By Eric D. Williams The News Tribune
CHICAGO — In the much-anticipated matchup between Brandon Marshall and Seattle’s big corners, the Chicago receiver did not disappoint.
Marshall finished with 10 catches for 165 yards — the most receiving yards the Seahawks have given up to an individual receiver all season. This was Marshall’s sixth, 100-yard performance this year.
Heading into Sunday’s contest, Marshall had been targeted 124 times by Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler. Against the Seahawks, Marshall was targeted 14 times.
The rest of Chicago’s receivers were targeted 12 times, including Earl Bennett, who dropped a sure touchdown pass in the first half after getting behind cornerback Brandon Browner.
Bennett also caught a 12-yard touchdown pass, and later had to leave the game with a concussion.
Chicago already came into the contest down a receiver with Devin Hester sitting out with a concussion.
Even though he put up good numbers, Chicago’s loss was bittersweet.
“This game was personal,” Marshall said. “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.”
Seattle’s cornerback duo of Browner and Richard Sherman had held Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, Detroit’s Calvin Johnson and Carolina’s Steve Smith all under 100 yards receiving. But the two struggled to keep Marshall contained. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said that he and Marshall were focused on playing ball, so there wasn’t a whole lot of trash talking between the two.
“We were just having casual conversation — there wasn’t too much bad talking,” Sherman said. “It’s always fun to compete with a guy like that, who has a high motor and plays hard. Even Cutler, a great quarterback who talks a little, it makes the game fun for both sides, and we had a nice battle today.”
Marshall’s signature play of the game came with 20 seconds remaining and his team down 17-14. On first-and-10 from Chicago’s 14-yard line, Marshall once again got loose behind Seattle’s secondary, hauling in a 56-yard pass and getting out of bounds at the Seahawks’ 30-yard line, setting up a Robbie Gould 46-yard field goal that sent the game into overtime.
Sherman had a chance to knock the ball down, but went for the interception instead.
“It was just Cover 2 — I just tried to drop back there and get my hands on it,” Sherman said. “And he made a good play. That’s just how it happens sometimes.”