CHICAGO - The boys are back together again.
Just like they did back in college at Cal, Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett fed off each other against the Chicago Bears, providing Seattle with a consistent running attack for the first time this season.
The two combined for 111 yards and two touchdowns in their first game together as professionals.
Forsett led all runners with 67 yards on 10 carries, including a 9-yard score. And Lynch, in his first action since coming over in a trade from Buffalo, totaled 44 yards on 17 carries, including a 1-yard score.
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The Seahawks rushed for more than 100 yards for the second time this season. Seattle gained 109 yards against Denver in the second game.
“It’s been rough on me for the past two years,” Lynch said. “But to come over here for my first game out and get a win, get in the end zone and have a great performance from those guys up front is something that I feel I can build on, and hopefully we can become great.”
The two runners seemed to work well together because of their different running styles. Lynch served as the bruising runner who moved the pile but also could explode through the line for big gains, while Forsett used his shifty, darting running style to keep Chicago’s defense off balance.
“Just the type of runners we are, I think we’ve got a good combination going,” Forsett said. “We kind of feel when each other is getting hot. He’ll look over and say, ‘Hey, come on in.’ That’s the type of guy he is. We’re both selfless guys, and we just want to be productive for our team. It’s like old times again, and it feels good.”
The offensive line also did a nice job of creating running lanes. Seattle started the same five linemen for the second consecutive game, and they appear to be developing some chemistry.
HESTER TIES RECORD
With Chicago’s offense struggling against the Seahawks, Devin Hester momentarily got the Bears back into the game on an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown, making it 23-20 with 1:54 to play.
With no timeouts left, the Bears needed to recover the onside kick, but Seattle’s John Carlson recovered and Matt Hasselbeck took three kneel-downs to end the game.
It was Hester’s second punt return for a touchdown this season and the 13th time that he has scored a TD on a kick return, tying Brian Mitchell for the NFL record. Hester also equaled his longest career punt return.
Seahawks punter Jon Ryan was directed to kick the ball out of bounds, but didn’t. Hester’s ninth punt return for a touchdown is tied for second-best all-time.
Ryan took a vicious but clean hit when receiver Earl Bennett peeled back and blocked him on the return, opening up the sideline for Hester.
Ryan suffered a rib injury on the play but seemed OK in the locker room.
“It sucks when you get one returned on you like that, especially when you don’t remember it,” Ryan said about Hester’s 89-yard punt return.
Despite the returned punt, Ryan had a solid game, finishing with six punts inside the 20-yard line to help the Seahawks control field position.
LINE STOPS PEPPERS
Offensive lineman Russell Okung faced the daunting task of stopping Chicago defensive lineman Julius Peppers from getting to the quarterback.
The rookie from Oklahoma State received some help, but played well overall as the Seahawks held Chicago’s formidable defensive front to no sacks.
“Our line was great,” Hasselbeck said. “They came to play. They’re really playing like a unit. They’re playing together. We’ve got to eliminate our pre-snap penalties, but they did a nice job.”
Cornerback Kelly Jennings suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter and did not return. Defensive end Dexter Davis aggravated a hamstring injury in the first half and did not return. Jordan Babineaux’s safety was Seattle’s first since Josh Scobey tackled Arizona punter Mitch Berger in the end zone on Dec. 9, 2007. Lawyer Milloy is one sack away from joining the elite 20-20 club – 20 sacks and 20 interceptions. Milloy, who has 25 interceptions, had one sack Sunday to increase his career total to 19. He would become the 11 person to join the 20-20 club, which includes linebackers Tom Jackson, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, William Thomas, Donnie Edwards and Ray Lewis, safeties Rodney Harrison, LeRoy Butler, Brian Dawkins and Adrian Wilson and cornerback Ronde Barber. Deon Butler finished with four catches for 47 yards in his first start in place of Deion Branch, who was traded to New England. Defensive lineman Brandon Mebane was on the inactive list with a calf injury.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks