Per Rachel Nichols of ESPN.com, Matt Hasselbeck had another 15 CCs of fluid drained from his injured hip. Had it drained three times the week before the Saints game, and played as well as he ever has.
If you haven’t seen our X-and-O replication of Justin Forsett’s 9-yard TD against the Bears in week 6, here it is.
TE Desmond Clark, who played the role of Mike Williams in Chicago’s practices this week per ESPN Chicago, is the Bears’ notable inactive.
Lofa Tatupu is active — inactives are Losman, J. Pinkard, Marcus Brown, Joe Pawelek, L. Jeanpierre, Paul Fanaika, B. Giacomini, A. Gordon.
Looks like we’re going to have some light snow, at least to start.
Now we’re underway — the guy in the bear suit just hit the field. Snow picking up as the Bears players are introduced.
Seattle wins the toss and will receive. Time for Leon Washington to transcend his status as Devin Hester’s undercard?
Last time these two teams played, the Seahawks won the field position game pretty decisively. Washington starts with a 14-yard return to the Seattle 24.
Seattle getting a lot of traction on that stretch play action the Colts and Saints also run a lot. Opening gain of 9. And after that 9-yard start, the Seahawks go three-and out.
Chance #1 for Hester. Fair catch. Last time, he got an 89-yard return off, but Jon Ryan locked the Bears inside their own 10 four different times.
Bears using Forte out of draws and counters to start.
Olsen got past Milloy for the long touchdown. Just couldn’t keep up on the turn-and-go. Olsen has WR ability in that department, a serious mismatch for Milloy, who’s better starting in space or playing in the box. He’s not an area-to-area defender anymore.
John Carlson gets bowled over on a sideline route — first play of the second drive. Looks like a neck/head injury. Cart coming onto the field for him.
Carroll talking to his O-linemen, keeping spirits up. Cameron Morrah, who has had some big plays this season, will be the man now.
Two-tight end sets take a hit with Carlson out (assuming he’s not returning), but the Seahawks are so effective running I-formation, it may not matter. Carlson’s head was immobilized as he was carted off the field.
Killer drop on that deep seam to Morrah. That could have equalized the game.
Fourth-and-1 after the 10-yard completion to Morrah — easy decision to punt here. Hasselbeck’s receivers doing him no favors thus far. Ryan downs the Bears at their own 9.
Players from both teams stretching and running in place during TV and injury timeouts to keep the blood going — it is really cold out there.
No gain for Forte against Seattle’s under nickel. Knox sits in a zone pocket for an 180yard gain on second down. Too much line adjustment for the Seahawks on that play.
Will Herring will not like Film Day when that alleged tackle on Forte is reviewed.
Play breaks down on third down, Cutler rolls right and Tatupu takes hi down for Seattle’s first sack of the day. Punt to Seattle. If the Seahawks can score on this drive, they can erase a pretty ugly first 7 minutes.
Official word: Carlson has a head injury and will not return.
Seattle’s receivers with three drops or close-to-drops so far. Hasselebck throwing into some very tight windows as well. Maye he got a little over-inspired by Aaron Rodgers?
Snow really picking up now. (Unless that’s Hurricane Ditka).
Cutler with pressure gets the little flare pass off to Olsen, who gets past Tatupu and Trufant for another long gain.
Seahawks defense then embarrassed by a direct snap to Earl Bennett.
Costliest drop of the day so far — Babineaux has a Cutler pick right in his hands, and then…
Bears call a timeout so that Martz can try to convince Lovie Smith to go for it on fourth down in the red zone up 7-0. Good luck with that! Cutler runs for the first down.
Chester Taylor scores Chicago’s second touchdown of the first quarter, the snow is falling a bit more heavily, and the fans are singing the fight song. Not good if you’re Pete Carroll right now.
Seahawks going with a lot of short passes just to get some drive consistency established.
Total first quarter yards: Chicago 137, Seattle 60.
From our own Steve Rudman: Cutler’s 58-yard TD pass is the second-longest yielded by the Seahawks in a postseason game . . . Rex Grossman of the Bears threw a 68-yard TD to Bernard Berrian on Jan. 14, 2007, in an NFC Divisional playoff game at Soldier Field.
Holding penalty on Okung puts Seattle in a third-and-15 situation. Hasselbeck tries that old faithful deep sideline route to Mike Williams, to no avail.
At the end of their first drive of the second quarter, the Seahawks are 0-for-4 on third down, mirroring the trouble the Bears had in the last meeting between these two teams.
This may make Bill Swerski unhappy, but Greg Olsen is looking a lot more like Ditka.
Cutler just made like Tim Tebow on the Bears’ third touchdown of the day. Seattle’s defense is playing on its heels, and I think we’re going to be hearing a lot about that field. Jordan Babineaux and Earl Thomas whiffed on the play.
Nasty drive there after the pass interference — drop overthrow, overthrow.
Seattle’s defense is getting gashed on every type of pass: over, under, misdirection, whatever you want. This defense looks more like the too-small, too-light defenses Tim Ruskell put together.
Typical risk/reward day for Cutler — six of 12 for 170 yards. Sacked by Brock with 6:07 left in the first half, but Chicago recovers the fumble and will punt. That punt pins the Seahawks at their own one-yard line.
This is getting ugly, folks. If the Seahawks can’t put any kind of score on the board before halftime … yikes.
Sack ends the drive with a minute left in the second half. They have one drive of six plays, two of five plays, one of four plays, and three of three plays. Seattle went no further than the Chicago 30 in the first half.
Cutler’s TD run first by a Bears quarterback in a postseason game since Jim McMahon in Super Bowl XX.
Seattle’s leading rusher in the first half: WR Golden Tate. 1 carry, 13 yards.
Trufant knocked out while trying to tackle TE Kellen Davis. Second Seahawks player to be carted off in this game — Trufant looked as if he was out before he even hit the ground.
Bears just slow-rolling the Seahawks at this point, and the Seahawks look as if they’ve been drained of all life.
And that’s Jay Cutler with two touchdown runs in this game, kids. Cutler had two total touchdown runs in the 2009 and 2010 regular seasons.
Thought from the press box: “I think Seattle should kick the field goal right now.”
Nearing the end of the third quarter, the Seahawks team (26) has run for one more yard than Jay Cutler (25). Cutler is the first quarterback ever to rush for two scores in a postseason game against Seattle. The only other quarterback to score one was Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL, and Cutler didn’t have any trouble breaking the plane.
Aaron Curry picks a Matt Forte throw. That’s what you get for being a wiseguy, Bears.
Hasselbeck to Williams for a touchdown that makes this game (here comes the cliche) “a lot closer on the scoreboard than it is on the field.”
More from Rudman: So far, this ties for the largest first-half deficit in Seattle postseason history. The Seahawks trailed the Bengals on Dec.31,1988 21-0 and went on to lose 21-13.
Drop. Sack. Ballgame. Folks, we’ll be heading down to talk to Pete Carroll and the players in a few minutes here, so this will conclude our game thread for today. Thank you so very much for reading, and stay tuned for much more in what is about to be the offseason…
Soldier Field has the worst traction in the league. Worse than Heinz