Thursday night football turned into a Thursday night beatdown this week, as the Chicago Bears won their second preseason game of the exhibition season 27-11 over the Seattle Seahawks. Bears second-year quarterback Justin Fields played just one drive, but that's all Chicago really needed. A 14-0 second-quarter run extended the Bears' lead to 17 by halftime, and the deficit was too much for Seattle's reserves to overcome.
Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock was supposed to start this matchup over Geno Smith as the two continue their position battle, but the former Denver Bronco came down with COVID-19 this week, so Smith again started in his place.
Smith played the entire first half, completing 10 of 18 passes for 112 yards, and registered what was an up-and-down performance. Head coach Pete Carroll said before the game that Smith would play into the third quarter, but the quarterback came out of the locker room after halftime with his right knee wrapped and Jacob Eason instead took over.
Chicago won in all three facets of the game. The offense was more consistent, the defense did bend at times, but did not break, and the special teams created several splash plays. Let's take a look at what went down in Seattle Thursday night.
Geno Smith doesn't run away with QB competition
With Lock sidelined due to COVID-19, Smith again got the start at quarterback. Many were expecting this would be the moment where the vet would run away with the quarterback competition, but that did not happen.
We saw both good and bad from the Seahawks offense, and it wasn't all of Smith's fault. On one drive in the first half, the Seahawks converted a fourth-and-2 at the Bears' 34-yard line to get to the 22-yard line, but an illegal use of hands penalty nullified the play and knocked Seattle out of field goal range. The very next drive, Jason Myers missed a 47-yard field goal attempt after the Seahawks had a first-and-10 from the Bears' 27-yard line just a few plays earlier.
Smith missed on a couple of deep passes and also tripped over his own running back off of play-action for a big loss. He did have a couple of nice throws that picked up big yardage, but that doesn't change the fact that the Seahawks were outscored 17-0 in the first half, and that the boo birds were out in Seattle.
Our best guess is that Smith ends up winning the job, but he didn't exactly do that on Thursday night. One fan came prepared for a lackluster offensive performance.
Justin Fields decent in limited action
Fields played just one drive Thursday night, completing 5 of 7 passes for 39 yards. Once again, the offensive line didn't exactly help Fields out early. He was under duress on just about every passing play, but the Bears did march 52 yards down the field on 10 plays to kick a field goal -- the game's first points.
When Fields does get time to throw, however, he looks good. Check out this 19-yard hookup with tight end Cole Kmet.
A couple of things to note from that first drive: The Bears went play-action on almost every passing play. Additionally, five plays into the possession, the offense faced a fourth-and-2. Fields then did a nice job of drawing Darrell Taylor offsides to keep the drive alive.
DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett make surprise appearances
ESPN wasn't expecting Seattle's top two wide receivers to play, but to the surprise of the broadcast crew and virtually everyone, Metcalf and Lockett trotted out on the field for Seattle's first possession of the game. Neither were targeted, however, and the Seahawks went three-and-out.
Bears rookie WR/PR Velus Jones Jr. flashes
Many don't see Chicago as having one of the elite wide receiving corps in the NFL, but keep an eye on the rookie out of Tennessee. Even if Jones Jr. doesn't make an impact catching the ball in Year 1, he may star as a returner.
Check out this 48-yard punt return Jones Jr. took down the sideline in the first quarter:
Bears' special teams touchdown
While the Bears looked good returning punts, the Seahawks did not. Seattle muffed a punt last week, and had another one Thursday night that actually cost them seven points!
Seahawks LG Damien Lewis carted off with injury
This is not what you want to see in the preseason. Seahawks starting left guard Lewis went down next to Caleb Johnson early in the second quarter, and the broadcast noted teammates were quick to call for medical personnel as soon as the whistle was blown. Per the Tacoma News Tribune, medical personnel put an air cast on Lewis' leg/ankle, and he was carted off the field. But there was good news following the game, per Pete Carroll, who said X-rays were negative and Lewis suffered an ankle sprain.
Lewis started in all 13 games he played for the Seahawks last year.
First-round pick LT Charles Cross struggles with penalties
The Seahawks committed five offensive penalties in the first half. Cross had four of them with three false starts, and one holding penalty. He drew his fifth penalty -- another false start -- in the third quarter. Playing left tackle -- especially as a rookie -- is tough. Cross has all of the intangibles to be a franchise left tackle, but he won't do that if he's going to be drawing yellow laundry often.
The Bears close out the preseason on the road against the Cleveland Browns next Saturday. The Seahawks will also hit the road to take on the Dallas Cowboys, closing out the exhibition season next Friday.