In typical January weather for the home team, the Chicago Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks 35-24 today and will now advance to the NFC Title Game against team rival, the Green Bay Packers.
For a game that many expected would be closer, the Bears came out strong and scored on three of their first four possessions.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler kicked off the team’s rapid scoring with a 58-yard pass to tight end Greg Olsen. Quickly advancing to a 21-0 lead by halftime, the Bears let underdog Seattle know whose den they were playing in.
In the third quarter with a 28-0 lead, the Seahawks finally get on the board with a field goal. It took until the fourth quarter for team to finally get a touchdown.
The Bears stuck to their running game today versus their first time around against the the Seahawks in October with 45 rushing attempts compared with 28 pass attempts. In their first meeting, Cutler went for 39 passes and 14 run attempts.
Today Cutler channeled his inner running back, rushing for 43 yards and scoring two running touchdowns. He is the first quarterback since the Bears’ Jim McMahon to run for a touchdown in the postseason. Cutler completed 15 of 28 passes for 274 yards and had two passing touchdowns.
He is the second quarterback in NFL history to have two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns in a postseason game. The last quarterback to perform this feat was Otto Graham in 1954 and 1955 for Cleveland.
Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. He finished 26 for 46 for 258 and was sacked twice.
Running back Matt Forte ran for 80 yards on 25 attempts and fellow back Chester Taylor had 44 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown. For both players, today was their first postseason as Bears.
Olsen was the team’s lead receiver with three receptions for a career-high 113 yards.
The Bears’ 437 yards of offense was the most in the postseason for the team during the Super Bowl era. They converted 10 of 18 third downs and possessed the ball for 37:10. The defense limited to the Seahawks to 34 rushing yards; Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris sacked Hasselbeck twice.
Two Seahawks went down today with concussions: tight end John Carlso and cornerback Marcus Trufant. They will remain in Chicago overnight.
On Sunday, the Bears will host the Packers for the title game. From the Bears’ loss to Green Bay on Jan. 2, it enabled the rival to enter the postseason. It is the first time since 1941 that the two teams have faced each other in the postseason.
Kick-off is set for 2 p.m. CT. Which team will say third time is the charm? Let’s hope it’s the Bears.
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Written by Debbie Baratz