SEATTLE -- Bloodied and bandaged, Rex Grossman now seems baffled about his fight for the Bears' quarterback job.
Grossman started and completed 9 of 15 passes with one interception in a harried, sputtering quarter and a half before Kyle Orton led Chicago to a field goal during a crisp two-minute drill in the Bears' 29-26 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.
Now he hopes this forgettable night won't matter so much in deciding who starts Chicago's opener Sept. 7 at Indianapolis.
"This will be my fifth year with this coaching staff. They've seen me for four years," Grossman said, with a cut below the bridge of his nose and a gauze wrap over his bruised throwing forearm.
"I think they should know" about me, he said.
Seattle's relentless blitzes often left Grossman without time to find a friendly jersey, let alone set his feet to throw. Chicago produced 82 yards, three first downs and no points in 23 plays with the maligned sixth-year veteran, who is 19-11 as a starter. He was sacked once, pressured many more times. He committed one intentional-grounding penalty out of self-preservation.
Orton missed on his first two throws but finished 5-for-9 for 43 yards in two series at the end of the first half. Chicago gained 54 yards in 12 plays with the fourth-year veteran, who started last week at Kansas City and was 7-for-10 for 56 yards.
"I thought my decision-making was pretty good and we had some nice plays down field," Orton said.
Bears coach Lovie Smith acknowledged he'd like to settle on a starter as soon as possible, with two preseason games remaining.
"But we know a lot more," Smith said. "Things are becoming clearer and clearer."
When asked what might be clearer to him after going 13-for-23 for 118 yards with one touchdown and one interception in two preseason games, Grossman all but threw up his bandaged arm.
"I've been in the dark this whole time about how they are going about this," he said of a preseason that began with coaches flipping a coin to determine who would run the first-team in practices.
Bears Pro Bowl kicker Robbie Gould missed a 47-yard field goal as regulation time expired. Then impressive rookie Justin Forsett, who finished with 136 yards on 15 carries, ran the Seahawks from their own 13 into range for fellow seventh-round draft pick Brandon Coutu to kick his fifth goal. Coutu made it from 36 yards 3:28 into overtime.
"Nothing like an overtime in preseason, I always say," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said with a wry smile.
Seahawks Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck rested his tight back. Third-stringer Charlie Frye played the entire game, going 20-for-35 for 209 yards and three interceptions.
Seattle relentlessly blitzed Grossman during his five series, two of which ended with three-and-outs.
Grossman may have had a 66-yard touchdown pass to Earl Bennett on the second series had he lofted the pass down the hashmarks. Instead, Josh Wilson dived from behind to knock down the line-drive throw and force another punt.
The third series ended in three plays with Grossman's intentional grounding, as four blitzing Seahawks were about to drill him into the 5-yard line.
Late in the opening quarter with Seattle leading 3-0, end Darryl Tapp sped around tackle John Tait and rammed into Grossman's arm as he was trying to throw. The ball fluttered into Leroy Hill's arms for an interception he returned 29 yards to the 5.
But Seattle could only turn that into a 26-yard field goal by Coutu, who is battling veteran Olindo Mare to be the Seahawks' new kicker.
Orton entered with 7:23 remaining in the second quarter and most of the first-team offense still in, after the Bears got a safety off a blocked punt by Darrell McClover.
With 1:50 remaining in the half, Orton used shotgun formations and completed five of seven passes -- the last a well-placed throw in the end zone to Devin Hester that Kelly Jennings forced out of Hester's hands. Gould's 39-yard field goal on the next play made the score 9-5 at halftime.
"That's the way you like to see an offense execute," Smith said.
A six-yard interception return for a touchdown by Corey Graham and a 75-yard punt return for another score by Bennett rallied Chicago in the third quarter. Seattle's T.J. Duckett tied the game at 19 with 7:24 left on a 1-yard run. Then rookie free agent Caleb Hanie threw an interception and Forsett ran 10 yards while carrying defender Craig Steltz across the goal line to put Seattle ahead 26-19 with 5:22 remaining.
Bears rookie tight end Kellen Davis tied the game at 26 with a leaping, one-handed catch of a 9-yard pass from Hanie for a touchdown with 2:50 left in regulation.
Seahawks starting RT Sean Locklear left with a sprained knee. Holmgren expects Locklear will be back for the opener. ... Bears starting TE Desmond Clark sprained his right knee when Marcus Trufant hit him at the end of a 7-yard reception in the first quarter. "He should be OK," Smith said. The coach had the same, good prognosis for backup S Kevin Payne (back) and reserve LB Nick Roach (concussion).
|Seattle (2-0-0) «||6||3||0||17||3||29|
CHI - Pass: R. Grossman (9-15, 74), Rec: K. Davis (3-55)|
SEA - Pass: C. Frye (20-35, 209), Rec: J. Kent (4-50)
|FG||Brandon Coutu 48 Yd, 6:13. Drive: 8 plays, 34 yards in 3:44.|
|FG||Brandon Coutu 26 Yd, 1:12. Drive: 4 plays, -3 yards in 0:46.|
|FG||Brandon Coutu 46 Yd, 1:55. Drive: 9 plays, 19 yards in 3:56.|
|FG||Robbie Gould 39 Yd, 0:21. Drive: 10 plays, 51 yards in 1:34.|
|TD||Corey Graham, 6 Yd interception return (Robbie Gould kick is good), 7:34.|
|TD||Earl Bennett, 75 Yd punt return (Robbie Gould kick is good), 5:08.|
|FG||Brandon Coutu 21 Yd, 14:02. Drive: 13 plays, 74 yards in 6:06.|
|TD||T.J. Duckett, 1 Yd run (Brandon Coutu kick is good), 7:24. Drive: 8 plays, 66 yards in 4:17.|
|TD||, 10 Yd run (Brandon Coutu kick is good), 5:22. Drive: 3 plays, 26 yards in 1:19.|
|TD||Kellen Davis, 9 Yd pass from Caleb Hanie (Robbie Gould kick is good), 2:50. Drive: 7 plays, 77 yards in 2:32.|
|FG||Brandon Coutu 36 Yd, 11:32. Drive: 8 plays, 69 yards in 3:28.|
Chicago Bears Youth Hat
$24.95 Shop Now!
|Complete Player Stats|