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Bears defense unable to contain rookie QB Wilson

Published: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 9:58 a.m. CDT

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(MCT) — CHICAGO — As they sat at their lockers trying to comprehend how the defense imploded against the Seahawks, Bears defensive back Kelvin Hayden offered a few encouraging words to sulking safety Major Wright.

“It’s over, dog,” Hayden said. “We’ll be back.”

The Bears need to rebound after allowing Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to rack up 364 all-purpose yards, two touchdowns and a 23-17 overtime win Sunday. After the game, the 5-foot-11 Wilson said he told the coaches, “Hey, the (zone) read option is wide open.”

Wilson gained 71 rushing yards on nine carries, including a 12-yard run on third-and-5 in overtime that set up his game-winning 13-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice.

“He was able to get out (of) the pocket and buy some time,” Hayden said. “Anytime the quarterback gets out of the pocket, coverage breaks down. And he made the plays.

“You have to remember this guy is a rookie. So, hats off to him. They made the plays, and we didn’t.”

A play Wright failed to make symbolized the defense’s downfall. The Bears led 14-10 with 32 seconds remaining in regulation when Wilson — facing first-and-10 from the Bears’ 14 — found Golden Tate on a crossing route. Wright had a chance to pull down Tate at the 5 but missed. Both Hayden and Shea McClellin also whiffed on chances to keep Tate out of the end zone. The Seahawks took a 17-14 lead.

“Just missed the tackle,” Wright said. “That’s all it was.”

McClellin said it was his job at the end of regulation to spy on Wilson.

Thanks to the heroics of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Robbie Gould, the Bears tied the game as time expired in regulation. The defense could have redeemed itself with a big stop in overtime, but Wilson calmly directed a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive.

On the final play, Wilson, 24, faked the zone-read option, rolled to the left and found Rice crossing with a few steps on Charles Tillman for the game-winner. Wright tried to come over and jar the ball loose from Rice with a fierce hit, but Rice had already crossed the plane of the goal line.

Rice wasn’t nearly as beat up as the Bears defense, which was without Brian Urlacher (hamstring), Tim Jennings (shoulder) and Chris Conte (illness) on the final stand. Not to mention the successive long drives by the Seahawks at the end of regulation and overtime no doubt had the Bears exhausted.

Hayden refused to blame it on fatigue.

“I don’t think we wore down,” Hayden said. “Guys were feeling pretty good. We felt like the energy was there.

“We just felt like we needed to make more plays. We just have to play better.”

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