Chicago Bears

Bears Beat Seahawks On Byrd’s Epic Catch

Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Bears took down the Seahawks 25-24 on Sunday. Damiere Byrd made a phenomenal catch to give the Bears a lead with just over a minute remaining, and the defense held on for the win.

Take a Bow, Damiere Byrd

There is a lot to talk about after this one, but we have to start with the catch that Damiere Byrd made to give the Bears a 25-24 lead. Nick Foles did a nice job of scrambling to extend the play, but I don’t think anyone expected Byrd to come down with the ball at the back of the endzone. He was surrounded by Seahawks, but out-jumped all of them.

He caught the ball at its high point and somehow managed to get two feet in bounds. As he came down with the catch, two Seahawks’ defenders were draped over his legs, tackling him out of the back of the end zone. But Byrd held on. The possession of the catch was never in question. He also snuck both feet in, and the Bears took the lead.

Playing Like a Team With Nothing to Lose

The old cliche of having nothing to lose truly was the case in this one. While it is kind of “en vogue” to go for two instead of sending the game into overtime – see the Baltimore Ravens – it still is a risky play. Nonetheless, the Bears took their chance against the Seahawks in the snow.

I also thought the Bears threw the ball more than I expected. Foles was a respectable 24-35 for 250 yards and a touchdown. Given the weather conditions, I thought the running game would have been more effective, but David Montgomery was held to just 45 yards on 21 carries. He and Khalil Herbert did contribute with a touchdown apiece, though, so the running game at least had its moments against the Seahawks. Regardless, Nick Foles played with confidence. I can distinctly remember a few passes early in the game where Foles hit his receivers through very small windows. The lack of pressure to win the game, combined with a sub-par opponent, led the Bears to feel comfortable moving the ball through the air.

It Was a Clean Game Between Bears and Seahawks

The Bears trailed the Seahawks 7-0 after one quarter. They were able to move the ball decently, but their second drive of the game stalled after they went for it on 4th and goal. The Bears did tie the game early in the second quarter but never led in this one until they took the lead late.

The Bears kept the game close on defense, and the offense moved the ball. However, the Seahawks were able to do the same. Rashaad Penny rushed for 135 yards and had some key first down runs. Oddly enough, it was somewhat of a back-and-forth game. Chicago would get within a score, and the Seahawks would answer to keep them at an arm’s length away.

Of course only until the fourth quarter, when the Bears shut out the Seahawks. The point is, there weren’t any glaring mistakes that led to turnovers for either team. The game was a battle in the trenches, and the winner was the team that was more clutch.

Fourth Quarter Fortune

Perhaps the turning point for the Bears’ chances was with about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. The defense held the Seahawks to a 39-yard field goal attempt. Jason Myers pushed it wide left, and the game remained 24-17. The Bears would turn the ball over on downs on their next drive, and that would have likely ended the game had Myers connected on his field goal.

Instead, the Bears’ defense held one more time and Seattle had to punt. It was then Nick Foles’ time again, with just under three minutes to go. He led a very methodical drive down the field. He capped off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham, who seems to do nothing else but score touchdowns in the red zone. This set the scene for Damiere Byrd to give us potentially the highlight of the week. In case you missed it, here it is for your viewing pleasure.

“If only they could play like this all of the time…”

Inevitably Bears fans will wonder why they couldn’t play more consistently like this throughout the whole season. But I am again reminded that this team was playing with no pressure. They could afford to go for the win at the end because they have already been eliminated from playoff contention.

Still, we can enjoy some of these stats from a gutsy game well-played. Although they were slightly out-gained in total yards, the Bears beat the Seahawks in time of possession. They also had zero turnovers in a game with inclement weather. Additionally, they focused on their weapons on offense to move the ball; Darnell Mooney had 5 catches on 9 targets, and Montgomery was utilized as both a rusher and a receiver. Foles used his tight ends as well, and the Bears’ offense did not look nearly as inept as it has at many times this season.

Robert Quinn Sack Record Update

The Bears host the Giants next week and Robert Quinn will have a great chance to set the Bears’ all-time single-season sack record. After getting to Russell Wilson once today, Quinn is 17.0 sacks for the season, just .5 behind Richard Dent.

Final note: It is probably too late for Nagy to save his job, but the annals of history should reflect that this team played hard for him. They showed a lot of guts and pulled out the win.

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