By Dan Wiederer
SEATTLE — On the Seahawks’ final touchdown of the first half Friday night, quarterback Russell Wilson might as well have been playing against a Pop Warner team in walk-through mode.
After faking a handoff to running back Christine Michael, Wilson pivoted to his right and came right back to Michael with a dump pass on the right side of the field that went for an effortless 7-yard touchdown on third-and-1.
Michael was never covered out of the backfield and never touched on his way to the end zone. And for the Bears, that was the defense’s night in a nutshell.
Another third down, another blown play.
On the way to a dominant 31-0 halftime lead, the Seahawks went 7-for-7 on third down. They also moved the chains on a third-and-4 snap when defensive end Willie Young was flagged for encroachment.
Wilson went 4-for-4 for 61 yards and two touchdowns on third down. He also scored on a 7-yard run on third-and-goal in the first quarter, freezing the Bears defense in coverage and racing to the left side of the end zone untouched.
Of all the troubling things to emerge for Mel Tucker’s defense — the shoddy tackling, the shaky coverage, the 250 first-half yards allowed — the inability to get off the field on third down proved most debilitating and will require detailed assessment before the Sept. 7 opener against the Bills.