Bears ‘stop barking and start biting' in 24-17 win over Seahawks

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As has been said in this space on more than one prior occasion, it is not NFL important to be an artistic success, just a success. And after all of the talk and re-talk about specifics from the loss to the Green Bay Packers, “it was time to stop barking,” said coach Matt Nagy, “and start biting.”

Coming off one of the franchise’s more demoralizing losses of the past decade, the Bears defense broke open a perilously close game with two fourth-quarter takeaways, one a pick-six by cornerback Prince Amukamara, to key a 24-17 win over a Seattle Seahawks team that at times seemed more like gum on the Bears shoes that the two-time Super Bowl team of just a few years ago.

Regardless, the win was the first in the head-coaching career of Nagy, helped wash away any lingering foul taste left from the collapse in Green Bay, and earned Nagy a game ball from his team.

“It feels good,” Nagy said. “For me, though, it's really more about –  and I mean this – it's just more about us, and it's just so neat to start here for my first meeting, team meeting, and meeting all the guys and seeing us grow, and so I'm just really looking forward to the future of this team, and I'm anxious to see how we respond to not only tough losses like Green Bay but now do we respond to a good win for us.”

For all of the halting steps that saw the offense squander a handful of big-play opportunities, the Bears in the end were able to draw even in the NFC North with Green Bay (1-1) and allowed them to avoid losing their first two games for the first time in four years.

Four quarters, if you please

The mantra coming out of Green Bay was the need to play a four-quarter game. That happened, in the form of the Bears scoring offensive and defensive touchdowns in the fourth quarter after shutting down last Sunday late against the Packers.

“That’s just a glimpse,” said linebacker Danny Trevathan, who led the Bears with 8 tackles, including 2 sacks and a forced fumble. “We’re just getting started. We finally put together four quarters, although we could’ve done things a lot better… . But it’s a start.”

And a finish, which was ultimately the critical point, the one missing in Green Bay.

The issue was very much in question until deep into the final quarter. The once-mighty Seahawks, losers in five of their last six dating back to last were held to 80 yards through three quarters and opened a 17-3 lead two plays in to the fourth quarter on a 10-yard TD pass from Trubisky to Anthony Miller.

“We were just marching down the field with a run game,” Trubisky said, “a little play-action roll out and Anthony ran a great route and that's what we've seen all training camp, all practice, and he made a great catch, so I just put it where it had to be.

“When you have all 11 guys on the same page, that's what happens within this offense, so we've just got to keep doing that and keep finding ways to score in the red zone, so I thought that was a great play for that situation.”

It did not finish the Seahawks. Quite the opposite. Seattle nearly matched its yardage total to that point with a 75-drive ending in a Russell Wilson TD pass to wideout Tyler Lockett over cornerback Kyle Fuller.

The Seahawks then reached their 46 after a three-and-out stop of the Bears. But cornerback Prince Amukamara, without an interception in three calendar years, stepped in front of running back Rashaad Penny in the left flat and gathered in Wilson’s pass near midfield and scored the first touchdown of his eight-year NFL career.

Seattle managed a final score on a two-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to tight end Will Dissly with 14 seconds remaining. The Bears recovered an onside kick and the matter was settled.

“We’re just going to keep growing,” Nagy said. “The last two games, we had the difficulty there in the third and fourth quarter against Green Bay, but for the most part right now our defense is playing fast and flying around. They helped us out offensively. They helped the offense out.

“There are going to be times when the offense is going to help the defense out. In the end, the thing that matters, and that's it.”

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