Safety Jordan Babineaux can’t lie.
His ideal scoring opportunity is with the ball in his hands, returning an interception for a touchdown. Turns out that a safety is a pretty satisfying way to score, too, as Babineaux found out in the third quarter.
“As a defensive back, my dream is pick six all the time,” Babineaux said. “But now that you mention it, I’m not lying if I say we scored on defense.”
Babineaux came unblocked in the third quarter, sacking Chicago’s Jay Cutler in the end zone. The ball got loose but was recovered by the Bears, and Seattle was rewarded with two points.
That was one of six sacks Seattle had Sunday, its most in any game since September 2008. The temptation is to say the Seahawks threw the kitchen sink at Cutler. But that’s not quite accurate, since it would imply that Seattle tossed an array of heavy implements at him. Truly, it was a steady dose of blitzing defensive backs.
Babineaux was credited with 1.5 sacks, while safety Lawyer Milloy and nickel back Roy Lewis had one apiece.
“Offensive linemen never expect little DBs to come in there,” Lewis said. “That’s when I say, au contraire, my friend.”
The Bears had allowed 21 sacks coming into the game, most in the league, but the majority of those came in a Week 4 loss to the New York Giants, who had nine sacks in the first half alone, a league record.
New York generated that pressure with its front four, while Seattle opted for a little more exotic approach.
“The Giants didn’t do a lot of fancy stuff,” coach Pete Carroll said. “They just rode up in there. We felt like we were going to have to do more scheme-wise, but maybe we would have a chance.”
Seattle frequently played a defense it refers to as the bandit, which features seven defensive backs, linebacker Lofa Tatupu and just three down linemen.
Sometimes, that formation focused on coverage, but other times Seattle’s secondary became a primary source of the pass rush in a game plan called by defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
“A marvelous job today of mixing the calls and keeping them guessing,” Carroll said.
Everyone knew Chicago’s pass protection was a problem, but on Sunday, the Bears didn’t even know where that pressure was coming from.
“On the film, they weren’t the best at picking up the rush,” linebacker Aaron Curry said. “We just kind of threw it to them from everywhere.”