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Sunday, December 18, 2011
First quarter: Seahawks 7, Bears 7

By Michael C. Wright

Dane Sanzenbacher
The Seahawks' Leon Washington is tackled by the Bears' Dane Sanzenbacher on a punt return in the first quarter.
CHICAGO -- Chicago lost another starter when receiver Johnny Knox left Sunday’s game with what team officials called “a mid-back injury,” but received some consolation in the form of a defensive touchdown that led to a 7-7 first-quarter tie with the Seattle Seahawks.

Ineptitude on offense remained a mainstay for the home team in the first quarter. But the Bears put a TD on the board with 2:23 left in the quarter when Julius Peppers sacked and stripped Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, and Israel Idonije dove on the loose ball for the score.

The touchdown was the third by the Chicago defense this season, and the team is 3-0 when the defense scores a TD.

Idonije’s TD improved what was shaping up to be an ugly start for the Bears.

Less than five minutes into the game, Knox was carted off the field with a mid-back injury after a play in which he fumbled, giving Seattle possession at the Chicago 22.

Instead of surrendering a just a field goal on the Seahawks’ ensuring drive, the Bears ended up giving up a touchdown to trail 7-0 after an unnecessary penalty paved the way for a Marshawn Lynch 2-yard touchdown.

Steven Hauschka kicked a 22-yard field goal for Seattle with 8:49 left in the quarter, but officials called Bears defensive back Corey Graham for a “leverage” penalty, which gave the Seahawks a first down at the Chicago 2.

Lynch scored on the next play to give the Seahawks a 7-0 advantage with 8:31 left in the quarter.