The Seahawks’ offense is broken right now, in a fashion we’ve rarely seen in the Russell Wilson era. The resourcefulness of Wilson that has come to define him is suddenly in need of repair.

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CHICAGO – Where once there was magic, now there is mostly frantic desperation.

The Seahawks’ offense is broken right now, in a fashion we’ve rarely seen in the Russell Wilson era. The resourcefulness of Wilson that has come to define him is suddenly in need of repair.

And on a night when the defense elicited some echoes of glory past, those struggles were a dream-killer.


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The Seahawks lost to the Chicago Bears 24-17 at Soldier Field to drop to 0-2. Technically, that does not doom them to a second straight season out of the playoffs, not with 14 games to get things right. The Seahawks themselves dug out of a similar hole three seasons ago.

But 2015 seems like an eternity past. There has been little shown this season to elicit much hope of a miracle turnaround. Perhaps things will change when the Seahawks get home, and when they get the likes of Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and eventually Doug Baldwin – all conspicuous in their absence – back on the field.

Perhaps. But this has been a shadow of the Seahawks we had come to know. In particular, it was an unconvincing facsimile of the Wilson whose ingenious playmaking had been, in better times, the stable counterpoint to their all-world defense.

This time, when it seemed the Seahawks could somehow overcome three quarters of offensive sputtering to mount the sort of miraculous comeback that first marked Wilson, on this very field, as a special quarterback as a rookie in 2012, it fell apart spectacularly.

Wilson had led one fourth-quarter touchdown drive – a smart, diverse little gem of an up-tempo march – and then the Seahawks got the ball back with 8:37 left, and 65 yards to navigate for an improbable tie. Maybe the narrative of a team in disarray was all wrong.

Or not. Instead of heroics, the Seahawks delivered the jaw-dropping, fist-slamming sight of Prince Amukamara stepping in front of Rashaad Penny to intercept an ill-advised pass Wilson all but telegraphed. Amukamara sprinted into the end zone, and for all intents and purposes, it was over.

“You can’t even remember the last time Russ did that, where he threw the ball and the guy stole it like that,’’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.

Wilson fumbled the ball away on the team’s next possession, one of far too many times he was under intense pressure by the Bears’ defense. And when he led another scoring drive in the waning seconds, hitting tight end Will Dissly on a touchdown pass with 14 seconds remaining, it was just window dressing.

“They weren’t characteristic at all, not even for a second,’’ Carroll said when asked about Wilson’s slipups in crunch time.

Once, the Seahawks rose tall and strutted on national television, just burning to show the world their greatness. But all they showed on Monday was the extent of their decline.

Most of the big-name stalwarts, the Richard Shermans and Michael Bennetts and Kam Chancellors who exuded an aura of alpha-male menace, are gone from the defense, though Shaquill Griffin had a star turn Monday with a performance that was notable beyond his two interceptions.

But it was on the other side of the ball the Seahawks are searching for a spark. For much of the game, Wilson, and by extension the offense, looked out of rhythm, out of sorts, out of answers.

Certainly, he misses Baldwin, his security blanket and safety valve. Certainly, he has borne the brunt of what Carroll said could be the two best pass-rushers the Seahawks will face all season, Von Miller and Khalil Mack.

For the second week in a row, Wilson was sacked six times (five in the first half), leading to the question: Is he holding the ball too long, or is no one getting open? Or a third possibility: Is his protection simply inadequate?

Perhaps a combination of all three is the most honest answer. Certainly, the electrifying escapes that have marked Wilson’s career have been far rarer to come by, as have the stunning plays he pulled out of thin air.

“Like last week, there were a number of things, so we’re not together yet as well as we need to be,’’ Carroll said of the Seahawks’ protection. “We’ve seen some fantastic rushers and we have not been able to keep them from being effective.”

Nor have the Seahawks developed the running attack to the extent they envisioned, and preached, in the lead-up to the 2018 season. In one stretch during the second and third quarter, Seattle went 23 minutes and 56 seconds between running plays, which is not at all conducive to a thriving offense.

“My fault,’’ Carroll said. “I got Schotty (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) to take a couple of shots and look at a couple of things and got him out of his rhythm a little bit. … I got him trying a little too hard to take a couple of shots to see if we could bounce something and get back in the game quickly. Shouldn’t have done that.”

The Seahawks had just 79 yards of offense at halftime (276 total). And in the third quarter, they added just one yard to that total.

“You know, we’re young,’’ Wilson said. “We’re going to be able to figure it out. We’re going to find our way, I think, really soon.”

Brandon Marshall believes some hints might have been found in the 10-play, 75-yard drive that led to Seattle’s first touchdown on a 19-yard pass to Tyler Lockett in the fourth quarter.

“We definitely used our up-pace offense to get things going, and guys  across the board made plays for us,’ Marshall said. “We have to continue to build off that. That’s one thing we can pull from.”

Most of the night, though, the Seahawks’ offense played with little creativity. Asked for his assessment, Penny shrugged and said, “More important is just getting the win. This team is hungry for a win. I think we’re getting close.”

The Seahawks as we once knew them, brash and all-conquering, are gone. This version needs a spark quickly to stay relevant.