Another area that wore down being left on the field by a Bears offense that managed just nine minutes and 23 seconds of possession time in the second half.
Pernell McPhee registered his first two sacks, both in the third quarter, at a key momentum tipping point. McPhee also got to Marshawn Lynch in the Seattle backfield on a crucial third down in the first quarter, blowing up a short-yardage play and allowing pursuit time to get to Lynch for a stop.
McPhee finished with seven tackles, six of them solo, two for losses and four additional hits on Russell Wilson in addition to the sacks.
“I just turned it loose,” McPhee said. “Our DBs did a great job of making him hold the ball and allowed me to turn it loose and make plays.”
Jared Allen got pressure on Wilson out of a speed rush, forcing a dump-off that failed to convert Seattle’s first third down. He, McPhee and Lamarr Houston also harassed Wilson on a third-quarter third down with a hit and near-sack to save field position for the offense. But Allen was pinned inside on a third-down cutback by rookie running back Thomas Rawls for a 21-yard run when the Bears desperately needed a stop.
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Shea McClellin delivered a one-on-one, open-field stop of tight end Jimmy Graham in the first quarter, contributing to a stopped drive when the Bears needed momentum. McClellin and Christian Jones each were credited with six tackles.
Eventually the linebackers and the rest of the defense simply wore down as the offense was able to stay on the field for only 16 plays in the second half. Rawls, after one carry for six yards in the first half, had 15 carries for 98 yards in the second.
One surprise came pregame when the Bears placed Willie Young on the inactive list in favor of Sam Acho, who contributes on all special teams while Young has delivered little in his specialty, pass rushing.
“I thought our defense hung in there,” said coach John Fox. “We fought hard in the first half.”
Moon's Grade: B