middle. Did John Shoop just call a Kordell Stewart play? What the? Third and 3. Five receivers wide again and Chandler throws over the wrong shoulder of of Desmond Clark. Edinger comes on for a 50-yarder and it's good.
Bears 3, Seahawks 0
That is the Bears' sixth first-quarter point all year.
Ahmad Merritt is down. He fell on his head covering the kick. He's up and walking.
Hasselbeck hits fullback Mack Strong for a few and the Alexander picks up a few more. Is this first quarter taking forever or what? Charles Tillman is called for defensive holding, giving Seattle a first down at midfield. Strong picks up 9 and we finally get to the end of the quarter.
Alexander picks up a yard for the Seahawks and the first. Hasselbeck takes a shot at Jackson in the end zone and R-Dub is flagged for interference. Ball on the Bears' 1. Alexander punches it in. A nine-play, 65-yard drive, aided by three Bears penalties.
Seahawks 7, Bears 3
"Prior the signal of a false start, false start on the offense," referee Tony Corrente just announced on a Seahawks penalty. "Please re-set the game clock and my brain to 9 a.m. this morning." No biggie, Hasselbeck throws one up for grabs in the corner of the end zone and Engram out-jumps R-Dubs for a touchdown.
Seahawks 14, Bears 3
Peterson finally makes a decent gain, 10 yards up the middle. And another, this one for 9 yards. Chris Villarrial is out with a sprained knee. Not good. Yo, Adrian. Another first by Peterson. The Bears find success on the ground and then throw two straight wide-receiver screens for nothing. Peterson comes back and gets the first with 10 yards over the middle. Tackled by Tongue. Peterson then tackled by Normann Hand. Jimmy Elbow enters the game for Seattle. Chandler takes a shot long at White, who's covered. Third-and-7 from the 27 coming up after a timeout. Chandler hits White, who actually breaks a tackle and stretches for the first. Somehow the Bears are moving the ball. But they're into the red zoom of doom now, the place Bears' drives go to die. Peterson runs for a few and the Bears let 15 seconds run off the clock to get to the two-minute warning. I believe the real Seahawk just escaped the stadium. There he goes. Freedom! I wouldn't blame it. Some guy ran onto the field during pre-game introductions with the poor bird clutching onto his arm. White made a great move to get open near the goal line but then stumbled and the ball sailed by. Chandler then tries to thread one to White, but it's broken up by Trufant. Close play there. Could've been interference. Edinger's field goal is good.
Seahawks 14, Bears 6
Hasselbeck runs for 5 yards and then calls timeout with :52 on the clock. Koren Robinson beats Tillman for 29 yards and the Seahawks are in Bears' territory. The Bears blitz Mike Brown, and Hasselbeck hits Robinson, who shakes Tillman so bad the rookie falls over. 32-yard gain. Hasselbeck tries for Engram in the end zone but it hits him in the facemask and Brown picks it off. The Bears take a knee and the half ends.
The Bears start at the 42 after a decent return by Merritt. Razzle-dazzle alert! A flea-flicker and Chandler throws deep to Terrell...but it's broken up. Peterson loses a yard. Third-and-11. Chandler's hand is hit as he throws, the ball floats into the air and Desmond Clark makes a one-handed catch. He's short of the first. Punt.
From his own 12, Hasselbeck throws incomplete pass and then hits Robinson with a short pass to bring up third-and-3. Engram grabs a first. Briggs catches Alexander from behind for no gain. Another third down. Mike Green blitzes and Hasselbeck throws it away.
McQuarters misplays the punt like a little league right-fielder and the scramble is on. The Bears recover somewhere inside the 10.
Here we go. Peterson is stuffed for no gain. Maybe a yard. Peterson is then yanked down for a loss of 4 by linebacker Randall Godfrey. Chandler chucks one long to rookie Justin Gage but it's too long. Punt coming out of the end zone. Very dangerous. Seattle takes over at the Bears' 45.
Alexander picks up 4 before running into rookies Briggs and Tillman. R-Dubs comes on a corner blitz and Hasselbeck finds Engram, who makes a nice sliding catch at the 29. Seattle has run into trouble. Alfonso Boone takes down a scrambling Hasselbeck and then Bryan Robinson sacks him on the next play. Forty-five yard field goal? Good.
Seahawks 17, Bears 6
Credit Mike Green with that sack, not Robinson.
From the 26, Chandler throws to White but it's short. Chandler was knocked down again. But he's up! Clark then picks up 7 yards. Gage then makes what I believe is his first NFL catch for a first down at the 38. Chandler throws behind Gage, who makes a great one-handed catch. But he's ruled out of bounds. Third and 9. Clark is tackled from behind by Willie Williams after a 6-yard gain. Fourth-and-3 and we've got a fake! Rookie running back Brock Forsey dives for a first. Peterson bounces off one guy but then is gang-tackled behind the line. Well, they gave him 3 yards. That's nice of them. Terrell grabs two balls and picks up the first on the second. Pushed out at the Seattle 29. That ends the quarter.
A sweep by Peterson and Stanley Pritchett drop out of the backfield brings up third-and-11. Chandler throws to White for 2 yards on third-and-11. Edinger, the Bears' lone offensive weapon, hits from 40 yards.
Seahawks 17, Bears 9
Dustin Lyman is stacked up after a 6-yard catch. Rabih Abdullah picks up 4 for the first. After a 3-yard pickup by White, Chandler under-throws Terrell bringing up third-and-7. Rookie Bobby Wade, active for the first time since Week 1, fights for the first before taking a lick from Tongue. Sorry but it had to be done. Peterson and Clark are both out of the game with injuries. Pritchett drops a pass and Abdullah loses a yard. Third and 11 and Chandler comes up huge with a great throw to Gage for 21 yards at the 22. Abdullah makes about 10 moves to get 5 yards, bringing up third and 1. Pritchett powers forward and it'll be close. Short by an inch. Must. Go. For. It. Chandler keeps it and it'll depend on the spot. Give him 2 yards and a first at the 11. Chandler goes to Terrell in the end zone and Terrell draws a flag. Ball on the 1. Pirtchett bowls in for the score. And they'll go for 2. Terrell was un-guarded and Seattle has to call timeout. Here we go. This is it. Out of the I, much movement and finally Chandler reverses direction and dives in followed by the umpire and Mike Gandy. What a train wreck, but it's all tied up.
Bears 17, Seahawks 17
There are Bears fans here. Who knew?
Chandler is on the sideline grabbing his neck. Tough run there for a 38-year-old.
Just over 4 minutes left and the Seahawks will start at their own 28. Ballgame here, folks. Hasselbeck takes off for 7 yards. Someone named Itula Mili makes a catch. I'm told he's a tight end. Alexander runs for 9. After a 30-minute two-minute warning, Alexander picks up 14 into field-goal range. Hasselbeck's throw then goes through Jackson's hands. Alexander runs left and this could be a hold. Illegal use of the hands to the grill of Alex Brown. But Tillman gives it right back as he's flagged for bumping Robinson before the pass got there. First down and back in field-goal range at the 25. Forget the field goal. Alexander makes a great move around the left end and sprints 25 yards into the end zone. Briggs was there at the line but couldn't make the tackle.
Seahawks 24, Bears 17
After Azumah took the kick to the 26, Dez White has the ball bounce right off his chest. This one hits Gage in the hands and he drops it. Hey, at least the clock stops. Trufant picks it off, ending the game.
That's it, folks. The Bears almost made it close but they drop to 1-5.
Final: Seahawks 24, Bears 17