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Seahawks Implode Amid Bears Second Half Flurry, Suffer 25-24 Defeat

The Seahawks held the lead for most of regulation, but the inability to score any insurance points in the second half came back to haunt them as the Bears officially eliminated them from playoff contention with a two-point dagger in the closing moments.

Officially eliminated from the playoffs and reaching double-digit losses for the first time since 2009, the Seahawks squandered two different 10-point leads in stunning fashion, allowing Nick Foles to connect with Damiere Byrd for a remarkable two-point conversion to secure the Bears 25-24 comeback win at Lumen Field.

In a losing effort, Russell Wilson threw for 181 yards and tossed a pair of touchdowns to DK Metcalf and Gerald Everett, while Rashaad Penny paced Seattle's ground game with 135 yards on 16 carries and scored a touchdown. Defensively, Carlos Dunlap and Rasheem Green each had a pair of sacks and Bobby Wagner set a new franchise record for tackles in a single season.

Here are five quick takeaways from the Seahawks' latest ugly loss:

1. After a successful first half offensively, Seattle went cold once again for most of the final two quarters.

In the first half, ironically when the snow came down the hardest, the Seahawks reversed a few troubling trends while building a 10-point halftime lead. Mixing in chunk plays through the air and on the ground while converting 50 percent of their third downs, Wilson orchestrated three scoring drives of seven or more plays. He tossed a beautifully thrown 41-yard strike to Metcalf, while a pair of third down conversions to Gerald Everett led to Penny's touchdown to cap off a methodical 12-play drive. The team tacked on a Jason Myers' field goal running two minute tempo to close out the half.

Unfortunately, with the exception of a 24-yard touchdown pass to Everett that pushed the lead back to 24-14 late in the third quarter, the second half reverted back to how most of the 2021 season has played out offensively for Seattle. The team's other four offensive possessions resulted in a pair of punts, a missed field goal by Myers, and a game-ending turnover on downs. Wilson threw for just 49 yards in the final two quarters combined, the Seahawks didn't convert a single one of their four third down opportunities, and they controlled the ball for less than 10 minutes after halftime. That's not a winning formula and the inability to tack on insurance points late prevented them from holding on for the win.

2. Rashaad Penny's late season revival continues with another impressive outing on the ground.

While bright spots have been few and far between as the Seahawks have slumped to a 10-loss season, Penny's resurgence has been a sight to behold and bolstered a once-struggling run game behind an improving offensive line. For a second time in three weeks, the former first-round pick eclipsed 125 rushing yards and averaged nearly 8.0 yards per carry, torching the Bears with several explosive runs and breaking numerous tackles along the way.

Penny got off to a quick start, following an outstanding lead block by tackle Duane Brown on a guard/tackle counter and dragging a pair of tacklers for a 25-yard gain. Three plays later, Wilson hit Metcalf in stride to give Seattle an early 7-0 advantage. Two drives later, he made a slick cutback near the goal line from three yards out to score his third touchdown in as many weeks. After the Bears cut the lead to 17-14 early in the third quarter, Penny struck again, following Brown's block through the hole and throwing a stiff arm on a cornerback before finally being dragged down after a 32-yard gain. He would later add another 32-yard run that pushed Seattle deep into Chicago territory, only for the drive to sputter after Wilson took a 13-yard sack from Robert Quinn and conclude with Myers' devastating missed field goal.

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Though he needs to keep proving himself in the final two games, Penny has made a strong case for his return in 2022 as a potential starting back for the Seahawks with over 350 rushing yards since Week 14.

3. Seattle's defense couldn't overcome third down problems and gave up too many explosives to win.

All season long, the Seahawks defensive mantra has been "bend but don't break," and they have excelled at doing so for the most part. In the first half on Sunday, that held true, as they turned the Bears away at the goal line without any points when linebacker Jordyn Brooks stopped David Montgomery two yards short on 4th and Goal. But with Foles at the controls, Chicago found success moving the ball on third down in the opening two quarters, converting on four out of seven opportunities. Unfortunately, that proved to be a sign of things to come out of the break.

First, after being shut down on their first possession of the half, Foles quietly marched the Bears to the red zone and rookie running back Khalil Herbert shot through a huge hole for a 20-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 17-14. Seattle answered back with Wilson finding Everett on a roll out bootleg, only for Chicago to respond with a 13-play, 63-yard drive featuring three pass plays of 15 or more yards and drawing closer with a Cairo Santos field goal. With the Seahawks unable to score on their next two possessions, Foles went back to work, dinking and dunking quickly down the field before finding tight end Jimmy Graham for a 15-yard score. Struggling to make tackles in open field and allowing receivers and tight ends to pick up big chunks of yardage after the catch, the Seahawks allowed the Bears to rack up over 200 yards of total offense and 18 points in the final two quarters, ultimately failing to finish.

4. Carlos Dunlap and Rasheem Green brought the hammer all afternoon rushing Nick Foles.

Coverage and tackling issues doomed Seattle defensively, but the pass rush can't be blamed for not putting enough heat on Foles. In total, led by impressive performances by Dunlap and Green, the Seahawks sacked the veteran signal caller four times and amassed nine quarterback hits. He was under duress most of the afternoon, forced off his initial read and running for his life searching for receivers.

Coming off a 3.0 sack performance against the Rams on Tuesday night, Dunlap remained scorching hot off the edge, abusing former Seahawk tackle Germain Ifedi and the pair of Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom at left tackle. He nearly forced a turnover late in the second quarter when he hit Foles' arm as he threw and officials initially ruled it a fumble recovery for Seattle before overturning the call. He added a pair of sacks in the fourth quarter, narrowly missing out on a strip sack that was recovered by Ifedi in the red zone on Chicago's final scoring drive. Feeding off of Dunlap's success, Green also pitched in a pair of sacks, including bringing Foles down to thwart a promising drive early in the fourth quarter that forced the Bears to settle for a field goal.

5. A rare off day on special teams cost the Seahawks in a tight contest.

For most of the season, Seattle has employed one of the best all-around special teams units in the NFL. But on Sunday, the group picked the worst time to turn in its worst game of the season, ultimately giving Chicago 10 points in the process. First, after the Seahawks went three-and-out early in the second quarter deep in their own territory, Daz Newsome returned the ensuing punt from Michael Dickson 28 yards down to the Seahawks 15-yard line. The breakdown in coverage put the defense in a terrible spot and moments later, Montgomery scored from a yard out to tie the game.

Then midway through the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had a prime opportunity to go for the jugular and put the Bears away for good. A 32-yard scamper by Penny advanced them to Chicago's 14-yard line with 9:27 to go, but two plays later, Wilson took a 13-yard sack to Quinn on third down, sending Myers in for a field goal. From 39 yards out, Myers' kick sailed wide left, leaving his team empty handed and allowing the Bears a chance to still tie or win the game. Those three points proved to be the difference ultimately in a season-defining defeat.