OkungI've looked at some of the game again here at O'Hare Airport. Okung appeared comfortable and mostly effective. He's obviously strong and does play with attitude.
Brian Urlacher, the Bears' Pro Bowl middle linebacker, didn't seem to like the way Okung engaged him at the 6-yard line and drove him into the end zone, continuing to push after Justin Forsett crossed the goal line for a 9-yard touchdown run up the gut.
This was a third-and-goal situation from the 9, so the Bears were expecting pass. The surprise factor and Okung's aggressiveness on the play created the opening Forsett needed.
"He played a very good football game," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Monday.
Carroll indicated Okung "got tossed around a little bit early" before settling in and playing well. I didn't really notice anyone tossing around Okung that much, but I'll watch the game more carefully after returning home from Chicago.
The Seahawks allowed no sacks. They used tight ends to help block at times. They had quarterback Matt Hasselbeck run bootlegs away from potential trouble. They mixed up their play calling and established a running game. Those factors helped neutralize the Bears' pass-rush.
There was good blocking, too.
"It should be a feeling like, 'You know, he’ s been against the best guy in the league and he can handle himself,' " Carroll said. "I don’ t think Russell ever doubted that, but he really wouldn’t know until he did it. And he had enough opportunities where he was truly one-on-one, so he knows that he can do that."
Seattle's line seemed to play well together, which had to be a challenge against Peppers on the road.
On one play, Peppers stunted to the inside, away from Okung. Left guard Ben Hamilton was waiting and ready to make the block. That play showed why teams often value veteran guards. I've thought the San Francisco 49ers would be better off with a veteran right guard to help rookie right tackle Anthony Davis.