FOOTBALL

This Mr. Wilson is a real menace to the shell-shocked Bears

2012-12-02T18:15:00Z 2012-12-19T21:21:17Z This Mr. Wilson is a real menace to the shell-shocked BearsAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219-933-4154) nwitimes.com
December 02, 2012 6:15 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Russell Wilson turned 24 years old on Thursday and just bought his first razor.

He was the 75th overall pick in the NFL draft and, at this rate, could soon have his own holiday in Seattle.

The 5-foot-11 rookie quarterback from Wisconsin has the poise of a heart surgeon, feet good enough to Dance with the Stars, and a Thor-like right arm.

Sunday, he put them all together.

"Never judge the will of a man," Bears' offensive tackle Jonathan Scott warned. "He did a good job and he won. Congrats to him.

"The big thing is, we've got to lick our wounds and get better and win next week."

Wilson had just led the Seahawks on scoring drives of 97 and 80 yards in the closing minutes of an inspiring 23-17 overtime win. He completed 23 of 37 passes for two touchdowns and a 104.9 QB rating.

The youngster also had nine rushes for 71 yards (7.9 yards per rush) to preserve several late drives.

"They've got a good offense," said running back Matt Forte. "Their quarterback is really good; a mobile quarterback who can get out of the pocket, break contain, and make plays.

"He's going to be a good player in this league."

None of this should matter to the Bears (8-4), who continue having concerns like allowing Seattle (7-5) to pile up 459 yards, convert 53 percent of its third downs (8 of 15) and average 6.5 yards per play.

The Bears have lost three of their last four meetings in Chicago.

Seattle scratched its way to a 17-14 lead with :32 left in regulation on Wilson's 14-yard TD pass to former Notre Dame star Golden Tate, capping a 12-play, 97-yard drive.

The Bears tied it on Brandon Marshall's 56-yard miracle grab of a Jay Cutler throw to set up Robbie Gould's 46-yard field goal as time expired.

Wilson gathered his offense around, smacking them on their backsides, pumping his fist, yelling encouragement, then confidently trotting onto the field.

The result was a 12-play, 80-yard, game-clinching drive with Wilson and Sidney Rice driving a dagger deep into the heart of Bears players and the 62,264 fans left in shock at Soldier Field.

"That hasn't happened to us very often around here," said a somber Bears' coach Lovie Smith. "Terrible job I did getting our football team ready.

"Thank God we have more games to play to get this bad taste out of our mouths."

Forget the Seahawks' 6-5 record coming in. All five losses were by seven points or less.

They had the league's No. 3 kickoff returner in Leon Washington (31.9 yards per return), No. 3 rusher in Marshawn Lynch (1,051 yards), No. 1 rookie scoring quarterback in Wilson (17 touchdowns) and the rookie sack leader in defensive end Bruce Irvin (7).

The Bears' offensive line did a respectable enough job, allowing Cutler to throw for 233 yards and touchdowns to Earl Bennett and Forte for a 119.6 QB rating.

On Bennett's leaping catch at the goal line, he had his feet taken out from under him by Brandon Browner, did a complete somersault in midair, then crashed to the ground.

A wide-open Bennett later bobbled and dropped a Cutler pass at the Seattle 17. He did not play the second half because of a suspected concussion.

Brian Urlacher (hamstring) and Tim Jennings (shoulder) also suffered late injuries.

"We have to roll with the guys that we got," Cutler said.

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