CHICAGO -- When people talk about Sunday’s Chicago Bears-Seattle Seahawks' game in the future, they’ll first recall the Seahawks pulling out a 23-17 overtime win. Then they’ll turn to Brandon Marshall's late fourth-quarter catch.
In a season where Marshall has made his fair share of extraordinary catches, the one he made in the final seconds Sunday may just rank at the top.
With the Bears trailing 17-14 on their own 14-yard line and 20 seconds remaining, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler turned to his star receiver and delivered a quick message.
“I told Brandon to run as far as he could down there, and I’ll throw it to you and you make a play,” Cutler said.
Cutler received the shotgun snap, stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure, faked out one defender with a pump and launched the ball nearly 50 yards in Marshall’s direction.
As the ball approached Seattle’s 40-yard-line, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman appeared as if he had the best position to make the catch. But just as the ball was descending, Marshall ascended, flew in front of Sherman, snatched the ball, landed and ran for another 13 yards before getting out of bounds with nine seconds left.
The 56-yard play, Marshall’s longest with the Bears, set up a game-tying 46-yard field goal by Robbie Gould and led to overtime. Marshall was confident the Bears would win at that point.
“That’s what I thought,” Marshall said. “Exactly what I thought.”
Marshall’s optimism wouldn’t be rewarded as the Seahawks received the ball to begin overtime and marched down the field for a game-ending score.
While the end result wasn’t what Marshall hoped, he continued to support the argument that he’s best wide receiver to ever wear a Bears’ uniform. He finished with 10 receptions on 14 targets for 165 yards. He now has 91 receptions for 1,182 yards and eight touchdowns on the season.
Afterward, Bears coach Lovie Smith and running back Matt Forte continued to rave about Marshall.
Smith said, “Brandon Marshall, time after time just really making plays, which kept us in the football game.”
Forte said, “He’s a big-time receiver. He makes plays. When the ball’s in the air, he’s going to attack it. He’s 6-5, long arms. That was a great play he made for us to be able to tie the game up and go into overtime.”
While disappointed in the loss, Marshall could still take pride in his performance. Unlike most defenses which devote a number of defensive backs to Marshall, the Seahawks opted to defend him with one-on-one coverage.
“This game was personal,” said Marshall, who has six 100-yard games this season. “Any time a team goes one-on-one, I take it really personal. I take it as a sign of disrespect. I’m going to tell you the truth; I wanted to have a big game and also wanted to win.
“I wouldn’t be satisfied with a win and 20 yards because that’s the type of player I am. I want to compete and I want to dominate.”
Marshall isn’t done with the Seahawks either.
“You never know, maybe we see them again,” Marshall said. “But I still have years left in me and there is always next year.”