for this game

Bears embarrass Alexander-less Seahawks

Oct 2, 2006 - 3:32 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- The way the Chicago Bears are playing it may have not mattered if Shaun Alexander had played.

Rex Grossman threw for two touchdowns and the Bears dominated defensively en route to a resounding 37-6 victory over the Seahawks in a matchup of NFC powers.

Trying to start 4-0 for the first time in franchise history, the Seahawks were without Alexander - the reigning NFL MVP who set a single-season record with 28 touchdowns in 2005 - due to a cracked bone in his left foot.

Alexander's presence may not have slowed down the Bears, who are 4-0 for the first time since 1991 when Mike Ditka was roaming the sidelines. Chicago is the only unbeaten team in the NFC.

The Bears' latest win over the defending conference champions came with a dominant effort on both sides of the ball.

Grossman continued to energize the passing game as he completed 17-of-31 passes for 232 yards without a turnover. He threw a nine-yard TD pass to Muhsin Muhammad in the first quarter and connected with Bernard Berrian on a 40-yard score with under a minute left in the third quarter to give Chicago a 34-6 advantage.

Grossman completed 17-of-31 passes for 232 yards before leaving with under seven minutes remaining. He has thrown for eight touchdowns in four games after totaling four in his first three seasons.

The 37-6 score shows what we're capable of, Grossman said. "But Seattle is a lot better than that. We'll have to see them down the road if we want to get where we want to go this year."

"When you can put that many points on the scoreboard, you're doing some things right," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Rex Grossman had another outstanding night and he just seems to get better each week. We had great protection from the offensive line."

Berrian had three catches for 108 yards, Thomas Jones rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns and Robbie Gould kicked three field goals for the Bears.

Defensive tackle Tommie Harris and end Mark Anderson each recorded two sacks and cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. had two first-half interceptions to set up a field goal and touchdown to pace the Bears' defense.

Chicago has allowed just one offensive touchdown and 29 points in its first four games.

Matt Hasselbeck was sacked five times for 45 yards before departing midway through the fourth quarter with the game out of hand. He went 16-of-35 yards for 196 yards and two interceptions.

"The physical beating doesn't hurt as much as the disappointment with how we played tonight and how we didn't execute any of the stuff we set out to do," Hasselbeck said.

"They are the best defense we've seen so far this season," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "Their front seven can really (play); they have great speed. I think they can obviously pash rush with four guys, which helps them."

Without Alexander, the Seahawks also struggled to run the ball. Maurice Morris managed 35 yards on 11 carries and Seattle gained only 77 yards on the ground.

We knew Shaun wasn't going to play. We had a plan but didn't do the plan, Hasselbeck said.

The Seahawks actually got off to a good start. Hasselbeck had completions of 31 yards to Deion Branch and 22 yards to Darrell Jackson on their second possession that led to Josh Brown's 23-yard field goal.

But it was all Bears the rest of the way.

Grossman capped a 12-play, 69-yard drive with his nine-yard TD toss to Muhammad with 2:27 left in the first quarter to give the Bears a 7-3 lead.

Less than two minutes into the second quarter, Gould extended the margin with a 36-yard field goal.

Later in the period, Manning had interceptions on consecutive possessions. The first set up a 20-yard field goal by Gould and the second led to a three-yard TD run by Jones that made it 20-3 with 2:25 left in the first half.

Manning keyed on Hasselbeck on the first interception.

Seattle ran the same play earlier," Manning said. "I read the quarterback, saw the pass coming and stepped in."

Manning shrugged off the pregame distractions and possible NFL sanctions after pleading no contest to an April assault charge.

"I'd like to thank the commissioner for being here today," Manning said. "I didn't get a chance to talk to him today, but he gave me his office number. I'll probably call him tomorrow and tell him what really went down."

Brown kicked a 24-yard field goal with 27 seconds left in the half to pull the Seahawks within 20-6.

On their opening possession of the third quarter, the Bears moved 65 yards in 10 plays. Jones capped the march with a one-yard TD run.

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